Auto accident injuries can be severe. Some don’t show up right away, leading people to believe that they’ve gotten through a serious crash without the injuries that they actually have. Delayed-onset injuries are common for crash victims, and they’re a true risk to their health in the coming days.

Delayed-onset injuries are injuries that aren’t apparent when they take place. Like a cut that you don’t realize you have until you see blood, a delayed-onset injury also isn’t recognized until long after it occurred. They often don’t cause pain or show apparent injuries.

What should you do to prevent a delayed-onset injury from causing lasting injuries?

Many people don’t realize that they are suffering from injuries immediately after an accident. Why? Their bodies are filled with adrenaline and other chemicals designed to make them alert and to reduce pain. While that’s ideal in a life-or-death situation, those same chemicals also mask the symptoms of serious injuries. They may mask the symptoms of internal bleeding, head injuries or whiplash, all of which need to receive immediate medical care.

Since these are injuries that are hard for you to recognize, you should always go to the hospital after a crash. By going to the hospital, you’re giving medical providers a chance to give you a full medical exam. This exam will show if you have injuries you haven’t yet realized and allow them to start treating you. In some extreme cases, this could save your life.

After a crash, head to a hospital. The at-fault driver should be held liable for paying for those costs while you get the care you need.