Delayed Injuries & Symptoms After an Accident


The immediate aftermath of an accident can be chaotic. Disorientation, confusion, and even a strange sense of calm are all common reactions in the face of trauma. This deceptive tranquility is often fueled by the body's natural response to stress: a surge of adrenaline and endorphins. These hormones act as a temporary anesthetic, masking pain and allowing you to function in the immediate aftermath.

However, it's crucial to understand that this doesn't signify you're unscathed. Delayed pain and symptoms are a very real possibility after an accident, and being aware of them can help ensure you receive timely medical attention.

Delayed Pain After an Accident: Signs to Look for

After an accident, it's vital to monitor your health for any emerging symptoms. As the effects of shock and adrenaline diminish, symptoms of injuries may start to emerge. Key indicators that necessitate medical attention include:

  • Persistent or worsening pain
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty moving or numbness, indicating possible nerve damage or musculoskeletal injury
  • Changes in physical function or sensation
  • Behavioral or cognitive changes
  • Visible signs of injury like bruising or swelling that expands or becomes more painful

Common Types of Delayed Injuries

Seven of common injuries that have delayed symptoms include:

  1. Whiplash is a common injury following rear-end car accidents, characterized by a rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. Symptoms, including neck pain, stiffness, headaches starting at the base of the skull, and dizziness, can take several hours or even days to manifest.
  2. Concussions, a type of traumatic brain injury, can also have delayed symptoms. Initial signs may be subtle, such as confusion or disorientation, gradually followed by headaches, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and cognitive difficulties. Due to their potentially serious nature, concussions should be evaluated and monitored closely.
  3. Soft tissue injuries, affecting muscles, ligaments, and tendons, may not be immediately apparent due to adrenaline. Pain, swelling, bruising, and loss of function can develop gradually, significantly impacting mobility and quality of life.
  4. Internal bleeding is one of the most critical conditions to be aware of. Signs include deep bruising, abdominal pain, dizziness, faintness, and, in severe cases, shock. Internal bleeding can remain unnoticed for hours or even days, making it especially perilous.
  5. Back and spinal injuries can also present themselves sometimes after an accident. The spine is highly susceptible to injury during an accident. Back pain, radiating pain down the legs (sciatica), and muscle spasms are all potential signs of damage to the vertebrae, discs, or ligaments in the back.
  6. Abdominal pain can be linked to internal bleeding and organ damage. Because of the force of the accident and blows to the abdomen, pain or swelling in this region should be taken very seriously. If you have bruising to the abdomen, pay special attention to the area and check for other symptoms like headaches, fainting, and dizziness.
  7. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can arise in the days or weeks following an accident.The emotional impact of an accident can be significant and may not surface immediately. Anxiety, depression, flashbacks, and nightmares are all common signs of PTSD, which can develop weeks or even months after the event.

Can You Still Be Compensated If Your Pain Was Delayed?

Yes. Even if you did not notice symptoms or seek medical treatment for several days following your accident, you can still pursue compensation in a personal injury claim.

Please be advised that you should seek medical care immediately after an accident. Even if you feel fine and physicians do not note any immediate injuries, showing that you took steps to get care is important. Also, medical professionals can advise you on what symptoms you can expect in the coming days and which symptoms can necessitate coming back for treatment.

If you do not get care immediately, it is important that you seek medical care as soon as symptoms appear, no matter how delayed they are. Failing to seek care as soon as possible can impact your claim. Early diagnosis and treatment are key for healing and recovery.

To prove that your claim is valid, you and your attorney will need to work to establish a link between your injury and symptoms and the accident. Your medical records can serve as a crucial piece of evidence in establishing this correlation. However, if you waited to seek treatment after the onset of symptoms, the opposing counsel may try to prove that other activities or incidents led to your injury.

Pursue Compensation for Your Injuries

Attorney Lazzara has over 25 years of experience and has spent the vast majority of that time helping clients with personal injury claims. If you or a loved one are injured in a car, motorcycle, or truck accident, he can work to help you develop a strong case.

Get started on your case today by calling (720) 809-8262.