Being involved in an accident can be a brutal shock. In addition to the emotional and physical impact of the accident, there are a ton of practical things that need to be done like giving statements to the police, contacting your insurance provider, potentially dealing with legal proceedings, and figuring out how you’re going to get to work while you’re hunting for a new vehicle. Because the to-do list gets so long after an accident, many people look for things to trim off the list. One of the things that should never, under any circumstances, be skipped over is visiting a medical professional and having a full examination done after an accident.
It turns out that many of us aren’t able to adequately determine that “we’re fine” after an accident. There are several types of injuries and problems that don’t have immediately sensible symptoms. The following will explore in detail why it is crucial to have a medical examination done after being involved in a road accident.
There is a medical condition, referred to as shock, that has many symptoms, but one of these symptoms is a lack of pain. Adrenaline released during shock can result in you not being able to feel any injuries that you have. Shock is caused when you don’t have enough blood circulating within your system to keep all your organs healthy and happy. It is also worth noting that blood loss to the degree that causes shock can happen during accidents without your awareness. Internal bleeding is still blood loss.
Speaking of internal injuries, bleeding happening on the inside of your body can be fatal, but it isn’t always easy to spot. Anything that damages blood vessels can result in internal bleeding (also known as hemorrhaging). Bruising, lightheadedness, organ tensing, or inexplicable internal pain can all be symptoms of internal bleeding. This being said, it can sometimes take a while for internal bleeding symptoms to arise; just because you don’t feel anything doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. In accidents, because you are going incredibly fast and then stopping all of a sudden, organs can be slammed against the inside of your chest or other body parts and be damaged this way.
Brain injuries are another medical condition that might not be obviously apparent to someone who has experienced them as traumatic brain injury symptoms can vary from something as simple as feeling a little more tired than usual to vomiting, pupil dilation, confusion, headaches, and mood disturbances. Seizures, cognitive impairment, memory loss, and unconsciousness are also symptoms. What makes brain injuries even more difficult to be aware of is that these symptoms can often be delayed in their onset. It’s better to go to the hospital and have an examination if there’s a chance of a brain injury rather than wait one or two days later when you’re really struggling with symptoms.
This one doesn’t get talked about enough, but it is a serious health condition that can drastically impact your life. Did you know car accidents are the number one cause of post-traumatic stress disorder in America? Mental health professionals are also important health care practitioners that might need to be visited for an evaluation after an accident. If you’re finding it hard to get back into a car, drive or sleep, or if you’re avoiding certain behaviors you didn’t use to avoid, experiencing changes in your emotional reactions to normal things, unable to escape invasive memories, or are experiencing detrimental negative changes to mood or thinking, you might be experiencing PTSD.
It is worth noting that post-traumatic stress disorder can also have a delayed onset meaning that you might not feel the symptoms early on. It is best to ensure that after any serious life event (positive or negative) you have a support system in place involving friends, family members, neighbors, or colleagues so that you always have an outlet for your emotional distress.
The above medical situations and how difficult it is to perceive them without experience in the medical field should prove to you that after an accident, it is in your best interest to seek out a medical evaluation, even if you feel fine. Many of the above situations have symptoms that are easily confused with simpler scenarios, no symptoms, or delayed symptoms. As well, all of these medical conditions are better treated if dealt with early. Furthermore, in the event that your accident results in legal proceedings, having a medical record can be very advantageous for you.