Vehicle Accidents and Delayed Symptoms: What You Need to Know

Vehicle accidents can be a traumatic experience, even in times when the crash doesn’t seem too severe. But each person reacts in a different way. For some, mental anguish makes a person unable to focus. Other people involved in the accident may find their thoughts consumed with the recent ordeal. Mental trauma is just one part of the problem. Accidents where cars, trucks or motorcycles are involved can also cause physical damage that may not present itself for a few days. If you’ve been in an accident, the following are symptoms that may not appear until days after the crash.

Neck and Shoulder Stiffness and Pain

Anxiety can be caused by stress at home or work. If you’ve been in an accident, your troubling thoughts may also result in anxiety. Both mental and physical symptoms after a crash may take time before they appear. Neck and shoulder pain or stiffness are common ailments after an accident. Whiplash is a common delayed injury symptom and many result in collisions where the mode of transportation was hit from behind. Speed is also usually low and typically less than 15 miles per hour. Because any form of trauma to the neck and shoulder area may be serious, it’s important to get an MRI, x-ray or CT scan to ensure a proper diagnosis.

Back Pain

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a motorcycle accident, you could benefit from consulting with a motorcycle accident lawyer. You may be emotionally strained and stressed after the accident. The proper consult allows you to obtain favorable results, especially when you deserve compensation for your damage and injuries. Another common delayed symptom after a crash is back pain. This could be due to the movements brought on by the accident to the rear and side of the vehicle. Whether it’s your nerves, muscles or ligaments, a thorough assessment will determine if the injury has caused damage to your vertebrae.


Although most people think that whiplash affects only the neck and shoulders, it can also cause numbness and tingling in the hands and arms. If the spinal column or neck has taken the brunt of the blow from the accident, this loss of feeling could be the result of this damage. It’s important to consult with your physician if you experience any numbness or tingling after your crash.

Abdominal Swelling or Pain

Abdominal swelling and pain after an accident could be a sign of internal bleeding. Because this is an extremely serious and life-threatening symptom, you need to be treated by an emergency medical professional as soon as signs are discovered. Other noticeable symptoms include issues include dizziness, bruising or fainting.


No matter if you were hit hard or at an easy pace, the head can be a vulnerable part of the body during an accident. The whipping movement may not be so noticeable after the accident, but if you experience headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, slurred speech, vomiting, dilated pupils or ringing in your ears, you want to seek immediate treatment. Whether you hit your head unknowingly on the ground or on some other object, you may have sustained some type of brain injury. You may also notice changes in your personality or motor functioning skills brought on by your concussion.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common problem for individuals who have been involved in an accident. Whether the crash was minor or there were injured parties and fatalities, you may replay the disturbing event over in your mind. You may also have flashbacks and nightmares caused by the accident. After you’ve gotten yourself checked to rule out physical ailments, you may also want to speak with a therapist about the accident. A therapist will be able to help you through the mental trauma with simple exercises and discussion therapy.

Not all accidents show telltale signs immediately after the vehicle crash. Sometimes you’ll notice symptoms appear days or weeks after your trauma. Whether your accident was minor or severe, it’s important to seek the assistance of a medical expert, so they can rule out any type of trauma you may have suffered over the incident.