Some people aren’t sure what to do in the aftermath of a car accident. No matter the circumstances, many victims are tempted to refuse an ambulance ride just because they feel fine. They just want to go home where they feel safe and secure and not prolong their trauma any further. However, there are a variety of important reasons why law enforcement encourages accident victims to go to the hospital and get checked out: victims may be more injured than they appear or realize at the scene. 

So, why should you seek medical care after a car accident? Here are some important reasons to consider before making a decision that could negatively impact your health and well-being. 

Medical Care After a Car Accident in Alabama

The Shock Will Wear Off

When you’re in a car accident, your body and brain go into shock. You may also feel an adrenaline rush immediately after impact. This is the result of your body’s fight or flight response, and it isn’t something that you can control.

However, at a certain point after the accident takes place, the shock and adrenaline will taper off. Depending on your brain and body, this can be as soon as half an hour after the accident, up to several hours. During this time, you won’t feel any pain or even notice that you’re injured, unless your injury is obvious and dire. Once you regain your wits, so to speak, and begin to calm down, you’ll probably notice that parts of your body are sore or hurt. This is a delayed result of the accident.

Since you won’t realize that you’re hurting until some time afterward, there’s a good chance that you were indeed injured in the accident. Seeking medical care immediately after the accident means that you’ll already be in an ER bay when you begin to feel the effects or pain, and you won’t have to spend time in the waiting room while actively in pain. 

You’re Bleeding or in Pain

Sometimes, as we often see in movies, car accident injuries are very obvious. If you’re bleeding from any part of your body or are in pain immediately afterward, then you need to head straight to the emergency room. You could get whiplash from your seatbelt, which causes shoulder, neck, and back pain, or have hidden internal injuries that are only suspected due to the abdominal pain that you’re experiencing. 

Obviously, bleeding from anywhere on the body, regardless of the speed or amount of blood coming from your torso or arm are signs that you’re visibly injured. That scratch might seem minor, but it could be covering up further damage, like a broken bone that you currently aren’t feeling, due to the adrenaline rush. If you’re bleeding, do not refuse medical treatment. 

You Hit Your Head

Although some head injuries have symptoms that can appear later, others are more obvious. If you have a goose egg, knot, or clear bump on your head from the accident or are even slightly sure that you hit your head on something hard in your car, it’s time to get examined by medical professionals. There are other signs of head injuries as well, such as confusion, a brief loss of consciousness, pain, ringing in the ears, and more that may signify a larger brain injury. When it comes to these brain injuries, the sooner they are treated the better, so if you even suspect one, get into the ambulance and head, no pun intended, to the hospital. Your life may be on the line. 

The Airbag Deployed

Airbags are designed to save your life. They’ll cushion a serious impact and prevent your head and body from hitting the steering wheel at full speed. The problem is the speed at which airbags deploy. They rush out of their compartments in order to cushion the blow, but at the same time, they can also injure you. It isn’t unusual for people to end up with broken ribs, noses, or other fractures due to the airbag itself, rather than the impact of the collision. So, if your airbag is deployed in the accident, you need to go and get checked out. 

Injuries Could Appear Days Afterwards

Although there are plenty of injuries that show up immediately at the scene, like broken limbs, cracked ribs, and ripped and bleeding skin, others take some time to surface. Unlike injuries that appear only after the adrenaline and shock wear off, these can emerge days after the accident. These kinds of injuries can include:

  • Spinal Injuries – You probably won’t feel or notice a spinal injury until a day or two after the accident occurred. In fact, you may not have any signs or symptoms until you realize that you can’t comfortably get out of bed, that your arms and legs are numb, or that you can’t bend over to put on your shoes. Leaking spinal fluid, damaged vertebrae, and more can take time to appear and to heal. 
  • Head Injuries – You may not notice a head injury right away. If you walk away from the accident convinced that you didn’t actually hit your head, yet you did, the bleeding on your brain can already be in motion. Pretty soon the pressure in your brain will rise and you’ll become unconscious or show any of the classic signs of a concussion or other brain injury. 
  • Soft Tissue Injuries – Injuries to your muscles, ligaments, and joints can also appear around two to three days after the accident. You may experience stiffness or pain or notice a lack of motion, such as no longer being able to lift your arms over your head. These injuries can be caused by whiplash or the mere movements of the impact itself. 

Reach Out to Alawreck

If you were in a car accident in Alabama, have suffered an injury, received medical care, and are now unsure of what to do, it’s time to contact Alawreck. Our accident consultants can help you move in the right direction and provide the guidance that you need during this stressful time. 

At AlaWreck, we provide numerous resources, such as free wreck reports, complimentary medical consultations, car service discounts, and more. Our car wreck resources are endless and available to you at no cost. Allow us to guide you through your Alabama accident experience as painlessly as possible. Contact us today

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