delayed injuries after a car accident

Delayed Injuries from a Car Accident

People sometimes underestimate just how dangerous a car accident can be. You hear the crash, slam against your seatbelt, and feel the impact of the airbag—but when you realize you are still conscious, you assume that the worst has passed, and you are safe.

Unfortunately, not all car accident injuries are immediately apparent. By the time they show up hours or days later, it may be too late. Discuss your car accident case with Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short now by calling us at 334-821-3892.

Soft Tissue Injury Symptoms

Any injury that impacts part of your body other than your bones is a soft tissue injury. These injuries consider those that impact your ligaments, tendons, and muscles. These injuries aren’t always as obvious as bone injuries. Bone breaks are often visible right away. However, you may not notice ligament tears until the pain increases over a period of weeks. Look for swelling and limited mobility after an accident if you suspect soft tissue injuries. Pain that worsens, rather than subsides, is another red flag.

Spinal Cord and Spine Injuries

Some injuries in this category may be considered soft tissue injuries, but others do affect your bones. Spinal injuries are so specific that you have to watch out for damage after an accident. Neck and shoulder pain, often attributed to whiplash, could actually be a sign of spinal injuries.

These injuries often require surgery and physical therapy to help you maintain mobility and limit your pain. If you experience sharp, targeted back pain that does not get better after a crash, you could have a spine injury. Herniated or slipped discs often cause significant pain, numbness, or tingling in a specific area of the back. If you experience numbness or tingling, these symptoms could affect both the impacted area and every part of the spine below it.


Concussions are often waved off as minor car accident injuries, but not all concussions go away on their own. Some require medical intervention. Watch out for piercing headaches, pain that increases with time, blurry vision, and fatigue.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

In addition to concussions, you are at risk of other traumatic brain injuries when you are involved in a car accident. TBIs vary widely in severity and duration, which makes them hard to identify. The same symptoms that indicate a minor headache that will pass with ibuprofen are the same symptoms that could warn you of a serious TBI.

This is why, after an accident, you should treat every symptom of a TBI as a red flag and seek medical attention. Symptoms that may indicate a traumatic brain injury include:

  • Difficulty processing thoughts
  • Memory loss or difficulty creating new memories
  • Poor vision
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Too much or too little sleep
  • Irritability
  • Random mood changes
  • Difficulty communicating thoughts and feelings
  • Atypical behavior and thought patterns

Internal Bleeding

One of the most serious injuries you may sustain in a car accident is internal bleeding. When the force of a car accident punctures the organs, blood may leak into your body. Unfortunately, this is not always immediately detected. Small amounts of blood may not cause immediate pain or discomfort.

By the time pain becomes obvious, the injury may already be at risk of becoming fatal. Signs of internal bleeding include pain around the stomach area, deep purple bruising around the abdominal region, swelling around the stomach, or blood in urine or stool. Any one of these symptoms warrant immediate medical attention.

Why Immediate Medical Care is Important

You may wonder why lawyers recommend immediate medical treatment after an accident, even if you feel fine. The issues described here explain why. If you wait until something is obviously wrong to go see a doctor, you have lost valuable time that could have been sued to help you heal and recover. In some cases, a delay could even lead to a fatality. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially after a car accident.

Let Us Help with Your Car Accident Case

Have you been involved in a car accident? Your next step is to hire an attorney and find out how you can get the compensation you deserve. The team at Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short has helped many clients fight for compensation after a personal injury. Find out how we can help by calling us at 334-821-3892 or reaching out online.

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