Involved in a Car Accident? Don’t Ignore These Delayed Symptoms

Driver Suffering From Whiplash After Traffic CollisionEach year, two million Americans sustain injuries in auto accidents, which range from minor bumps and bruises to life-threatening wounds. After a car collision or crash, many individuals realize that they have suffered from an injury due to the obvious symptoms and signs. Some victims, however, do not feel or experience the initial signs of an injury immediately after an accident.

Individuals involved in an auto crash or collision should seek medical attention right away. Family Medical Clinic adds that car accident victims should get themselves checked even if they don’t see a single scratch on their body. Certain auto injuries can have a delayed onset, which could worsen without proper diagnosis or treatment.

If you’ve just been in an accident, take note of the following delayed symptoms and get yourself evaluated by a medical professional:

Swelling or Pain in the Abdomen

Pain coming from the stomach or abdominal area is not a symptom to take for granted due to the likelihood of an injury. Stomach pain could point to a soft-tissue injury. It may also be a symptom of internal bleeding, which may go unnoticed for hours and sometimes even days. If left undiagnosed, the bleeding may turn into a life-threatening condition.


This is a common delayed symptom experienced by many victims. The ailments usually associated with it are whiplash, blood clot, or a concussion.

Headaches may also be a symptom of brain injury. Remember that your head does not have to hit an object during an accident for the injury to occur. It’s easy for your brain to hit the inside of your skull during a collision or crash. Once this happens, it can result in bruising, bleeding, swelling, and damage to the brain tissue.

If you are experiencing a headache after an accident, go to a doctor as soon as possible. The complications associated with a brain injury are just too severe to ignore.

Shoulder and Neck Pain

A symptom you should watch out for is pain along the neck and shoulders. This can point to a spinal injury or a herniated disc. While the pain may take a few days to manifest, you shouldn’t ignore it even if it’s minor or tolerable.

Back Pain

Similar to shoulder and neck pain, back pain can occur hours or days after a crash or collision. It could be a sign of a whiplash, sprain, soft tissue injury, a herniated disc, or a spinal injury. It could also be a symptom of a pinched nerve when the pain is coupled with numbness.

Emotional Trauma

Unlike physical symptoms, emotional distress can be subtle and difficult to notice. It could take weeks to manifest, and the individual may easily disregard as normal, everyday feelings. Emotional trauma symptoms can be any of the following:

  • Panic Attacks
  • Lack of Motivation
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Personality Changes or Mood Swings
  • Memory Loss
  • Difficulty Sleeping

Abdominal swelling or pain, headache, neck and shoulder pain, back pain, and emotional trauma are some of the delayed accident symptoms you shouldn’t disregard. Even if the crash or collision appears insignificant, it’s always best to seek immediate medical care. Proactive treatment aids in a speedy recovery.