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Injury, Divorce & Criminal Defense Blog

Understanding the Effects of Adrenaline in Car & Vehicle Crashes

When a car or other vehicle crash occurs and broken bones or severe cuts result, a person will quickly realize that immediate medical treatment should be sought.  In many other situations, however, a person will not realize until later that they have actually suffered a significant injury as the result of adrenaline that often kicks in following a crash.

When a crash occurs, crash victims tend to first consider the obvious signs of injury – looking for blood and cuts, checking for broken bones, and making sure that they can move somewhat normally.

Immediately after an accident, a powerful adrenaline rush can occur, which can increase our body’s pain threshold significantly.  This rush can last a few hours or maybe even until the next day.

The result is that after a crash, if we don’t see blood or feel broken bones, and if we can somewhat move normally, there is a tendency to assume that we are OK (although we may be sore for a few days).  What is to be understood is that the adrenaline rush may be covering up for much more severe injuries, especially injuries to the neck and back.

What Happens When the Adrenaline Rush Goes Away the Next Day? New Pain

Frequently, those injured in vehicle crashes will wake up the next day in much more pain than they were right after the crash.  This is because: (i) the adrenaline rush that masked some of the pain has gone, and (ii) swelling and other reactions to injury are increasing, which causes additional pain.

The Common Reaction

Despite the severe pain in which accident victims may now be feeling the day after a crash, many victims choose to “tough it out” rather than calling a doctor.  Typically, the belief is that while they may be in a great deal of pain, the pain will mostly go away in a few days.  Often, work and other “can’t miss” activities also play a role in the decision not to seek medical treatment.

The decision to forgo medical treatment is ill-advised.  First, it’s important to have a physician immediately diagnose what injuries have been sustained.  Second, such diagnosis is crucial for determining what treatment and course of action should be undertaken.  Third, if proper treatment is not undertaken right away, an injury could become much worse.

As an example, in cases of whiplash, neck braces are usually prescribed, as is other treatment (such as ice and pain relievers).  Treatment and therapy may take place over a number of weeks or even longer, depending upon the severity of the injury.  It will be in a whiplash victim’s interest to get a diagnosis and to start treatment as soon as possible to prevent the injury from becoming aggravated.

Injury Realization

Gradually, sometimes days or more after a collision, a crash victim may come to the conclusion that their injury is more than just “soreness,” and that the injury is not going to quickly go away.  At this time, an injury victim will then call a doctor for treatment.

Sound Advice

If you’ve been injured in a vehicle crash, don’t wait for days or even weeks to seek medical treatment.  Get professional help as soon as possible, so that a correct diagnosis can be made, and so that proper treatment can be immediately started.