| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accidents
delayed symptoms after an accident

It may come as a surprise that some serious car accident injuries aren’t visually or physically obvious.

In fact, some don’t show any signs or symptoms until days, weeks, or even months after the crash.

Unfortunately, insurance companies try to take advantage of this by claiming that your injuries are minor, nonexistent, or the result of an intervening event that happened after the car accident.

That’s why it’s important to recognize the early signs of an injury and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident

After a car accident, there are a few different things you may experience physically.

In particularly violent crashes, victims often have immediate pain or symptoms, such as lacerations, bruises, or compound fractures.

However, they might have injuries that aren’t as obvious, such as a concussion or soft tissue injury.

In these cases, the pain might not happen until some time after the accident. 

How Long After a Car Accident Can Injuries Appear?

So, if some injuries have delayed symptoms, how long after a car accident do you feel pain? Ultimately, it depends on the type of injury.

For example, if you suffer a whiplash injury, you may experience muscle stiffness or headaches several days after the crash.

However, if you sustain organ damage, there may be other symptoms like dizziness or abdominal pain which don’t show up for a few months. 

It’s also important to note that not all injuries are physical. Some things, like PTSD or depression, may develop over time rather than show up immediately.

Many victims even experience delayed shock symptoms after an accident, which may contribute to future mental health issues. 

Some Common Symptoms and Signs of Injury

Delayed symptoms after a car accident may present themselves in as little as 24 hours—or they may take as long as a few months to become apparent. However, they tend to result in serious difficulties or physical pain.

This includes things like:

  • Headaches,
  • Dizziness,
  • Memory loss,
  • Nausea,
  • Vomiting,
  • Sleep issues,
  • Mood swings, 
  • Fatigue,
  • Numbness,
  • Stiffness,
  • Tinnitus,
  • Chronic pain, and
  • Limited movement.

Brain fog after a car accident is particularly worrisome, especially if you hit your head on any part of the vehicle.

For this reason, we recommend getting examined by a doctor immediately after your accident, even if you don’t think you have an injury. 

Types of Injuries that May Cause These Symptoms

The symptoms above may occur due to many types of injuries.

Many of them range in severity despite having similar signs. That’s why it’s essential that you seek medical attention as soon as possible.

However, these are some of the most common injuries that go undetected in the first few days, weeks, or months following a car accident.

Whiplash

Unlike other injuries, it’s not too difficult to detect whiplash symptoms.

Delayed signs of this injury may appear a couple of days after the crash, primarily in the form of pain or limited movement around the neck, shoulders, and head.

This happens whenever an impact causes the upper body or head to jerk around, pulling or even tearing soft tissues like muscles, ligaments, or tendons. 

Concussion

While concussions seem somewhat minor, they actually qualify as a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

This is because the brain sustains damage when it slams against the skull due to inertia or excessive force.

Worst case scenario, a concussion may cause severe cognitive impairment, sleep disorders, or even memory loss.

According to the CDC, there were more than 64,000 TBI-related deaths in the US in 2020.

So, if you feel dizzy after a car accident, get checked out by first responders or get to your doctor as soon as possible.

Internal Injuries

Out of all injuries that may result in delayed symptoms, these are some of the most serious.

Internal bleeding or organ damage presents an immediate risk and may result in death if not treated in time.

Thus, if you see any deep bruising, experience frequent fainting, or have moderate abdominal pain, visit an emergency room immediately.

Injured in a Car Accident? We Can Help

Although you may have no symptoms after a car accident, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

If you discover an injury after a car accident, seek treatment, and then call Flores, Tawney, & Acosta P.C.

Our car accident attorneys know the tactics that insurance companies use to deny victims their rightful compensation. We won’t let them take advantage of you.

We will fight for your rights and your recovery every step of the way.

For a free consultation, give us a call at 575-222-1000 or send us a message.

We serve personal injury victims throughout both New Mexico and Texas.

Author Photo

Daisy Chaparro

Daisy Chaparro was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. A graduate from El Dorado High School in 2008 and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy from St. Mary’s University in 2012. Daisy then obtained her Juris Doctorate (magna cum laude) from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2015.

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