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Delayed Injury Symptoms That May Appear After a Car Accident

man suffering with pain in neckCrash victims often notice their injuries right away, particularly if they suffered broken bones, lacerations or severe head injuries. However, victims often experience a rush of adrenaline after a crash that could help to mask symptoms of other injuries. You might feel a little sore but think it is no big deal and will go away within a matter of hours or days.

Below, the experienced attorneys at Schmidt Kramer discuss injury symptoms that may be delayed after a car crash and the importance of seeking treatment for these injuries. In some cases, waiting to seek treatment could allow an injury to get much worse or even become life-threatening.

Even if you waited to seek treatment or file a claim, our Harrisburg-based auto accident lawyers may be able to help. Give us a call right away to discuss what happened and determine how we may be able to help.

Symptoms That May be Delayed One or Two Days

Some injuries may not cause significant symptoms for one to two days after the crash, such as whiplash, a concussion or damage to internal organs. However, these injuries can be quite severe, which is why you should seek treatment the moment you suspect you have one of these injuries.

Damage to Internal Organs

The force of impact could rattle your internal organs and cause bleeding or other damage. A blow to the abdomen could also result in injuries to your internal organs.

There are various signs that may indicate an internal injury:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Deep purple bruises on the abdomen
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Fainting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever

If you experience any of these symptoms, go to the hospital immediately. Doctors need to examine you and potentially do an MRI or X-ray to determine if you suffered internal organ damage. If the damage goes untreated it may result in sepsis or even death. If you deal with the problem immediately you may avoid severe complications.

Concussion/Traumatic Brain Injury

There is a common misconception that people need to get hit in the head to suffer a concussion. However, concussions can also occur when the head is violently shaken forward or backward. This could happen during the collision because your car suddenly stopped due to the collision or because you slammed on the brakes.

Concussions do not always result in unconsciousness, which means you could have a concussion even if you never lost consciousness.

There are various symptoms of a concussion to watch for in the first 24-48 hours after the crash:

  • Headaches, including migraines
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling confused
  • Lost memories
  • Feeling sensitive to bright lights
  • Feeling sensitive to loud noises
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Major changes in your mood

Waiting to seek treatment could result in severe brain damage or even death. You should always err on the side of caution with head injuries.


This is another injury that may occur when your head is jerked backward and forward during the collision. This violent motion can strain the muscles and nerves in your neck, resulting in whiplash. While insurance companies tend to downplay the severity of whiplash, the pain can be debilitating.

These are some of the whiplash symptoms to watch for:

  • Pain in the shoulders
  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Numbness in your arms
  • Ringing in the ears

It is important to note some people suffer whiplash and a brain injury from the same wreck.

How Delayed Treatment Could Impact Your Claim

The insurance company will be looking for any way to deny your claim. If you suffer a delayed injury, they may claim it was caused by something besides the accident. For example, they may claim something else happened to you in the time between the diagnosis of the injury and the crash. They may say the injury is a result of a preexisting medical issue.

That is why it is important to get to the hospital right after a crash. Explain your symptoms to your doctor in detail, even minor aches and pains. This could help to link your injuries to the accident.

Another issue to consider is that insurance companies have deadlines for filing claims. If you do not file a claim right after the accident and later develop injuries, you should talk to a lawyer right away. You should still have time to file a claim, but you may want an attorney’s help doing so.

Injured in a Car Crash Caused by Another Driver? Call Schmidt Kramer

If you have questions after being injured in a crash, you can schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation with a licensed attorney from our firm.

The insurance company is likely to undervalue your claim or look for a reason to deny it. That is why you may greatly benefit from experienced legal representation. Schmidt Kramer has obtained tens of millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients, and we have received countless positive reviews from clients.

Schmidt Kramer. Licensed. Local. Lawyers. Call (717) 727-2089.