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Team of Emergency Medical Services workers providing first aid at the scene of a car crash

Why It's Important to Seek Medical Attention After a Car Crash

DALLAS, Texas. The minutes after a car accident can be a confusing time. You may be facing immense stress, anger, sadness, and, if you were injured in a car accident, pain. However, many drivers might be tempted to go home without medical care, especially if they feel that their injuries were not that serious. If you can walk away from a serious car accident, you might be feeling lucky. However, it is always essential to seek medical attention after a car accident. Even a minor crash can result in major injuries.

Why should you seek medical attention even if you feel fine after a car crash? According to CNN, the body’s reaction to a stressful situation can reduce the amount of pain you might feel. In the aftermath of a car crash, your body might be flooded with norepinephrine, a hormone that can impact your brain’s ability to experience and process pain. Adrenaline will keep you moving in the minutes and even hours after a car crash. It can keep you feeling good enough to run away from a burning vehicle, and even keep you feeling well enough to help other people around you. It’s the reason why seriously injured people can sometimes perform heroic actions on the battlefield or after a car accident.

However, as the levels of norepinephrine and adrenaline in your body fade, you might start to feel the extent of your injuries. Some injuries, like traumatic brain injury and internal injuries require immediate medical treatment. When medical personnel come to the scene of a crash and ask if you want to be taken into the hospital, you should not refuse medical care.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a person with minor traumatic brain injury may not need medical interventions, but may need to be closely watched for worsening symptoms. If doctors determine that you have hit your head, they may perform CT scans or MRIs to monitor your condition. However, in the case of more serious injuries, surgery, removal of blood clots, and reduction of intracranial pressure procedures may be required. Patients who don’t receive this treatment can suffer worsening injuries or even death.

In the long term, car accident victims can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, which can impact sleep, memory, mood, and major life activities. Getting proper medical care and following up with your doctor increases the likelihood that the symptoms of PTSD will be caught earlier, before your condition worsens.

As we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday season, many drivers will be hitting the road to visit family and loved ones. While it is important to take precautions behind the wheel, it is also important to plan-ahead for any potential emergencies. Make sure you have your updated insurance information handy when driving. If you have allergies to certain medicines, carry allergy identification while driving. Let your family and loved ones know when you plan to arrive.

Finally, be aware of heavy travel times during the holiday. According to the Washington Post, the worst traffic occurs between 5 and 6 p.m. on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. If you can avoid these hours, you’re likely to be better off.

The Law Offices of Robert Gregg are personal injury lawyers in Dallas, Texas who wish all drivers a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday. Our firm has seen firsthand how devastating car accidents can be.