Why You May Not Feel Injuries At First
When you are first in an accident, people may ask you—and you may ask yourself—if you are injured. You may take a mental inventory of your body and your pain level. There may be a sense of relaxation when everything seems to be moving without pain; you may take that as a sign that you are OK.
That feeling may be reinforced if you do actually go to an emergency room. There, the doctors may give you scans or tests, and confirm that there is nothing wrong with you.
You go home, relieved that you dodged a bullet by getting past the accident without major injury. And then it happens: hours later, or the next morning, or even days later…the pain arrives. In your back, neck, shoulder—somewhere. You may wonder what took so long.
Slow Developing Injuries
The answer is that in many cases, and with many types of injuries, the pain that we feel doesn’t manifest itself immediately. Sometimes that’s because of the type of injury, but other times, it may simply be the adrenaline that we feel after an accident, masking pain receptors.
In many ways, the inside of your body is no different than the outside. If you bump yourself, you may not feel anything at first. But later, perhaps hours later, there may be a swollen, painful bruise. Our bodies, in some cases, just take time for the inflammation (and accompanying pain) to begin.
Cervical strains and sprains—sometimes called “whiplash” can be like this. Yes, sometimes the pain in a neck or back is immediate, but it isn’t always. People are often surprised to learn that the most painful time isn’t immediately after an accident, but the morning after an accident. The ligaments and muscles and surrounding areas, over time, have time to swell, and the pain arrives the next morning.
Worse, in many cases, because we feel OK, at least at first, we may overuse damaged areas of our body. This often turns what would have been a minor injury, into one that is much worse.
The Hospital May Not Detect Everything
But what about the emergency room?
The emergency room is only designed to make sure that you are OK, at that very moment. It is not meant to give you any long term diagnoses. Many of the scans given at the ER don’t detect long term problems.
For example, if you hit your head and suffer a very small brain bleed, that bleed may be undetectable in an initial scan done in the ER. But over time, that bleed continues, puts pressure on the brain, and can be deadly.
The X-rays given at the ER are mostly designed to detect broken bones. They will not detect injuries to tendons, ligaments, or musculature.
Call the Clinton personal injury lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today if you have been injured because of the negligence or carelessness of someone else.