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Signs of Delayed Car Accident Injuries

man in pajamas leans in pain on the side of his bed

In the direct aftermath of an auto collision, confusion, chaos, fear, and uncertainty dominate your ability to think calmly and rationally about what steps to take next. Although there are many issues to deal with following a car crash—bills, repairs, transportation arrangements, time off work- your health should take precedence. Whether or not you think you have been injured, it is important to seek medical care if you have been involved in a vehicular wreck.

It is always best to see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident, even if you do not feel any pain or notice any visible injuries. Symptoms are not always apparent right away, especially as adrenaline runs high and you are more focused on making sure you and your loved are safe than on your bodily discomfort. A physical exam will help your doctor look for any injuries you may not have noticed at the crash site. But in the days and weeks following the accident, be mindful of your body’s signals, as health complications can develop even after you think you are in the clear. If you experience any of the following symptoms after a collision, contact a doctor immediately for a medical evaluation.

Headaches or Dizziness

When there is even a slight chance that a brain injury could be the cause of your symptoms, receiving immediate medical attention is all the more critical. If you are experiencing headaches or dizziness, it is possible that a blood clot, concussion, or head, neck, or brain injury is to blame. The impact of a collisions can cause swelling, bruising, bleeding, and brain tissue damage, and in the most serious of cases results in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Your headache or dizziness may also by accompanied by loss of balance, vision problems, raised or swollen areas on the head or face, confusion and irritability, or sensitivity to light and noise. See a doctor right away if any of these descriptions match your symptoms.


Feelings of numbness and tingling can be an indicator of a pinched nerve, whiplash, spinal cord injury, damage to the nerves in your spinal column, or a herniated disc. Blunt force trauma to the head, arms, or legs can lead to nerve compression syndrome, and nerves can be severed if any area of the body was deeply lacerated in the crash. These injuries can have debilitating effects if left untreated. Your doctor will be able to discover the origin of the numbness and recommend a suitable physical therapist or chiropractor if necessary.

Back and Neck Pain

As in the case of numbness and tingling, pain in the back or neck can be a sign that you have sustained a spinal injury. This could be in the form of whiplash, neck sprain, soft tissue damage, herniated disc, spinal misalignment, or traumatic spondylolisthesis, a condition in which one of the vertebrae slips out of place due to an injury. Extended therapy may be required to fully recovery from these types of injuries, but the good news is that they are not generally life-threatening when properly and punctually addressed.

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain can be a symptom of internal bleeding, particularly when the pain is coupled with bruising or discoloration. People may also experience symptoms including dizziness, weakness, fatigue, vomiting or coughing blood, sweating, rapid breathing, or fainting. Internal bleeding after a car accident is a very serious condition in which bleeding in the chest, abdominal cavity, or muscles is caused by trauma to the body. If you believe your abdominal pain may be a sign of internal bleeding, promptly seek emergency medical attention.


Bruising is a common car accident-related symptom and may even result from the impact of a seat belt or air bag. The trauma from a high-impact vehicular crash can cause damage to muscle tissue and internal organs, most commonly the liver, kidneys, spleen, and stomach. As previously mentioned, bruising can be an indication that there is internal bleeding. Bruises, resulting from broken blood vessels beneath the surface of the skin, can last for weeks or months following their appearance. As internal injuries are more likely to have a delayed appearance of symptoms, you should reach out to your doctor for a new physical exam if conspicuous bruises appear in the days following the accident.

Mood or Behavioral Changes

The physical aftereffects of a car accident are often given much more attention than the psychological ones. But mental and emotional health complications are a very real risk to victims of vehicular crashes. The panic and terror a person undergoes in a traumatic event like a car crash has a lasting impact. Complications including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), guilt, mood instability, heightened phobias, an unwillingness to travel by car or even leave the house, and insomnia or nightmares can occur in the time period following a car accident. If a physical examination is able to rule out any brain or bodily injury which could be contributing to the mood or behavioral changes, a qualified mental health professional can help address the serious psychological symptoms resulting from the accident.

Find Expert Legal Advice in Albuquerque

No matter what type of injury you have sustained in an auto collision, you need to know that your attorney is there for you from beginning to end. Our team at Buckingham & Vega Law Firm understands personally the life-shattering effects that a serious injury can have on you and your loved ones. We hope that by increasing awareness of some of the symptoms which can point to underlying health issues after a car crash, our clients will be empowered to advocate for their health and for the well-being of those they care about. We invite you to give us a call to discuss the details of your case. We can give you the advice and support you need to move past your injuries and return to the things that are important in your life.

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