5 Common Delayed Injury Symptoms After a Car Accident

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Why Pain Is Often Delayed After a Car Accident

Auto accident injuries can range from minor physical pain to life-threatening events, and everything in between. In many cases, pain is not felt immediately after an accident. Oftentimes, it is not felt until days following the accident, leading some people to believe that their pain is unrelated to the accident. This can be dangerous since early detection and treatment of accident-related injuries is crucial for minimizing chronic pain and long-term effects of accidents. It is also dangerous to any potential case you might have.

So why does pain so frequently appear hours or even several days later?
The simple answer is adrenaline (also known as the hormone epinephrine). Directly following an accident, the adrenaline circulating through the body blocks certain pain signals in the body. After these effects wear off it’s often several hours before pain is felt.

In addition, inflammation continues to build during the hours and days after a car accident. Pain is one of the key markers for inflammation. You may experience a warm, red, swollen, painful sensation in the inflamed area. As inflammation builds in the joints, muscles, and surrounding tissues, pain will increase. Early treatment is important to help prevent chronic pain.

5 Common Delayed Injury Symptoms After an Accident


Whiplash is a common neck injury that is most common in rear-end auto accidents. Whiplash is caused by the forceful movement of your neck back and forth, either due to the impact of the other vehicle into your car or as the result of airbags deploying that make contact with your body.

You can develop symptoms of whiplash several days after the accident, including:

  • Neck pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Persistent headaches
  • Radiating pain in your shoulders and arms

In more serious cases of whiplash, you may experience some memory loss, blurry vision or develop disturbances in your usual sleep pattern.


A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can affect your memory, concentration or balance. The impact of an auto accident can cause your brain to move back and forth in your skull, causing the injury.

Symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Nausea and vomiting

The more serious cases of concussions, including those that cause bleeding in your brain, can be fatal if left untreated.

Back Injuries

Immediately following an accident, your back may be sore and tender. As more time passes, you may notice persistent back pain that worsens with movement. This pain is likely caused by inflammation settling into your muscles following the trauma. It may also be an indication that you have suffered a herniated disc, or injury to the muscles, ligaments or nerves in the back or even by damage to the vertebrae.

Spinal Injuries

Much like other auto accident injuries, spinal injuries can be the result of rear-end impact from another vehicle. If your car accident is more serious, you may suffer spine damage as the result of a rollover accident.

Common spinal injuries following a car accident include herniated discs, fractures, and nerve compression that result in persistent pain. Spinal injuries may also make it difficult for you to get around or feel comfortable when standing up or lying down.

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain after an auto accident may be the result of an injury caused by your seat belt. During impact, the seat belt may be forced into your stomach, causing muscle injuries and damage to your internal organs.

If you also experience persistent nausea and vomiting, it can indicate a more serious injury to your head or neck or be symptomatic of a brain injury.



It is our recommendation to seek medical treatment following a car accident, regardless of present symptoms or injuries. Your doctor should be able to diagnose any injuries you sustained in the accident before they become too serious. If no symptoms or injuries seem to be present, your doctor can give you advice on how to monitor any potential injuries and symptoms and what to look out for.

It is also imperative you see a doctor after your accident if you plan on filing an injury claim. The insurance company will require a documented account of your doctor visits to prove that you were indeed injured from the accident. Also, keep in mind that if you wait too long to see a doctor or chiropractor about your injuries that the insurance will most likely deny your claim stating that because you waited so long that you could not have been all that injured.

The law office of Brent Duque can help you seek maximum recovery for your car accident injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, please contact our Personal Injury Attorneys at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your legal options. A free consultation is just a phone call away.

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