When car accidents occur, the force of the vehicles coming together can lead to a wide array of car accident injuries. Some of these injuries will be obvious right away and require the need for immediate medical attention while others may present delayed symptoms.

For these reasons, it is always advised that car accident victims seek medical attention whether their injuries are immediately apparent or not. Waiting to get medical treatment may cause your injuries to worsen or even become life-threatening.

Brown & Gessell is a personal injury law firm that represents cases involving delayed injuries and pain after a car accident. Our commitment to providing comprehensive legal services in these types of cases along with our reputation can be instrumental if you experience delayed pain in these events. In this informative blog post, you’ll learn more about how pain after a car accident may arise hours, days, or even weeks after your vehicle is towed from the accident scene and what you can do to protect your legal rights.

A Lawyer Talking With His Injured Client

How Does Delayed Pain After a Car Accident Occur?

For many injured victims, pain after a car accident will depend on the type of injuries sustained in the crash. It may be obvious to some after an auto accident that they are in dire need of medical attention when they have deep gashes or other severe injuries that would be considered a medical emergency.

Delayed injury symptoms can occur for many types of injuries that are not on the surface. Often, the spike of adrenaline that is released in these moments may mask pain after a car accident. The most important thing you can do after you have been in any kind of motor vehicle accident is to accept prompt medical attention. Even if you do not have an emergency, seeing a medical professional such as your primary care physician can help you catch delayed injury symptoms before they worsen and become potentially life-threatening.

Common Causes of Delayed Pain After Car Accidents

After a car wreck, you may experience delayed injuries that become apparent through symptoms anywhere from hours to weeks later. Here are the most common injuries:


Whiplash is one of the most common neck injuries to occur in a car accident. With this neck injury, the head violently whips back and forth during the crash, hyperextending the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Persistent neck pain is a common result of this injury, though you may not feel it at first.

If you start noticing that you have neck pain coupled with other delayed symptoms such as headaches, shoulder pain, back pain, numbness, or blurred vision, please seek prompt treatment.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury can be mild, such as a concussion, which is very common in a car accident. However, brain injuries, regardless of severity, should be taken seriously. Traumatic brain injuries are always difficult to pinpoint, and delayed symptoms are common with this kind of injury. Left untreated, traumatic brain injuries can worsen to the point where they can affect your cognitive ability, your personality, and your mobility. They can also lead to death if you ignore the warning signs.

Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury can occur when the nerves in this area are impacted by a car accident. A common spinal injury could be a herniated disc that causes chronic pain. Serious spinal injuries can permanently impair your mobility. If you think there is a chance that you have spinal injuries from your car accident, do not wait to get the medical care you need.

Internal Bleeding

While seat belts are mandated by law and provide protection in a car accident, they can also result in internal injuries that cause internal bleeding. The force of an auto accident could fracture one or more of your ribs, and the bone fragments can puncture vital internal organs. A full medical examination must be conducted to check for internal bleeding and treat it promptly to prevent a life-threatening situation.

Soft Tissue Injuries

It is very easy for soft tissue injuries to arise from an auto accident. Any part of your body can experience soft tissue damage through sprains, strains, or contusions that result in a limited range of motion. If you experience pain, tenderness, swelling, muscle spasms, or deep bruising on any part of your body after an accident, you should have a doctor take a look to create a road to recovery for your soft tissue injury.

Blood Clots

Blood clots are common delayed injuries that can heal without medical intervention. However, a blood clot can become deadly if it reaches the heart or the brain. They often occur with a brain injury, and the delayed symptoms make it all the more necessary to have a thorough exam conducted to protect yourself from the damaging effects.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) along with anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders may take weeks, months, or sometimes even years to appear after a traumatic car accident. This mental health condition may arise due to physical injuries but even victims who only suffer minor injuries can experience PTSD due to being in a traumatic event.

Delayed Injury Symptoms to Watch for After a Car Accident

Symptoms after a car accident can take days or even weeks to present themselves. The common injuries listed above may be temporarily masked by your body’s response to the intense event. While you should never take chances with your health after a car accident, you should watch for any delayed symptoms to prevent a deteriorating condition from becoming permanent or resulting in death.

Abdominal Pain

If you experience stomach pain, it could signal soft tissue damage or issues with the surrounding internal organs. Abdominal pain accompanied by dizziness or large bruises in the area is an urgent matter after a car accident.

Back Pain

Back pain after a car accident could indicate soft tissue injuries or herniated discs. Rather than guessing, it’s best to get to the root of this pain. Left untreated, you may wind up with chronic back pain for the rest of your life.

Neck Pain

Neck pain most often indicates whiplash, though it could also be the result of an issue with your spine or discs. Living with neck pain is a never-ending nightmare, which could be what happens if you choose to ignore it rather than visit your doctor.

Chest Pain

One of the common symptoms after a serious car crash is chest pain, though it may simply be from bruising caused by your seat belt. If you are experiencing other symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, you should head to the emergency room.

Tingling or Numbness

A tingling sensation or numbness is common with back injuries such as herniated discs. These broad symptoms could also indicate you have a head injury or nerve damage. These may significantly impact the enjoyment of your life, which is why those in a recent car wreck should see a doctor.

A Man In A Wheelchair With Bandaged Head And Arms

How Delayed Injuries Could Impact Your Personal Injury Case

You may not be able to control when you experience symptoms after a car accident. However, when you file a personal injury claim, your insurance company will expect to see medical records that document your injuries. The first thing they will look at is how quickly you went to have these common symptoms looked at by a medical professional.

It is common for those in accidents to initially ignore neck pain since some soreness is to be expected. When that neck pain evolves to also include stomach pain, constant headaches, or other symptoms, it is imperative to take action. The biggest concern you will have after getting treatment for your injuries is how the insurance company will react to the delayed onset of these symptoms.

One of the most common tactics insurance companies use is to claim that your injuries were caused by another event after the accident. The logic they use is that you should have been treated for those injuries immediately. When you have satisfied the requirement for receiving treatment in the appropriate time frame, they should still cover your medical bills.

If you were recently involved in a car accident, the Law Offices of Brown & Gessell urge you to act quickly. We cannot stress enough the importance of going to the hospital, urgent care center, or your doctor as soon as possible after your accident. In addition to getting the care you need, it is vital to protect your legal rights and ensure you do not miss the statute of limitations when filing a car accident lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused your injuries. Contact us today to speak with a personal injury attorney about the delayed injuries you experienced in your accident and your legal rights.