When you’re involved in a crash, there is always a potential that you won’t notice all of your injuries right away. The reason for this is that the body releases chemicals to cover up pain or injuries. In the past, those chemicals would have helped you fight or flee a dangerous situation, but in the case of a car crash, those same chemicals can mask real injuries.

When the crash settles, it’s important for you to call 911 and to seek medical care as soon as you can. While you may feel that you’re okay at the moment, you still need to be seen. You could have one of many delayed-onset injuries that you haven’t yet noticed, such as:

  • A brain injury
  • Internal bleeding
  • Broken bones
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal damage

What should you do immediately after the crash?

Since there is a potential that you could be injured, it’s a good idea not to move unless you have to. Of course, if you need to get out of your vehicle to check on others and feel fine, then it may be okay to move around. Just be cautious, and don’t ignore signs that you could have injuries developing.

If you do have an injury or know that you hit your head, stay where you are unless it’s dangerous to do so. When the emergency team arrives, they’ll help you into the ambulance and begin a basic examination while taking you to the hospital. There, you’ll receive the full physical exam and any additional imaging tests that the medical team needs to determine if you’re injured.

What is the danger of a delayed-onset injury?

The danger of a delayed-onset injury is that you may not know that an injury has occurred. Without quick treatment, it may develop and cause complications. In some cases, delaying treatment could even be fatal.

The good news is that early treatment may minimize the amount of time you need to stay in the hospital or could help you avoid needing more intensive or invasive treatment options. After you get treatment, you can then look into seeking compensation for your injuries.

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