After a car crash, some injuries may be quite obvious. However, the signs of other injuries may not appear for hours or even days after the accident. What delayed symptoms are often cause for concern?
Pain or stiffness in the neck, shoulder or back
Many people may be tempted to dismiss pain and stiffness after a crash, but these symptoms could be a sign of serious injuries to the neck or back. Pain or stiffness could indicate whiplash or damage to the muscles and nerves. Pain and stiffness may also be a warning sign of fractured vertebrae in the neck or back. These injuries can grow worse and have long-term consequences if left untreated.
Abdominal pain, swelling or bruising
While some tenderness after a car accident may indicate a minor injury, injured people should not ignore pain, swelling or bruising in the abdomen. This is especially true if these symptoms grow worse over time. Pain, swelling and dark bruises could indicate serious damage to internal organs, as well as potentially life-threatening bleeding.
Lack of feeling in a body part can be as concerning as pain itself. Numbness or tingling after a crash could indicate serious nerve damage.
Changes to personality, sleep patterns or emotional state
Injury to the brain can cause pain, but brain injuries can also involve a variety of other symptoms. Injured people may become emotionally volatile, have difficulty sleeping, sleep more than usual, or experience changes to their personality.
Because symptoms do not always appear immediately after a crash, anyone injured in a car accident should seek medical attention even if their injuries seem minor. A medical exam can help ensure that potentially serious injuries do not go undetected.