Common Delayed Accident Symptoms

common delayed accident symptoms

When you have been in a car accident, sometimes serious injuries, even life-threatening ones, are not always visible immediately. What you may not realize is that your body may be in shock and not registering what is wrong. In fact, it is not uncommon for symptoms to show up hours or days, sometimes even weeks, after an accident. Common delayed accident symptoms vary from person to person but can range from neck and shoulder pain to whiplash, emotional distress and more.

Delayed Accident Symptoms

Common delayed symptoms may include:

Headaches that develop hours, days or weeks after an accident are common and easy to dismiss. You may not realize they could be due to your car accident and could be the sign of a more serious condition, such as:

  • Concussion
  • Whiplash
  • Neck injury
  • Head or brain injury
  • Blood clots

common delayed accident symptoms car accident serious injuries neck and shoulder pain whiplashIn an accident, your head can get whipped back and forth and side-to-side. Having no place to go, your brain can hit the inside of your skull  causing swelling, bleeding, bruising and damage to brain tissue – injuries that are not physically visible.

Neck and shoulder pain are common symptoms that may show up days or even weeks after an accident. Whiplash is the condition most people are aware of; however, neck and shoulder pain can also be an indicator for:

  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Cracked/fractured clavicle
  • Torn muscles and ligaments
  • Bulging cervical discs
  • Spinal injuries, herniated discs

Back pain can be caused by injury to the muscles, ligaments or nerves in the back or damage to the vertebrae. It can reduce mobility and cause crippling pain. Back pain can be a sign of:

  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal injury
  • Tissue injury
  • Whiplash
  • Pinched nerve

Abdominal pain can show up hours or days after an accident. In fact, internal bleeding can remain undiagnosed for quite some time causing serious problems.

  • Internal bleeding, internal injuries
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness
  • Fainting

Numbness/tingling (i.e., lack of sensation) in your extremities can be due to:

  • Herniated disc
  • Pinched nerve

emotional distress headaches delayed accident symptomsEmotional distress and/or PTSD is typically harder to see than the physical signs (i.e., cuts, bruises, etc.) and can be misconstrued for something else.  Signs of PTSD or depression include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings or personality changes
  • Nightmares
  • Panic attacks

Are you experiencing delayed symptoms after a car accident?

You should seek immediate medical treatment if you experience any of these signs after a car accident. In fact, it really is the first step to take after being in a car accident whether you feel fine or not.

If you have been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident due to another’s negligence, contact the Kansas City law firm of Nash & Franciskato at (877) 284-6600 for a free, no-obligation review of your case. One of our experienced staff will speak with you personally.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published March 13, 2019. It was reviewed on December21, 2022 and updated for content and accuracy.

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