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What should you do if you don’t seem seriously injured after a crash?

Most people know to check for injuries after a crash. If they or their passengers do not seem injured, it can be tempting to shift their focus to other details: making a police report, scheduling vehicle repairs or gathering information for your insurance claim. However, your injuries may be much more severe than they seem, and you should take steps to protect your health even if you do not seem to be seriously injured.

What should you consider after a collision?

Know that some symptoms may not appear immediately.

While the impact of some injuries is immediately apparent, the symptoms of some serious or even life-threatening injuries may take time to appear. Some of these severe injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries — Symptoms like headaches, dizziness, personality changes or changes to your senses may not appear for hours, days or even weeks.
  • Internal bleeding — While many experience some tenderness after a crash, worsening pain, dark bruising, dizziness or fainting can all be signs of internal bleeding.
  • Neck and spine injuries — Back and neck pain may not seem severe at first, but injuries to your neck and back can lead to swelling, limited mobility and other symptoms over time.

Because these symptoms take time to appear, your condition may grow worse before you realize how serious your injuries are.

Seek immediate medical attention.

In many cases, it can be important to seek medical attention immediately after a collision, even if you do not seem seriously injured. A thorough medical exam can help you identify these injuries before symptoms worsen and begin treating them as soon as possible. Early medical intervention also shows insurance companies that you took your injuries seriously and creates documentation linking them to the crash.