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Always Watch for These Four Delayed Symptoms After Car Accidents

Jan 12, 2024

The day you are involved in a car accident is not the day that all issues pertaining to that accident will be resolved. You may not even know the extent of your injuries immediately. You might not think to seek medical care until you begin to experience delayed symptoms after car accidents.

You might wonder, “How long after a car accident can injuries appear?” You should remain alert for delayed signs of a car accident injury for several weeks, as it can take this long for some symptoms to develop. In most cases, the following four groups of symptoms will manifest within a few hours to a few days after your accident.


1. Head and Neck Injuries

Whiplash, which is the rapid and violent back-and-forth head movement commonly seen in auto accidents, can leave your neck sore and stiff. Neck injuries can be painful and uncomfortable but will generally heal without much intervention besides rest and pain management.

However, you should be alert for worsening stiffness that does not go away. If you notice dizziness, memory loss, or headaches, these symptoms can indicate that you suffered brain trauma as well.

Similarly, noticing a burning or tingling sensation in your hands and feet could suggest nerve damage. In any of these scenarios, you should get to a hospital as soon as possible for evaluation and treatment.

2. Concussions and Brain Injuries

You should be concerned about a potential concussion or brain injury any time you hit your head in a crash. Without appropriate treatment, brain injuries can get progressively worse and impact more areas of your life. Severe traumatic brain injuries can even limit your functioning and cause noticeable behavioral and mood changes.

One of the more common delayed symptoms after car accidents that indicates a brain injury is a recurring headache that will not go away or increases in intensity. If your headache comes back after a few days or comes back stronger than it was, and over-the-counter pain medication cannot manage it, get medical care immediately.

Other delayed symptoms that suggest a developing brain injury include periods where you lose consciousness, seizures, and persistent memory loss. Any such symptom should be evaluated by a qualified doctor who can take scans of the brain and look for injuries.

3. Back and Spinal Cord Injuries

Pain will be one of the biggest indicators that you sustained a back or spinal cord injury. Injury victims have described the pain as a sharp, shooting pain, a pins-and-needles sensation, or a dull ache. If the pain is localized, you likely have injured a muscle or sustained some other soft tissue damage.

However, if the pain radiates out and away from your back and spine and into your hands and feet, you have likely sustained nerve damage as well. Medical imaging will be necessary to confirm this, and you will need the assistance of a doctor or surgeon to repair the damage. In some cases, all that can be done is help you manage your pain.

4. Internal Injuries

Injuries to your internal organs can be fatal if you do not recognize the symptoms early and get medical help. Obvious signs that you should not ignore include having cold, sweaty skin or blood in your urine. You should also be alert for pain in your abdomen or external tenderness around the organ that suffered damage.

Other symptoms that may manifest if you sustain internal injuries include nausea and vomiting, having a rapid pulse, and low blood pressure. Any one of these symptoms warrants an immediate trip to the hospital for evaluation and medical imaging. A course of treatment can be developed once doctors understand the extent of your harm.

Documenting and Addressing Delayed Injuries for a Claim

Not only should you remain alert for delayed symptoms after car accidents, but you should also carefully record them. Doing so can assist you in recovering fair and just compensation for all of your injuries, not just the ones you noticed immediately after the crash. Specifically, you should record:

  • A description of the symptom or symptoms you are now experiencing
  • When the symptom first appeared
  • Anything that has made the symptoms better or worse
  • What medical care you have sought to treat your new symptoms

You should get in touch with your car accident injury lawyer as soon as you begin experiencing delayed symptoms after car accidents occur. This will let your attorney know not to settle your case too quickly but instead to make sure the extent of your harm is fully understood.

Frequently Asked Questions About Delayed Symptoms After Car Accidents

It can be disheartening and unsettling to still struggle with symptoms days and weeks after a car accident. Some facts to keep in mind include:

How Do I Know if My Delayed Symptoms Are a Cause for Concern?

One key indicator that can help you decide whether to worry about delayed symptoms is if they appear to improve on their own. However, the better course of action is to get evaluated just in case. This is especially good advice if you have multiple symptoms.

Can I Get Compensation for Delayed Symptoms and Injuries?

Yes, so long as they are caused by the car wreck and you have not already settled your case. If you have already settled your case, you may have difficulty getting additional compensation.

Should I Wait Before Talking with a Lawyer to Make Sure I Do Not Have Any Delayed Symptoms?

No. In fact, it is best to speak with and hire an attorney as soon as you can. Your lawyer can help you decide whether delayed symptoms are a matter of concern and can help direct you to specialists who can evaluate you and treat you.

Contact The Spence Law Firm for Experienced Advocacy and Representation

Turn to The Spence Law Firm for informed advice and skillful legal services following a car accident. Our experienced team knows the injuries commonly experienced in car accidents and what delayed symptoms to watch for. We will work to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Schedule a free consultation with The Spence Law Firm, LLC

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If you are struggling with a serious injury, or are fighting against seemingly impossible odds against big corporations, insurance companies or the government, call us to speak with our team of trial lawyers who will fight for you. We take no fee unless we earn it by winning your case.