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Why can injury symptoms take so long to appear?

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2022 | Personal Injury

Car accidents are alarmingly common in the Hoosier State. In fact, in 2018 alone, there were more than 217,000 crashes on Indiana roadways. This means there was a wreck somewhere in the state approximately every three minutes that year.

Many car accidents leave victims with acute injuries that are impossible to ignore. With other collisions, though, injury symptoms may not appear for days or even weeks. There are a couple of reasons for delayed injury symptoms following a car crash.

The body’s stress response

Your body responds to stressful events by preparing you to flee, fight or freeze. To do so, your brain releases adrenaline, epinephrine and other stress hormones. These hormones may increase both your heart rate and your pain threshold. Until your body’s hormonal levels return to normal, you may not realize you have suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident.

The nature of some injuries

While most parts of your skin have thousands of pain receptors, your internal organs generally do not experience pain. If a collision leaves you with internal bleeding or organ damage, you may have to wait for related symptoms to show up. That is, some injuries simply do not come with much pain.

The importance of medical care

You may not be able to determine whether have suffered a minor, major or catastrophic injury during a motor vehicle accident. Still, you do not want to leave your health to chance. Ultimately, only by going to the doctor or visiting the emergency room for a full medical examination can you know whether a car accident has left you with some type of injury.