When car accidents happen, many victims end up with critical injuries. Others are fortunate to feel slightly sore, bruised or feel nothing at all.

However, it is important for individuals involved in any motor vehicle collision to obtain a medical evaluation, regardless of how minor their injuries may seem. Here’s why.

Adrenaline often masks initial pain

It is common for many individuals–drivers and passengers–involved in a car accident to feel flustered, anxious, scared and a whole host of other emotions immediately after the collision. After all, a car accident is jarring.

However, adrenaline is elevated in the human body after these and many other terrifying incidents, which can and does mask initial pain. It is not surprising when people involved in a car accident refute any pain or injury immediately after the accident.

However, when the stress and shock of a car accident wear off, what initially seems like nothing could end up being something more serious. Victims of any type of car accident should consider seeing a physician for any soreness and discomfort.

Critical injuries are not always noticeable

In many instances, serious injuries from a motor vehicle accident may not manifest until days–or even weeks–after the accident. Drivers and passengers may walk away without feeling any discomfort immediately after the accident or even the next day.

However, for this very reason, victims should always seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident.

Whiplash can cause lifelong trauma

Some people complain of stiffness and soreness in the neck after an auto accident. But sadly, many fail to take this pain seriously.

However, these types of symptoms are often associated with whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the ligaments, connective tissues and muscles in the neck and back are damaged.

Although some believe whiplash is not a serious injury, if left untreated, it can and does cause lingering pain, discomfort and mobility challenges that take years to resolve. In some situations, whiplash injuries become permanent.

Getting immediate medical treatment after an auto accident cannot be stressed enough. Even if outward cuts, bleeding or head trauma are not present, serious bodily injury may still have occurred.