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Any car accident, even low-speed fender-benders, can send significant force through your body, due to the weight of the vehicles involved and their combined inertia. For most people, accidents aren’t commonplace occurrences, so the surprise and instinctive response combine to create an emotional and mental impact as well as the potential physical injuries that can result.
It’s typical for a car accident to trigger the “fight-or-flight” response, an automatic hormone response that helps you cope with injuries and possible threats to your life. Many people can be surprised at how well they function in the moments immediately after a car accident, only to find later that they have an injury they couldn’t feel, or that the post-accident period seems vague and dream-like.
The sudden stress that accompanies most car accidents automatically releases hormones in response to the impact. Adrenaline shoots through you, raising your heart rate and giving you the burst of energy and strength necessary to escape from unseen danger. Endorphins give you an overall feeling of well-being that not only counteracts the negative mental effects of the collision, they frequently mask the pain of injuries that occur from the force of the accident.
These two hormone responses combine to give your brain the perception that all is well, even when you’ve endured significant injuries. While the likelihood of additional injury after an accident may be low, our ancestors often had to remove themselves from dangerous situations, so it’s understandable how these chemical responses supply the resources necessary for self-preservation.
The effects of an automobile collision can take hours, days, or even weeks to emerge. This can be problematic because the effects of an injury could have an impact on your life before the pain emerges. An example of this could be changes to your body posture due to soft tissue injuries that further complicate those injuries. A limp, for example, could lead to lower back pain, foot, or knee problems.
Prompt medical treatment after a collision, but before pain fully develops, may be a way to prevent these complications, since your doctor can estimate how the accident affected you and act based on the worst-case possibilities. If you have internal injuries, for instance, your doctor may be able to uncover signs of them before you suffer the effects. Prompt treatment usually results in easier treatment.
A completely non-medical reason to make an appointment with Wolmed Work and Auto Injury Experts after an accident preserves your insurability in the case of slow-emerging injuries. Some states, including Texas, have a component of no-fault insurance called personal injury protection, or PIP. There’s no automatic process for the payout of this portion of your insurance benefits, and a common reason for denial of these benefits is delay.
If you’ve put off seeking medical care after an automobile collision, your insurance provider could deny PIP payout as a potential guard against insurance fraud. Seeing your doctor, even if an injury has not emerged, can establish a paper trail that shows your due diligence in protecting your health after the accident. You may have an easier time establishing a health claim resulting from the collision.
Wolmed Work and Auto Injury Experts is an integrated practice, featuring both pain management physicians and chiropractors, making us a one-stop care facility that’s ideally suited for the damage caused by automobile collisions. Call or click today to schedule a post-accident exam.
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