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Injuries from car crashes might not become apparent for a while

The immediate aftermath of a car accident is chaotic. Any New Yorker who has been involved in a motor vehicle crash knows that the scene after an accident can be somewhat surreal. After making sure you and your passengers are alright, you're faced with a new reality: your car, a vehicle you may have had for a long time, may be ruined; you have to exchange insurance information with someone who might be just as upset as you; and you might have to give a statement to police, which can be an unnerving prospect, even if you've done nothing wrong.

It's partially due to this chaos that you might not notice how you might have been injured in the accident. With your adrenaline pulsing at top levels, you might overlook -- or forget -- that you banged your head or your shoulder seems to be sore. It's important to get checked out by medical personnel to make sure you aren't hurt worse than you realize.

A recent study has shown how many people -- not just those involved in accidents -- might be lulled into not realizing the depth of car crash injuries. According to the study, about 1 in 10 people who seek treatment after a car accident might have pain that is present, and may get worse, six weeks after the accident. This isn't to say that everyone who visits an emergency room after a car accident will encounter some kind of doctor error that leads to their pain weeks later. However, the study should serve as a reminder to physicians that ignoring standard procedures when a patient has been in a car accident could be detrimental to their long-term health and comfort. Doctors who suggest waiting for pain to resolve itself could be doing their patients a great disservice.

Source:, "Treat Car Crash Pain Early On, Lest It Linger," Ed Susman, May 5, 2014

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