One problem that people sometimes face after a car accident is that they think they are fine when they have really suffered serious injuries. They may not feel those injuries in the moment. People often refer to adrenaline, saying that it can mask pain and that the adrenaline rush produced by being involved in a crash is why they can’t feel the injuries. But is this true?

It depends on how you want to look at it. Adrenaline is not a painkiller and does not mask pain in that sense. It doesn’t cover it up. The pain is still there.

However, it can make it so that people don’t feel the pain. This is because their attention is focused on something else. Namely, the body uses adrenaline in high-stress environments where it thinks that the person may get seriously injured or die. People end up paying more attention to staying alive, and your body knows that focusing on pain won’t help. Adrenaline allows you to react and then wears off when the threat is over. That’s when you start to feel it.

At the end of the day, the effect is the same. You could have a head injury or internal injuries, without any external signs, and decide that you got lucky and got out of the accident without issue. That can tempt you to refuse medical treatment. That’s a major risk, though, because you could find that the pain comes flooding back a few hours after the crash.

It’s always wise to get medical treatment from a doctor. Err on the side of caution with your health. If you did get injured, then start looking into your legal options.