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Hit in a rear-end collision? Don’t skip the medical exam

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2019 | Car Accidents

You were traveling on the highway and had to come to a stop because of slowed traffic in a construction zone. Not long after you stopped, you noticed that a vehicle was approaching faster than you’d expect for having stopped traffic ahead. Needless to say, they could not stop in time. Although they did slow down, they still hit you at a relatively quick speed, causing your airbags to go off and resulting in a crash.

Fortunately, no one except you and the other driver were involved, and you feel okay. You were both able to slowly move your vehicles to the side of the road once the authorities arrived, and now they want to know if you’d like to go to the hospital. You have a lot to do today, so you want to refuse, but the best option is to go in anyway. Why? You could be hurt and not be aware of it.

Rear-end crashes often result in whiplash

One injury that you may have as a result of a rear-end crash is whiplash. Whiplash is caused when the ligaments and tendons in your neck, along the skull and in the shoulders are strained from a rapid movement. Interestingly, whiplash doesn’t often cause people problems right away.

After a crash, your body reacts by releasing chemicals to help you stay awake and alert. Your body covers the pain that you’d otherwise feel, so that you can react to whatever is threatening you. This was great when people had to fight off dangers, but in a crash, it means that you may not be aware of serious injuries that you’ve suffered until much later.

Delayed-onset injuries impact crash victims: Go to the hospital

While it can be a hassle to go to the hospital after a crash, it’s in your best interests. The medical exam will take a look at your body internally and externally, so the doctor can make a diagnosis. For example, you may not realize that you have whiplash developing, but a medical provider would be able to identify it. Similarly, some people have reported not knowing they had head injuries or broken bones because of the chemicals their bodies released. To get treatment and to avoid worsening your injuries, you must seek out medical care as soon as you can.

You should retain copies of your medical paperwork. They can all be submitted when you make an insurance claim in Illinois.