The First Decision

If you have been involved in a vehicle related accident a legal case could possibly exist in the future, and thus the following recommendations need to be followed very carefully, not only to receive the best medical care, but to lay the foundation of providing all appropriate information for a potential legal case in the future.

If true loss of consciousness occurs after the accident, there will be a period of time when you will not remember seeing or hearing anything. It will be as if there is a “blank” in your brain. This is medically called amnesia. Your memory of the event will sometimes return later, and sometimes never. Much more common is the sensation of “being confused or shaken up”. You mentally will “try to put together the sequence of events that just happened”. Your brain may feel fuzzy and not work as efficiently as normal. During the accident, if your head whiplashed backwards or forwards or side to side, the brain would have hit up against the inside of the skull, causing some bruising, which leads to it not functioning as it normally would. It is also common to feel “jittery”, “disoriented”, and “nauseous”. These symptoms are generally caused by a hormone called adrenaline. This hormone is the “fight or flight hormone” that the body pours out in a crisis to allow you to deal with the crisis more effectively. One of the roles of this hormone is to block pain temporarily.

It is extremely important in any of the above accident situations to document the accident by dialing 911. Because adrenaline blocks the pain, many people falsely think that “I didn’t really get injured and I’m only just shaken up”. When the adrenaline wears off in one to three days, you will feel the full extent of your injuries. If you have not documented the injury immediately after the accident, it is extremely difficult to do so a few days later when you become more aware of the extent of your injuries. I strongly suggest that you document the accident no matter how insignificant they appear to you immediately after the accident.

Once you have been evaluated by paramedics the next major decision is whether to be evaluated at the emergency room (whether by ambulance or private vehicle). Please go to the blog titled “ER or Not” for details on that decision-making process.

A Better Way to Get Better,
Adrian Lewis
Adrian Lewis, MD