Front of black car get damaged by accident on the road

How Shock Affects Car Accident Victims

Automobile accidents usually occur without warning. One minute, you’re driving along listening to the radio or chatting with a passenger and a split-second later, you find yourself sitting in the wreckage of your vehicle wondering what just happened. It is scant wonder that you might feel terrified, confused, and uncertain of anything, including how badly you have been injured.

Shock is a catch-all term for what you are experiencing in those frightening moments after a car crash. It may impact not only your mental and emotional state but affect you physically as well. Shock can be caused or compounded by serious injuries like traumatic brain injury (TBI) or blood loss. It might also be brought on by a profound reaction to the sudden, traumatic situation.

What exactly is shock?

Shock is used interchangeably to reference either a psychological state or physical condition. These are each defined as follows:

  • Psychological reaction to a rush of overwhelming emotions that produces physical responses to an overwhelming and usually sudden event. It may trigger the following reactions, any or all of which may prevent you from feeling the full extent of your injuries:
    • Adrenaline surge
    • Brain fog
    • Dissociative state (i.e., feeling outside your own body)
    • Extreme emotional swings
    • Nausea
  • Serious physical condition caused by an abrupt loss of regular blood flow throughout your body. Usually results from traumatic injuries, and the loss of blood and oxygen to vital organs can cause permanent damage or worse. You are likely to experience symptoms that include:
    • Clamminess
    • Bluish or grayish tinge to lips and nails
    • Rapid breathing and pulse
    • Nausea and/or vomiting
    • Weakness
    • Dizziness
    • Altered state of awareness

In either case, shock leaves you in a state where you cannot accurately or safely judge how badly you have been hurt. Therefore, you should never assume (or say) you are uninjured in the immediate aftermath of a collision.

Seek the Opinion of a Medical Professional after a Crash

With this in mind, you should resist the urge to get right out of your car and look over the damage before being examined by emergency medical personnel. Call the police to report the accident. When they ask if you are hurt, tell them yes if you feel any discomfort. If you feel all right in the moment, tell them you are not sure, but don’t say no. There is no sure way for you to accurately assess your condition in that moment.

The police will bring an ambulance with EMTs to check you out. Do not refuse their examination and if they advise you to go to an emergency room, comply. Only medical professionals can accurately determine how badly you have been injured, and their reports will be important not only to your future medical treatment and long-term health, but for your lawsuit as well.

Call Scott J. Corwin for Help After Injuries from an Automobile Accident

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are uninjured because you are suffering from shock following a car accident. Seek medical attention, follow all recommendations for treatment, and contact our law firm for guidance. Car accident attorney Scott J. Corwin will help you get the compensation you justly deserve for all your medical bills after you are injured.

Contact our office today by calling (310) 683-2300 or filling out the online contact form to discuss the details of your case and learn more about how we can help you. We offer free consultations, so there’s no reason not to reach out to someone from our team right away.