Adrenaline Can Hide Injuries After a Car Accident
Originally published: February 06, 2018 -- Updated: May 28, 2021
Adrenaline is a hormone naturally produced by the body when we experience stress. The purpose of the hormone is to prepare us for fight or flight. Our heart rate quickens sending oxygenated blood to our muscles. We begin to sweat. Our alertness skyrockets. If you have ever been in a car crash, you have probably experienced this firsthand.
However, adrenaline does not only affect heart rate, breathing, and alertness. It also impacts how our body responds to pain. The hormone does not take our pain away, but it does distract us from painful sensations. Many car accident victims do not feel the full extent of their injuries for several hours or even several days. Once the adrenaline in the victim’s bloodstream settles to normal levels, the victim realizes the extent of the physical harm caused by the crash.
If you or a loved one were hurt in an auto accident, do not delay seeking medical treatment. Not only does seeking medical care prevent you from worsening any potential injuries, it also creates a solid foundation for any future legal action you plan to take against the at-fault party.
Being involved in a car crash is one of the most stressful things a person can experience. It can happen in the blink of an eye. In the moments after a car crash a driver may think, “Am I injured? Is anyone else injured? What should I do now?” After a car accident, it is important that everyone involved check themselves for injuries. Car accident injuries can result in broken bones, concussions, neck and back injuries, and damage to soft tissue. Many individuals who get into car accidents quickly determine that they have not been injured, however, it may be hard to know this for sure in the moments following an accident. Car crashes are extremely very dangerous and may lead to disability, reoccurring pain, and even death. Between 20 and 50 million Americans suffer injuries in car accidents annually, resulting in over 1 million days under hospital care due to these accidents.
“Fight or Flight” Hormones Masks Pain
If you have ever been in a car accident, you know the gut-wrenching feelings that can overcome you immediately after the accident. After a traumatic event such as an accident, adrenaline floods a person’s system. Adrenaline is the “fight or flight” hormone and is responsible for readying our bodies to face danger. Also called epinephrine, adrenaline increases the production of sweat, dilates the pupils, and elevates the heart rate. One of the most important functions of adrenaline, however, is blocking the recognition of pain.
This effect—known as “stress-induced analgesia”—can be perilously deceptive. It is what allows athletes to continue running after tearing a tendon or breaking a bone. Although it is a natural mechanism that can help get people through frightening or dangerous situations, it can spell trouble for those involved in car accidents. A crash victim may not feel the full extent of their injuries after an accident and could make the injuries worse by not seeking medical treatment. It is always smart to err on the side of caution when it comes to car accidents. Even if you do not feel extreme pain, you should still be examined by a doctor following any serious car accident.
Call an Orland Park Personal Injury Attorney
At Schwartz Injury Law, we understand just how devastating car accident injuries can be. Sometimes people require extensive medical care, lose income due to being unable to work, and endure chronic pain for the rest of their lives. We work to get full and fair compensation for our clients. Schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced Orland Park car accident attorneys by calling 708-226-9000 today.