When accidents occur, those in both vehicles often experience a surge of adrenaline as well as intense emotions. If they can stand up and walk around, many victims feel relieved and thankful to be alive.

Unfortunately, adrenaline combined with high emotions can mask the symptoms of even serious injuries. Other times, the signs of a significant injury do not always arise right away.

Which accident injuries could have delayed symptoms?

Say a drunk driver collides with your car on a Saturday night. You walk away with a couple of minor cuts but otherwise feel fine. A few days later, you notice extreme pain and stiffness in your neck. Is this related to your car accident, or is it something else altogether?

Whiplash is a neck injury that may not show symptoms right away. It also occurs relatively often in motor vehicle accidents. Other accident injuries that might not show symptoms immediately include:

  • Pain, numbness or tingling in your back could point to a potentially severe back injury or spinal cord damage
  • A persistent headache might mean you suffered a traumatic brain injury
  • Abdominal pain, sometimes with dizziness, may mean you have internal bleeding caused by your crash injuries
  • Shoulder and neck pain may mean whiplash, as discussed above, or it could be an indicator of a severe spinal cord injury

When your symptoms indicate more severe auto accident injuries than you first suspected, you will likely need medical treatment and may even miss work. In most cases, victims need compensation to help meet the financial challenges that arise in the aftermath of a crash.

The main takeaway is to get a medical opinion even when you believe you escaped a severe injury. If you need to file a compensation claim or an injury lawsuit, you will need these medical records to prove your case. An injury lawyer can also help, improving your chances of getting the most compensation available.