Symptoms That Arise Long After Car Accidents

It seems like you’d know for certain whether or not you were injured in a car crash, right? There’s no denying that your car is crumpled and your day is ruined!

But many car accident injuries aren’t immediately noticeable. They might be undetectable for days, weeks, or even months after the crash.

This is why it’s so important to get a doctor’s evaluation right away, then continue monitoring for new symptoms that become more noticeable following your California car accident. Here are some additional things you should know about delayed-onset injury symptoms.

How Long Does it Take for Injury Symptoms to Arise?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), car accident injury symptoms frequently arise up to 5 weeks after a crash. Even after slow-moving accidents of less than 15 miles per hour, severe injury symptoms can become noticeable after a month or more.

This is due to the delayed effect of car accident injuries, particularly those that are deep within the body or are caused by swelling, scarring, or infections. At first, you might feel mild pain but within weeks, you’re in extreme pain and your movement has become quite limited.

Whiplash is an excellent example. The physical structure of the human neck is such that whiplash injury symptoms can take time to arise as the body copes with the neck being snapped back and forth. The injured person may go through a significant period of pain, swelling, and immobility that gets much worse before it gets better.

Which Symptoms Have Delayed Onset After Car Accidents?

Here at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we frequently see our injured clients suffering from delayed-onset symptoms. If you’re in this situation, we have so much sympathy for you!

Below are some of the most common symptoms that tend to arise in the weeks or months following an accident.


As mentioned above, whiplash symptoms can take time to show up. Any good emergency care doctor should know how to properly identify and treat whiplash in injured people. You may also need follow-up care from a neck and spine specialist and/or a physical therapist.

Neck, Back, and Shoulder Pain

The body’s skeletal system is designed to protect your internal organs, but it’s still vulnerable to forceful impacts. You could have late-onset symptoms like swelling and pain within the neck, shoulders, back, and spine.

Abdominal Injuries

This might surprise you, but even a soft blow to the stomach can lead to severe outcomes, including a heart attack. What feels like a minor pain in your abdomen can lead to delayed-onset tachycardia, or heart rhythm disturbance, after the blunt-force trauma of a car accident.

Numbness and Tingling

Don’t ignore those tingly feelings of numbness in your hands or feet. This can be an indication of a pinched or damaged nerve that needs immediate medical attention.

Headaches, Concussions, and TBIs

A headache is another symptom that can arise long after a car accident happens. Again, never ignore this seemingly trivial symptom because it may be connected to a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI) that will have lasting effects if left untreated.

Emotional Trauma

People sometimes discount the mental pain and emotional trauma of car accidents, but these are serious symptoms that might take a while to accept and treat. It’s very common for car accident victims to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, nightmares, flashbacks, and behavioral changes.

What to Do About Symptoms That Arise Long After the Accident

After the crash, see a doctor with the expertise to treat people who have been in severe car accidents. Follow your doctor’s orders and save all of your medical bills.

This is the best way to protect your health and begin to build a case for car accident compensation. In California, you can start a claim against the person who hurt you.

Potential sources of compensation include:

  • Existing medical bills related to the crash
  • Cost of additional medical treatment for newly-arising symptoms
  • Lost wages and earning capacity as you heal from the accident
  • Vehicle/property losses
  • Your pain and suffering, including emotional trauma

Here at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand that you could be dealing with the aftermath of your accident for weeks or months to come. Contact us for a free consultation as soon as possible to support your recovery.

We Handle Your Personal Injury Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After an injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including car accidents with delayed symptoms. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.

We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.

Accident Client

I was involved in a car accident that left me with a broken leg, thanks to someone running a red light! It was my first time being involved in something like this (totaled car, surgery, and 4 days in the hospital). Through advice of some close friends and family they recommended I get a personal injury lawyer, being relatively new to the Bay Area I had no idea who to go to, so I started shopping around and came across Sally Morin and I instantly felt at ease with them overseeing my case. I was completely right, they handled everything I needed them to do even though the other parties insurance was useless and is so bad they are supposedly being sued by other people for not paying out in spite of that the team here was able to get the full settlement amount. All of this allowed me to completely focus on my physical recovery! A big shout out to Rebecca and Carmen!

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We Handle Your Personal Injury Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After an accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many types of traffic injury claims. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details.

We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a
free online case evaluation.


It is essential to know your rights after a traffic accident so you can protect yourself and the value of your claim.
This guide will help you:

  • 1Know what to do when dealing with insurance claims, police reports and lawyers.
  • 2Avoid making mistakes that undermine the value of your claim
  • 3Put yourself in a position to get the best settlement possible