Why It’s Important to Understand Shock after Vehicle Crashes

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When you're involved in a motor vehicle accident, you would expect any injuries you may have sustained to be obvious—right?

In reality, this isn't always the case. When you get into an auto accident, it is natural for your body's adrenaline production to go through the roof. As a result, you may be injured but not feel or notice the pain from your injury until after the adrenaline has worn off. The same applies to instances where you go into shock following an auto accident.

Unfortunately, shock following
an auto accident can make you temporarily blind to your injuries—and by the time you've realized that you're injured, the fact that you opted not to seek medical evaluation after your accident can have a negative impact on any personal injury case you may have had against the responsible party.

What Does Shock Look Like?

Shock is your body's natural defense system against pain and suffering; when you have experienced an incident that is emotionally and/or physically traumatic, your body may go into shock as a means of protection. Because auto accidents are often traumatic, then, it is not uncommon for this to be an initial response. One of the most common symptoms of shock following an accident is an overall feeling of numbness, though people can experience shock in many different ways.

It is not until after shock wears off (which can take hours or even days) that you may realize you've actually suffered injuries as a result of your accident. That's because the numbness associated with shock has essentially shielded you from feeling any of the symptoms of common injuries, including whiplash, back/neck injuries, and even internal bleeding.

Taking Care of Yourself after an Accident

Because shock and adrenaline can impede your ability to assess your condition after an accident, it's always in your best interest to seek medical evaluation after being involved in a car accident. Even if you do not believe you are injured, a medical professional will be able to perform a thorough assessment and determine whether you have underlying injuries.

This is also beneficial to you in the event that you take legal action in the future against the party responsible for your accident. Unfortunately, if you did not seek medical evaluation following your accident, it can be difficult to prove that any injuries discovered after the fact were directly caused by the accident itself. This, in turn, can affect your recovery and compensation, making it more difficult to reach a favorable outcome in your case.

And, of course, having a medical professional assess you after an accident could just save your life; this is especially true in situations where internal bleeding has occurred as a result of an accident. If left undiagnosed and untreated, injuries like internal bleeding can very quickly become fatal, so it is better to be safe.

Have You Been Injured in an Auto Accident?

If you've recently been injured in an auto accident, hopefully you have documentation proving that you sought medical evaluation immediately following the incident. Regardless of the specifics surrounding your auto accident, seeking legal guidance from a reputable personal injury attorney with extensive auto accident experience is a wise next step to take. From there, you can get a better idea of your potential claims and what kind of compensation you may be entitled to as a result of your injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.

Terry Bryant is a Board Certified personal injury attorney and former judge in Houston, TX. His firm, Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, represents clients across Texas in all types of personal injury cases, including workplace injury claims.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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