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Early Warning Signs of Shock After a Major Accident

Published on Jan 17, 2018 at 2:22 pm in Auto Accident.

Immediately following the trauma of a major car accident, it’s possible for victims to go into a state of shock that may or may not be accompanied by symptoms of other injuries. Shock is a life-threatening physical condition that results when there is insufficient blood flow throughout the body.

Shock can lead to more serious complications including oxygen deprivation, heart attack, or even organ damage. If left untreated, a victim experiencing shock may not be able to survive their injuries.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, it’s crucial to keep an eye out for any symptoms of shock as well as keep a close watch on anyone else who was involved in the crash. Shock requires medical attention as soon as possible to restore blood and oxygen flow.

Multiple types of injuries and conditions can cause shock, some of which include the following:

  • Heavy external or internal bleeding
  • Heart conditions
  • Extreme pain
  • Dehydration
  • Severe burns
  • Spinal injuries (this is often referred to as neurogenic shock)
  • Severe allergic shock (this type of shock is referred to as anaphylactic shock)
  • Infection (a condition referred to as septic shock)
  • Emotional trauma

The Early Symptoms of Shock After a Major Accident

The symptoms of shock that are noticed right away may include any or multiple of the following:

  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Excessive sweating
  • Rapid pulse
  • Enlarged pupils
  • High blood pressure
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Weakness
  • Chest pain
  • Pale skin
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Confusion or unresponsiveness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Anxiety or agitation

The symptoms experienced will depend on the condition of the victim as well as their injuries and the circumstances of the incident. After a car accident, shock oftentimes accompanies injuries like heavy bleeding, broken bones, or spinal/back injuries.

One of the lesser-known types of shock is emotional shock. Emotional shock may or may not be accompanied by physical injuries, but often presents with physical symptoms like those experienced when undergoing physical shock. These symptoms may include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Muscle tension
  • Headache/body aches
  • Severe anxiety
  • Feeling afraid or panicked
  • Feeling exhausted
  • Feeling “out of place” or unable to make sense of the situation
  • Feeling unreasonably upset or agitated

Emotional shock can be just as dangerous as physical shock since the two are often linked. A victim may not display any physical symptoms besides symptoms of emotional shock but may have an internal injury, for example. Other common symptoms, such as a racing heartbeat or high blood pressure, can lead to further medical complications if left untreated.

Don’t Delay Medical Treatment if You Suspect Shock

If your suspect that you or someone with you is experiencing symptoms of shock after a car accident or other type of incident, seek emergency medical care as quickly as possible. Don’t wait for the symptoms to subside—even if the victim says they will pass. Do not wait for the symptoms to worsen. Stay on the line with the 911 dispatcher if possible in case they have instructions for you.

After the victims receive the medical care they need and as you begin the process of recovery, don’t hesitate to contact Thomas Law Offices if you’re questioning your legal options in Kentucky. If negligence, recklessness, or carelessness caused the accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the guilty party and potentially receive financial compensation. Our Louisville car accident lawyers are ready to help.

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Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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