What it Means if You Have a Fever After a Car Accident
Make sure you get your injuries checked out by a doctor
Many people suffer obvious car accident injuries like broken bones, burns, or scrapes. But injuries are not always visible, and a fever could be a warning sign of a deeper underlying injury or infection. When ignored and left untreated, a hidden injury may bring symptoms and complications much worse than “just” a fever.
With the risk of a more severe injury, it is crucial for car accident victims to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A fever is a sign of injuries and infections involving the brain and bloodstream, and when neglected could become life-threatening. Understanding what is causing your fever after a car accident is the best way to protect your health.
Why do I have a fever after my car accident?
Usually, fevers are caused by infections. When an infection enters the body, the immune system gets to work to fight it off, and one symptom associated with that immune response is fever. But there are other types of injuries that can also cause an elevated body temperature in some circumstances.
Some underlying injuries that could be causing your fever include:
Infections from foreign objects
Car accidents can cause foreign objects to enter the body. That includes glass shards from the windshield or windows and other sharp objects that become airborne during the crash. If you were ejected from the vehicle, it’s also possible that dirt or gravel from the road surface entered a wound.
Infections are serious, as they can lead to life-threatening complications like sepsis. You may need antibiotics and other medical interventions to treat the infection and prevent further damage.
Internal injuries and internal bleeding
While a fever typically isn’t a sign of internal bleeding in and of itself, infections are often associated with internal bleeding. That’s because internal organ damage is often caused by penetrating injuries, like pieces of broken glass or metal – and again, whenever a foreign object enters the body, there is a risk of infection.
As such, a fever could be a warning sign not just of an infection, but also a serious internal injury that may require surgery to repair. Internal bleeding can be life-threatening if not promptly addressed, so get checked out as soon as possible.
Head and brain injuries
While most people associate brain injuries with losing consciousness and similar symptoms, fever can also be a symptom of a brain injury. Concussions and other types of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can cause damage to the parts of the brain that regulate body temperature.
While the fever itself is usually a short-term symptom, it can also be a warning sign of a serious underlying brain injury that requires immediate medical attention. You need a medical professional to properly diagnose your brain injury and begin treatment – and to ensure you don’t sustain a second brain injury before the first concussion has healed, which can be deadly.
Other types of injuries
Everyone’s body is different, and fever responses can sometimes occur due to a variety of other injuries, such as bone trauma, deep muscle injuries, and blood clots. It’s important to tell your doctor about all of your symptoms, even those that you think are minor – even a slight fever can be a warning sign of a significant underlying injury.
The importance of seeking medical attention
While fever itself can often be controlled with over-the-counter medication, you need to get checked out by a doctor to diagnose any underlying injuries. This is especially true if you are experiencing a fever accompanied by other symptoms like headaches and shortness of breath. This may be a sign of a delayed injury.
Infections, head injuries, and internal bleeding may not be noticeable from outside the body. The adrenaline and shock from the accident can also conceal any delayed pain or symptoms for up to 48 hours after the crash. Whenever you’re involved in a traumatic event like a car accident, your body’s natural “fight or flight” response engages to keep you alive – but that same response can hide underlying injuries and create more problems for you down the road.
That's why it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. You may not think there is anything wrong, but a doctor can quickly uncover the truth. Only a medical professional can perform a thorough proper medical examination to determine if you are suffering from any underlying injuries that may be causing or associated with your fever.
Our law firm can fight for the compensation you deserve.
A fever can be a sign of a significant injury that requires costly medical treatment, time away from work, and other financial costs. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to carry that burden. That’s why it’s important to get legal help as soon as you can after your car accident.
The Law Office of Eric Beasley has years of experience fighting for injured car accident victims in Tennessee. We know how to uncover evidence that supports your case. We can go over your legal options and answer any questions you have regarding your case. To learn more, contact us today and schedule a free consultation.
Click here to download a printable PDF of this article, "What It Means If You Have a Fever After a Car Accident."