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Your Guide to Delayed Injuries After a Car Crash

If you've been in a car accident, you may be just feeling shaken up and sore and may not feel the full extent of your injuries just yet. But what you may not realize is that injuries from the crash can take time to appear until days or even weeks later following a collision.

This is because the adrenaline present after an accident can mask physical symptoms. It's crucial to seek medical attention immediately if you were involved in a crash, even if you don't feel like you're injured. In this blog, we will discuss what can cause these delayed injuries after a motor vehicle accident and the most common physical symptoms.

Delayed Injuries After a Car Accident: What You Need to Know

After a collision, car accident victims experience the initial shock and trauma of the impact. The reality is that accidents can happen to anyone; sometimes they are fatal and other times, victims only experience minor injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 2 million people are injured in motor vehicle accidents every year. The reality is that our bodies are complex and can have delayed physical symptoms after a motor vehicle accident. After a crash, some people may think they are perfectly fine if they walk away with no physical ailments. Others may also allow their pride to get in the way of seeking medical help after a crash and end up paying the price later on.

What Can Cause Delayed Pain After a Crash?

Several factors can lead to delayed pain after a car accident, but the most common culprit is usually:

  • Adrenaline- When we experience a traumatic event such as a motor vehicle accident, it is common for our bodies to release hormones such as adrenaline and endorphins; the "fight or flight" response helps protect us in the event of a dangerous situation.

However, these chemicals can significantly mask feelings of serious pain and injuries following a motor vehicle accident. It is also important to note that everyone reacts differently to shock and trauma. Some people may experience excruciating pain following the accident; some may not sustain pain or injuries until much later.

How Long After a Crash Can Symptoms Appear?

Often, physical symptoms from a crash manifest immediately; it may take 24 to 48 hours to appear. Other times it may take days or weeks until physical symptoms appear. That is why it is crucial for those involved in a collision to seek medical examination immediately, assess if there are any injuries, and evaluate their condition from the crash.

If someone waits to seek medical help after a crash, an injury that is life-threatening or internal injuries can severely worsen over time if not treated immediately. Be on the lookout for these common delayed symptoms after a wreck:

  • Headache.

  • Abdominal pain.

  • Blurry vision.

  • Nausea.

  • Difficulty concentrating.

  • Dizziness.

  • Numbness or tingling.

  • Fatigue.

  • Behavioral changes.

  • Shoulder or neck pain.

  • PTSD.

The Most Common Delayed Injuries After a Collision


One of the most common delayed injuries following a car accident is whiplash. Whiplash is caused by the sudden jerking motion of the head, which can damage the neck muscles and ligaments. Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness, and headaches. If you were in a rear-end collision, there's a good chance you may have suffered from whiplash.

Soft Tissue Damage

Another common delayed injury is soft tissue damage. This type of injury is usually the result of a direct blow to the body, such as being hit by a flying object during a car accident. Symptoms of soft tissue damage include pain, swelling, and bruising.


Another common delayed injury is a concussion. A concussion is a type of brain injury that can occur when your head hits something during an accident. Concussions can cause various symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. If you hit your head during the accident or if you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's essential to see a doctor right away.

If you were in a car accident, don't wait to see if these injuries appear. Seek medical attention as soon as possible to get the treatment you need. And if you're ever in doubt, it's always better to err on the side of caution and get checked out by a doctor. Better safe than sorry!

Contact Sacramento Car Accident Lawyers

Have you or a loved one been injured in a motor vehicle accident? Piering Law Firm will take the time to understand how the accident has affected your quality of life and ensure that you receive a level of compensation that reflects your unique circumstances.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, Piering Law Firm can help. Contact us today at (916) 476-2399 to schedule a free case consultation.