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After a car accident, adrenaline can mask your pain

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

If you get into a serious car accident, you may initially think that you avoided significant injury. You may climb out of the car and wait for emergency crews to arrive, thinking only about how lucky you are.

But are you? Or are you actually experiencing serious symptoms that are just being hidden at the time? Are they going to become more apparent in the future?

The role that adrenaline plays

This can certainly happen in some cases, and the reason for it is that adrenaline is part of a natural fight or flight response in human beings. Your body floods your system with adrenaline in a tense situation. This can help give you more energy and assist you in responding to that situation. For your ancestors thirty thousand years ago, this may have meant trying to escape an attack from a wild animal or continuing to walk back to camp with serious injuries.

It makes sense that this evolutionary development would happen and that it could be helpful to ancient humans, but the problem in the modern era is that it can have exactly the opposite effect. You don’t need to escape the car accident, so the adrenaline masking your pain just makes you think you weren’t injured. In some cases, this will cause people to skip out on getting the medical care that they need, and significant complications can arise.

For instance, maybe you’ve suffered a serious head injury and it includes bleeding around the brain. You may not notice the pain and the bleeding may not be so significant that you have any symptoms yet, so you could go home and lie down. However, as the adrenaline wears off, that brain injury could get significantly worse and may even become fatal. This never would have happened if you would have just gone to the hospital in the first place, but your body essentially tricked you into thinking that you didn’t need to.

Seeking proper care

The big thing to take away from this is that it’s always wise to seek proper medical care, no matter how minor you think your injuries are. If they do turn out to be significant and costly, then you may be able to seek financial compensation.