Delayed symptom injuries frequently occur in automobile accidents, so the impact of collisions on the human body often appear to be deceptively minor. While some serious car accidents involve injuries that obviously require immediate medical attention, others may involve hidden injuries that do not surface until some time after the accident. In these instances, an auto accident victim may not immediately notice that he or she even has an injury. The victim might only discover later that he or she has potentially serious symptoms.

Commonly reported symptoms or injuries that may not become apparent until hours, days, or weeks after a car accident include:

  • Whiplash
  • Concussion
  • Headaches
  • Vision problems
  • Internal bleeding
  • Sprains
  • Back pain
  • Traumatic brain injury

Handling a Car Accident Injury with Delayed Symptoms

Individuals who are involved in a car crash should make sure to promptly visit a medical professional if they experience any pain, problems with mobility, or other health problems. Many of these types of delayed-symptom injuries occur in car accidents because of the sudden back and forth motion the body experiences upon colliding with another vehicle or stationary object. The force of an abrupt stop is traumatic on a vehicle occupant’s body.

Delayed-symptom injuries are one reason car crash victims need to obtain a thorough medical evaluation. If you feel any symptoms at all following an accident, you should receive prompt medical treatment. This is especially important if you experience delayed symptoms. The reason for this is that the more time that goes by without medical treatment following an accident, the more difficult it is to relate your injury to your accident.

For example, a compression fracture of the spinal column is a serious delayed-symptom injury that results in a compressed or crushed vertebrae in your back. This type of injury is fairly common in rear-end collisions or vehicle crashes involving a non-moving automobile or object. After this type of collision, the car crash victim might simply feel sore at first, but the pain often steadily increases to a debilitating level with the passage of time. Similarly, herniated discs, which normally are not picked up by an X-ray, are commonly not diagnosed by physicians until doctors conduct an MRI, which is a test not usually carried out in the emergency room.

Without treatment, delayed injuries can damage the joints, discs, spinal cord, muscles, nerves, and ligaments in your back and neck. Your injury can even result in a permanent life-long disability. Prompt medical attention that includes diagnostic scans, such as MRIs, X-rays, CT scans, and other tests often provide compelling evidence regarding the severity and cause of your injuries.