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How Long After a Car Accident Can Injuries Appear?

If you have been in a car accident, you may have had some injuries show up right away, but it can take days or even weeks for others to show themselves. A life-threatening injury may appear weeks after you were in the accident. 

These types of injuries can worsen over time, and when you finally notice them, you may not even realize that they were caused by the accident.  These would include injuries to the internal organs. Sometimes, symptoms of these types of injuries can be mistaken for symptoms of minor ailments.  

To answer the question, whatever the specific injury is determines how long it will take before it starts showing symptoms.

Common Injuries From Car Accidents

In minor car accidents, you may have some bruises, scrapes, or muscle soreness.  In more serious accidents, people can suffer worse injuries, such as broken bones or injuries to the neck, back, and spinal cord.

Some more serious injuries which can occur in car accidents include:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Concussions
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Burns
  • Amputations 
  • Internal bleeding
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Severe lacerations and bleeding

Most spinal cord injuries in the United States are caused by car accidents. It is very important to decrease the possibility of this type of injury by wearing a seat belt any time you are in a vehicle. 

Injuries With Delayed Symptoms

There are a few types of delayed injuries where the symptoms don’t manifest themselves until weeks or months after the accident. They can include:

  • Whiplash: This injury is caused by the neck being jerked around upon impact, usually in a forward and backward motion. Neck pain from whiplash typically takes days to develop.
  • Internal organ injuries: The intestines can be bruised or torn due to the seat belt compressing the stomach area in the crash. Since this type of injury causes stomach pain several days after the crash, you may not associate it with the crash. Torn intestines can lead to organ failure, infection, or in severe cases, death.
  • Brain bleeds: These occur due to the head hitting a hard surface or being forcefully jerked around in the crash. If a blood vessel in the head tears, it can slowly leak into the brain tissue. This may result in a headache that worsens over time. It is important to see your doctor if you have a headache after the crash because the bleed will get worse over time.

Treating and Diagnosing Injuries After a Crash

Every car accident may not require a visit to the emergency room, but you should always see your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms discussed here. Immediate injuries can mask the symptoms of more serious ones, leading to worsening issues and even chronic medical problems over time.

When to Seek the Advice of an Attorney

If you have been in an accident, you may be entitled to payment of your medical bills from the at-fault driver’s insurance. If you seek to file a claim with the insurance company or to file a personal injury lawsuit, the Van Law Firm can help. 

We can assist you in obtaining a financial award for your economic losses including your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you are facing a chronic medical condition due to your accident that will require ongoing medical care and expenses, we can help you obtain an award for future medical expenses.

Call us today or contact us online. Consultations are always free!