Car Accidents Have Delayed Symptoms. Here’s What to Look For

Car Accidents Have Delayed Symptoms. Here’s What to Look For

Many people who walk away from a car accident do so feeling very lucky they were not badly injured. They reach this conclusion because, although they have been “banged up,” they don’t feel any pain or discomfort significant enough to send them to see a doctor.


In many cases, a policeman or another passenger in the car or a witness will urge this person to go see a doctor. “With a collision like that, you should see a doctor,” they might say. 


Still, in the absence of significant pain, these people who feel lucky, wave off the suggestion to go seek medical help. This could be a huge mistake. In the first place, an immediate visit to a post-accident specialty clinic, such as Colorado Accident & Injury, is the proper place to go to document any minor, hidden, or moderate injury that you don’t feel is of any consequence. 

Secondly, many significant injuries, such as whiplash and brain trauma, may have delayed symptoms. Seeing a post-accident specialist is the best choice for finding experts who know about the hidden symptoms of a recent accident. 


Some of these delayed conditions could be life-altering or life-threatening. Various neck injuries can gravitate from moderate to severe if the neck is not stabilized right away. Treating potential head trauma on time can also be a critical factor in your recovery.


The second potential trap people fall into regarding post-accident care, is that they assume symptoms that show up days or weeks after an accident are not as serious as an injury in which the discomfort is immediate and obvious. However, delayed symptoms do not mean the symptoms aren’t real and significant. 


Here are some delayed, post-accident symptoms that should trigger an immediate call to a post-accident specialist or your primary care doctor.




Mild to moderate concussions might not show up right after an accident. Symptoms of brain trauma can also be delayed. Either of these conditions could cause headaches that are not obvious right after an accident.




Look out for mood shifts, insomnia, loss of appetite, blurred vision, nausea, and added sensitivity to light or touch. A blurred vision should also be taken seriously if it occurs after an accident.




Whiplash can also cause headaches, as it could include injury to neck muscles, which causes tension in tissues that support the head. Inflammation caused by whiplash can be slow to develop, resulting in delayed pain and discomfort.




Whiplash symptoms include pain in the neck, shoulder, head, back, stiffness and soreness, overall body aches, changes in vision, and restrictions to your range of motion. 


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be caused by any event or events that cause emotional trauma. PTSD is common after severe accidents for persons who survive a bad crash and even for witnesses to an accident who was not in any of the involved vehicles. Excessive stress in one event or many events can cause PTSD.




Look out for unusual or swiftly changing moods, increased anxiety especially when trigged by even minor events that remind you of the accident. PTSD often looks like someone overreacting to everyday events, such as someone dropping a package that makes a sudden sound, just as the car accident made a sudden crashing sound.




A variety of symptoms that should prompt you to call a physician or see a post-accident specialist include:


  • Insomnia
  • Unexplained pain, especially in neck, shoulders, and back
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in vision
  • Nightmares
  • Tingling sensation or numbness
  • Abdominal pain, including nausea
  • Bruising
  • Hearing loss or unexplained sounds (tinnitus)
  • Cognitive dysfunction (difficulty concentrating, remembering or processing information, as well as memory glitches or memory loss)


Looking for a post-accident specialist? Call Colorado Accident & Injury at 719-917-1000.

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