Immediately after getting into a car accident, you think that you came through largely unscathed. You know that you hit your head and you expect to be a bit sore tomorrow, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. You’re glad to have avoided a major injury.
But did you? Every head injury is serious. Yours could be much more significant than you believe, and it’s very important to talk to medical professionals so that you can find out for sure. Let’s look at two reasons why people sometimes underestimate the injuries they have sustained.
Reason one: The head injury is still getting worse
One thing to remember is that the way you feel right after the crash may not reflect how bad your injury will get if things are still getting worse. You can’t know instantly where you stand in this regard.
For instance, some head injuries lead to swelling or bleeding on the brain. This puts pressure on your brain tissue. If that pressure isn’t alleviated, the brain can essentially be crushed, and cells can be killed. These cells do not regenerate, so that’s permanent damage. In some cases, bleeding or swelling gets so bad that it is fatal.
Reason two: Adrenaline is masking your symptoms
When you get that adrenaline rush during a crash, your body is trying to help you. It can tell that you’re in a dangerous situation. You need to defend yourself or flee, and adrenaline can help mask your pain so that you’re better able to do this.
In some cases, such as combat, this is useful. In a car accident, it really isn’t. When adrenaline masks the pain, you may assume that your injury isn’t so bad — only to wake up the next morning with far more pain and discomfort. It can delay your own diagnosis of your injuries. Some people even put off going to the doctor when they should really go right away.
What if your injury does get worse?
A head injury that is growing worse must be taken seriously, and you need medical care. After you get it, consider your legal options to seek compensation that will cover the cost of that care.