Up from the Wreckage: 6 Delayed Symptoms of Bodily Injury That Are Hard to Spot after a Car Accident

Car accidents are extremely dangerous for anyone involved. They are one of the biggest killers of human lives every day. Fatal accidents and severe injuries are not uncommon. Another important cause of death is undiagnosed injuries because no one notices them.

Simply put, these injuries are hidden from you because you are not a medical professional. Even if you feel alright, your body is not always the best judge of an injury especially if you are stressed from the crash. You may only start to feel symptoms hours after the crash happened. If you do, these symptoms probably are pointing at potential life-changing injuries.

Why Should I Care?

Discovering hidden injuries is not always simple. The injuries could occur inside your skin so they do not show or they may happen to be chronic injuries that will become worse as time goes on. It is important to set up a medical examination immediately after the accident through a legal and health perspective. Fast medical exams can find hidden injuries at their early stages; which you may be able to cure or start your path to recovery sooner.

Legally, injury lawyers will want you to get a medical exam as early as possible because insurance companies may try to show that your injury was caused by other factors. They might argue that the accident was never responsible for the injury. If you have the medical exam right after, it will help prove that the accident was the cause. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to use the information from a medical exam to help you with your settlement.


Headaches can have fatal implications, especially after a car crash. Headaches are common because people might be hit in their head or might suffer from whiplash without knowing it. If one is hit in the head, there could be a fracture in the skull. You may have suffered from a concussion because of the car accident. Muscle damage and nerve damage can also be causes of a headache after a car accident.

It is common for headaches to be severe and last for a long time if there is any real damage to your neck and back. This is because your nervous system is damaged. Your brain is one of the main parts of the system.

Someone could also suffer a headache because of emotional stress. Crashes are traumatic for everyone because of how life threatening they are. A car accident makes people feel hopeless when the car loses control. Emotional trauma should not be overlooked as they can cause chronic symptoms to last forever.

Neck or Shoulder Pain

Whiplash is considered the most classic example of a hidden symptom. While whiplash can happen anywhere, most people link the word to car accidents for good reason. When a car is moving at the speed a car usually does and comes to an abrupt stop, it is normal for a human’s neck to snap back because of the interaction between inertia and the seatbelt.

You will want to get an X-ray if you are feeling any neck pain. Whiplash involves muscles that could have been torn or strained. Without proper professional expertise, it could take a very long time before the pain goes away.

Back Pain

The same way a neck gets injured in a car accident, the back can also be subject to an intense amount of force because of the relationship between inertia and the seatbelt. Your body just is not designed for that much force to be exerted onto it.

Back pain can be caused by multiple reasons. You might have hurt the muscles in your back. They may have stretched too much in the accident and have been damaged as a result. Back pain may also be the result of a spine injury. Your spine is very important because it acts as the central nervous system in your body.

Damage to the spine can create chronic pain that will affect you for the rest of your life. It is hard to help the spine recover because there are many cells in the spine that are very unique and cannot divide themselves to create new ones. Spine damage can also deteriorate to the point you will stop being able to use parts of your body because of paralysis.

Spinal cords may also be injured because whiplash can damage discs. Your chord is held by multiple intervertebral discs that act as a cushion for a shock. It helps the brain and your spinal cord receive less damage. Sometimes, the shock is so great that the compositions of the discs touch the nerves in your cord. This can cause pain and even create other impaired nerve symptoms.

Stomach Pain and Swelling

These symptoms include your abdominal system. You may not have realized that you were hit in the area during the car accident. There are many vital organs in the abdominal area so any of them could be injured.

Diarrhea and pain could be a sign that your digestive system was greatly injured. These symptoms could also be caused by stress too. It is always better to check why these symptoms are happening with a CT scan.

If your stomach feels swollen or seems to be swelling, this is usually a sign of internal bleeding. Other symptoms of internal bleeding could include deep purple bruising, dizziness and fainting. Internal bleeding is very dangerous and the fatality is further encouraged because the symptoms for internal bleeding can take a few days before they show up.

Internal bleeding happens when one of your important organs becomes punctured. The blood slowly clots up into one of the open spaces in your body. Most of your organs are near the stomach and there are a lot of cavities around there. In other words, swelling is a sign that one of your organs has already been bleeding for a while. This is why it can be so hard to self diagnose yourself when you suffered trauma to a vital organ.


You may be feeling numb because your nervous system was injured. Whiplash does not always cause damage to the spine even when it causes nerve damage. Since whiplash is so common during car accidents, it is likely some nerves was damaged during the accident.

The nervous system in the body is so large; damage to nerves must be treated case by case. It depends where there is nerve damage and how severe the damage is. Damage could result in paralysis, numbness, pain, muscle weakness and uncontrollable movements. People have also described a tickling sensation that seems to tingle in their body. You might also find yourself feeling more sensitive to temperatures.

Emotional Symptoms

While car accidents will affect most people’s emotions, some emotional symptoms might actually be a result of very long lasting mental health issues caused by the accident. These symptoms are the hardest to catch. You might feel that you are just having an off day or they might take a while before they fully develop. Since diagnosis for these symptoms is usually so delayed, late treatment is common.

An accident could affect your energy levels. You might start to feel tired all the time or you might have difficulty sleeping. You might feel unmotivated to wake up and do activities. People can find themselves neglecting their everyday duties because they have no energy to get up.

The accident itself might seem to haunt you. Maybe you suffer from memory loss which prevents you from dealing with the accident rationally. If this is not treated, you might suddenly find yourself being triggered to remember which can cause intense panic attacks. These triggers could come in the form of flashbacks and nightmares. Some people suffer from these symptoms even when their memory isn’t lost.

Some people may even find that their personality seems to change. This could be a result of a concussion. You might feel that you easily get upset compared to before. Mood swings are a common symptom of mental diseases.

The two most common types of mental diseases are depression and PTSD. Both of these diseases can happen because of large emotional trauma. A car accident is an intense situation that can cause this trauma. Anxiety is another disease these symptoms could imply. Lots of medical attention will be needed in the form of therapy or medicine.

Staying Safe

While symptoms do not always imply the worst scenario, you should always try to prepare for the worst. It will help you get better coverage and get the settlement you deserve. These injuries could impact your life forever and the medical bills could rack up. You have to get as much help as you can to pay for those. Even though money is not a cure, everyone feels better when justice is won.

If you or a family member gets into a car accident, make sure you immediately try to find medical attention. Only a professional can detect these injuries without the symptoms and they can immediately save your life.

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