Car crashes are a leading cause of injury in the Garden State. Of the roughly 266,000 car accidents that occurred on New Jersey roadways in 2019, nearly 60,000 left someone with some type of injury. Statistically, this means there were approximately 164 injury-causing crashes every single day in 2019.
It is important to take certain steps following any car accident. Checking yourself and your passengers for injury is a critical one. Unfortunately, though, symptoms of even potentially serious injuries may not present themselves immediately.
Your body’s automatic stress response
Car accidents are inherently stressful events. To cope with one, your body has an automatic stress response. This response includes releasing adrenaline, epinephrine and other stress hormones to help you fight off danger or run away from it.
Among other things, stress hormones may increase your pain threshold. Consequently, you may not feel the pain of whiplash, organ damage or any other common car accident injuries until hours, days or even weeks after the crash.
The importance of medical care
Nowadays, doctors have many diagnostic tools at their disposal. They also understand how to look past your body’s stress response to identify serious injuries. Therefore, after even seemingly minor car accidents, it is critical to seek emergency medical care.
When you arrive at the emergency room or your go-to physician’s office, you should explain how the accident unfolded. You should also tell the doctor about any symptoms or concerns you have. Nevertheless, to diagnose your injuries and treat you effectively, the physician may refer you to a specialist.
Ultimately, the only way to know whether you have suffered a potentially life-altering injury in a motor vehicle accident is to seek prompt medical care and follow your doctor’s orders.