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How Long After a Car Accident Can Injury Symptoms Appear?

Car accident injuries often manifest soon after an accident, but in some cases, the symptoms of the injury can be delayed. There are many instances where injuries appear days or even weeks after the accident. Some injuries do not display early symptoms, making them easy to miss. Additionally, another injury that is causing substantial symptoms can mask a less severe injury located elsewhere on the body. In some cases, people fail to realize that they have additional injuries because the problem is only identified with certain activities (Symptoms that develop once someone begins physical exertion etc). How long until symptoms appear will depend on the type of injury, number of injuries, and severity of the various injuries.


Types of Car Accident Injuries


Car accident injuries vary greatly, and the severity can be determined by the extent of the crash. Some accident victims walk away with a few scratches, while others end up in the hospital with serious injuries. Different factors of the accident will determine how severe the injuries will be. And even more complicating is that research indicates there is no direct correlation between property damage (extent of the crash) and injuries. It is often left to a qualified and skilled clinician to determine the injuries, and not a reliance on “how much damage” occurred to determine the presence of injuries.


Some common auto accident injuries include:


  • Whiplash injuries

  • Neck injuries

  • Back injuries

  • Spinal cord injuries

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)/Concussions

  • Lacerations

  • Contusions

  • Fractures

  • Intervertebral disc injuries

  • Knee injuries

  • Rotator Cuff and other shoulder injuries

Symptoms to Look Out For


The human body reacts differently to trauma. Right after a car accident, the body will produce adrenaline that helps deal with the injuries sustained. This is why it is possible to not feel pain or only feel minimal pain soon after the accident, even when there are obvious injuries. 


There are several symptoms to look out for soon after a car accident. These are symptoms that should never be ignored no matter how mild they may appear. The symptoms include headaches, abdominal pain, neck and shoulder pain, back pain, numbness or tingling in the arms or legs, behavioral changes, difficulty concentrating, double vision, ringing in the ears, difficulty sleeping, etc.


Delayed-Onset Injuries


Some injuries take longer than others to manifest. Whiplash can take days before developing. Many accident victims walk away from the crash site assuming that they are fine, only to begin feeling symptoms many days later. This is very common and should not be ignored.


What can seem like a slight injury after the crash could result in chronic pain if left untreated. The whole process can take weeks or even months after the car accident.


Delaying Medical Attention 


Delays in getting medical attention after an accident can cause potential injuries to worsen. Some accident victims confuse subtle symptoms of a severe injury for something mild. A headache can be a sign of a brain injury, but it is something that many people would ignore.


By the time other symptoms begin to appear, the condition can have become. It is important to get medical attention immediately after a car accident whether or not there are visible injuries. 


Assessing Car Accident Injuries 


Every accident is different, so every situation needs to be assessed carefully. The fact is that mild injuries can mask more serious conditions. Never assume that you are in good condition simply because you walked away from the accident site. Injury symptoms can appear long after the accident and can lead to long-term chronic pain.


For more on car accident injuries, contact Back and Neck Pain Centers Chiropractic at our offices in Seattle, Bellevue, or Tukwila, Washington. You can call (206) 233-0818, (206) 772-0088, (425) 649-9335, or (425) 243-1200 today to schedule an appointment.,-122.3224811,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x54906abdb7cbe727:0x3296731966a08bfe!8m2!3d47.5994877!4d-122.3202924 none 9:00am - 6:00pm 9:00am - 6:00pm 9:00am - 6:00pm 9:00am - 6:00pm 9:00am - 6:00pm Closed Closed,3,,,