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Should I Go To The ER After an Accident, Even if I Think I’m Not Hurt?

A car accident can occur in mere seconds, but the effects can last for days or even years. The impact that your body receives during even the most minor car accidents can lead to dramatic circumstances.

This may lead to problems down the road due to injuries that may not have presented symptoms immediately or are hiding below the surface and will present with pain once some of the adrenaline wears off.

Due to the above reasons, seeking immediate medical attention is beneficial for nearly anyone who has endured a car accident.

How Can Adrenaline Effect Injuries

When your body experiences trauma, such as from a car accident, it responds by releasing a surge of adrenaline. Adrenaline can protect our bodies from several things, but the pain is a concerning aspect that is protected because it can mean you don’t realize the extent of your injuries right away.

You may experience increased strength and focus rather than an initial trauma or pain response due to adrenaline until it wears off.


Adrenaline can last for hours or even the next day after an accident. If something was wrong with you internally and your body wouldn’t allow you to feel the pain for several hours, it went untreated, which could lead to severe complications.

Soft Tissue Injuries

When you are riding in a car, your body is experiencing the same rate of speed that the vehicle you are in is driving. When you are suddenly stopped due to impact, your body experiences an abrupt shift, which can lead to soft tissue injuries. Your shoulder may experience some damage due to the seatbelt; your head may have hit the windshield or, at the very least, abruptly shifted back and forth, and more.

Whiplash is an example of a soft tissue injury, and the pain or injury doesn’t always present itself right away because stiffness, swelling, or inflammation may not occur instantly.

Common Delayed Symptoms Following a Car Accident

Several injuries don’t occur immediately due to the above mentioned items, whether adrenaline, endorphins, or soft tissue issues.

Some of the most common symptoms that tend to have a delayed response are as follows:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision or dizziness
  • Neck stiffness
  • Shoulder pain
  • Numbness in hands or feet
  • Problems concentrating
  • Back pain

While you may not notice these symptoms immediately, seeking medical attention right away can be incredibly valuable to rule out serious injury.

Why is it Important to Detect Injury Immediately?

One of the main reasons to seek medical attention, even if you don’t feel immediate pain is to rule out soft tissue injuries or issues such as brain bleeds or other internal damages that you may be unable to detect.

If left untreated, brain bleeding or internal bleeding can lead to death. It may seem extreme to have this mindset after what may seem to you to be a minor car accident, but the results can be traumatic for what could be prevented with a simple trip to the doctor.


Suppose you were injured significantly and needed to pursue future damages. Suppose you don’t have a baseline for your injuries, such as an initial exam immediately following the accident. In that case, it can be harder to trace the cause and, therefore, harder to pursue damages specific to the accident.

What Can I Do at the ER to Ensure I’m Examined Thoroughly?

It’s up to you to be your own best advocate. When you are in the emergency room, you need to be specific about the injuries you sustained so an adequate exam can be completed. If you hit your head or think you may have whiplash, it is important to note this with the medical staff.

If other spots on your body feel mild pain or pressure, it is important to bring these up, ask questions, and thoroughly explain what parts of your body received direct impact. When the medical staff is more aware of the details of your accident, they can ask more pertinent questions and exam you for delayed issues that they have experience in.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions to ensure all your concerns are discussed. Take notes or ask for the notes from the exam once completed so you can have these for your records should you need them.


If you are feeling foggy or out of it after an accident, it can be helpful to have someone go with you to an exam to help ensure you have recalled the details of the accident correctly and that your exam is thorough.

Why Work With an Attorney?

Statistically speaking, you may be rarer than you think if you haven’t been in an accident. Accidents occur every minute of every day. Will all of them lead to a personal injury case? No. But imagine if you suffered what you thought were insignificant injuries that worsened over time, not allowing you to work and provide for yourself and your family, while medical bills are piling up, adding to an already stressful time in your life.

It would make the most sense, all things considered, to seek an exam immediately after the accident to save time and unnecessary stress in the future. Best case scenario? All checks out, and you can return to your life after your appointment!

Call our office today at 803-219-8870 to learn more about how we can help you and your family if you have experienced injuries from an accident.

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