After a car crash, there are many injuries you may suffer from that you won't know about right away. In fact, there are at least seven different injury symptoms that are delayed after crashes. Things like bruising, shoulder pain, headaches, changes in personality, abdominal swelling, numbness or lower back pain don't always show up right away.
Why Don't Injuries Always Hurt Right Away?
Many people have so much adrenaline running through their systems at the scene that they simply don't feel the pain or trauma as they will in the next few days. As the adrenaline wears off, they begin to feel the impact of the injuries, whether that means developing bruises or struggling with a stiff neck from whiplash.
Injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may not appear immediately. PTSD can occur days or even weeks after a crash. It may not be until you get behind the wheel again that you realize how terrified you are to drive or begin to notice night terrors.
Headaches and stiff muscles around the neck may be most noticeable two or three days after a crash when whiplash really becomes sore. Even head injuries, like concussions, may not be as noticeable right away, especially if there is bleeding building up in the skull. As more pressure is placed on the brain, you may notice a growing number of symptoms.
Seek Out Medical Treatment Immediately
Anyone who is in a car accident should seek out medical treatment immediately. There are many injuries that appear hidden at first, but a medical checkup can help you identify them early and get you the treatment you need to avoid pain and anxiety from the injuries you have.
Source: KTAR, "7 delayed injury symptoms after a car crash," Alex Bigham, accessed June 16, 2017