Almost any motor vehicle crash is a traumatic event. From catastrophic collisions to fender-benders, there is a lot of force involved when a vehicle hits (or is hit by) something. Often, when people are in a car crash that seems minor, they do not notice any injury symptoms right away. This happens for a variety of reasons. In this article, we’ll help you understand the importance of monitoring your injuries following a car collision – for your physical well-being and to protect your legal rights.
Car Collisions are Exciting
Not “exciting” in the fun sense, more from a physiological perspective.
Sometimes athletes get injured during a game, and they continue to play without noticing the injury until the game is over. That is because their bodies are generating adrenaline and endorphins. These two chemicals operate to super-charge our bodies and even block pain.
Most car crashes will create a similarly heightened level of excitement. Your body will generate adrenaline and endorphins, which means you feel increased energy and (possibly) a lack of pain. Just because you feel fine immediately following a car crash, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are fine. Once the release of those chemicals subsides, the pain from any car crash injuries could start to set in.
Soft Tissue Injuries After a Car Crash
A soft tissue injury refers to damage done to parts of the body other than bone. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments are considered “soft tissue.”
Car crashes, even low-speed ones, generate a lot of force. Drivers and passengers often come to a sudden stop right along with the vehicle in a car accidents; or they may get thrown around the passenger area. This places a lot of stress on joints and other vulnerable areas of the body.
WhiplashPerhaps the most common — if not the most recognized — type of soft-tissue injury is “whiplash.” This refers to an injury to the neck muscles when the head is suddenly, and forcefully, thrown forward and then back.
Soft tissue injuries typically result in pain, swelling, and reduced mobility, but these symptoms may not show up immediately. They can take days, even weeks, to manifest. In addition, soft tissue injuries are not visible on an X-ray. This makes them more challenging to diagnose and document. Getting proper medical treatment is the key first step, at or even before the first sign of pain or discomfort (more on this below).