Injuries from a car accident run the gambit from bruising and whiplash to broken bones and life-altering disabilities. Oftentimes it’s obvious what kind of physical impact a car accident victim experiences, but delayed symptoms may show up hours or even days after a crash.

Seeking medical attention and staying aware of physical symptoms after a crash are two important elements of recovering from an accident. Even if nothing appears or feels wrong, a full physical evaluation can prevent pain and worsening conditions from developing after the fact.

Motor vehicle accidents cause thousands of deaths and millions of injuries every year. Over 40,000 people in Tennessee alone sustained injuries or died as the result of a car accident in 2016.

What to watch for

What are some potential delayed symptoms to watch for after a car accident? Some major ones include:

  • Neck, shoulder or back pain, symptoms of whiplash or spinal injury
  • Headache or lightheadedness, potentially a concussion or brain injury
  • Abdominal pain, possibly indicative of internal injuries or bleeding
  • Numbness, possible sign of spinal injury

A person who walks away from a car accident without obvious serious injury may not notice increasing symptoms over time due to shock or misattributing the symptoms to the stress of the situation. A headache or ill-feeling in the stomach could be passed off as nerves or stress from the events of the accident and not actual physical repercussions.

It’s important to know the full extent of the injuries sustained in a car accident to know what compensation you could recover if the other driver was at fault. This is particularly important when it comes to release of liability in settling an accident claim. Signing a release before knowing the full extent of the injuries could cause a victim to lose out on full coverage of medical expenses.

Sustaining an injury from a car accident can have lasting physical effects beyond the immediate aftermath. Don’t rule out the possibility of delayed symptoms when considering options after an accident. It’s crucial to know the full impact on a victim’s health to fully and effectively resolve a personal injury claim.