How Long Does it Take for Injuries to Show Up After a Car Accident?

How Long Does it Take for Injuries to Show Up After a Car Accident

Injuries can take hours or days, in some cases even weeks, to fully develop following a car accident. This is why it is critical to see a physician following your accident even if you seem to be feeling fine. Your doctor will be able to give you a full evaluation, checking for internal bleeding and concussion. Additionally, they will be able to determine if there are higher risk factors you will need to watch for later on that may result in delayed symptoms days after the accident or more.

Listed below are some of the most common injuries and injury symptoms that come from auto accidents:

Soft Tissue Injuries After a Car Accident

A soft tissue injury refers to damage done to parts of the body other than bone. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments are considered “soft tissue.”

Car accidents, even low-speed ones, generate a lot of force. Drivers and passengers often come to a sudden stop right along with the vehicle; or they may get thrown around the passenger area. This places a lot of stress on joints and other vulnerable areas of the body.

Whiplash After a Car Accident

Perhaps the most common—if not the most recognized—type of soft-tissue injury is “whiplash.” This refers to an injury to the neck muscles when the head is suddenly, and forcefully, thrown forward and then back.

Soft tissue injuries typically result in pain, swelling, and reduced mobility, but these symptoms may not show up immediately. They can take days, even weeks, to manifest. In addition, soft tissue injuries are not visible on an X-ray. This makes them more challenging to diagnose and document. Getting proper medical treatment is the key first step, at or even before the first sign of pain or discomfort (more on this below) after a car accident.

Concussions After a Car Accident

Your brain is well-protected by your skull and surrounding fluid but, if you strike your head, or your body is violently jolted, your brain can contact the inside of your skull with great force. If this happens during the course of a car accident, you could sustain a concussion.

Concussions can be very serious, and the symptoms do not often show up immediately. Disorientation or even loss of consciousness are obvious symptoms, but other signs of concussion can be more subtle, including:

  • clouded thinking
  • inability to concentrate
  • difficulty remembering new information
  • headache
  • blurry vision
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • lack of energy, and
  • abnormal sleep patterns (sleeping more than usual or less than usual)

Seek prompt medical attention if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms signs following a car accident.

Back Injuries and Back Pain After a Car Accident

The human spine is a complex system of bones, muscles, nerves, and other soft tissues. So even a minor collision can easily result in a back injury, whether damage to the bone (vertebrae), muscles, tendons, discs, ligaments, or nerves in the neck (cervical vertebrae), upper back (thoracic), or lower back (lumbar).

Besides pain, there are other signs of a back injury, such as:

  • reduced mobility
  • muscle spasms
  • trouble walking, standing, or sitting,
  • headaches
  • body stiffness
  • headaches
  • Other common symptoms of back injuries include numbness and tingling.


Numbness and Tingling After a Car Accident

Depending on the severity and nature of the injury, late appearing injuries will sometimes first manifest as numbness and or a tingling sensation. This is particularly true in the back and the body’s extremities (arms, legs, hands and feet). These feelings can be the result of:

  • deep cuts that have severed nerves
  • significant impact to tissue causing nerve compression
  • a disc herniation in the back or neck that can pinch or push on a nerve
  • damage to muscle, bones, ligaments, or tendons that put pressure on a nerve

Numbness and tingling might be the first observation relating to a delayed-onset car accident injury. But other feelings may follow or accompany the numbness or tingling sensation, like:

  • shooting pain along the arms, legs, or back
  • muscle weakness
  • prickling sensations, and
  • uncontrollable muscle twitches.


Car Crash Lawyer in Houston, Texas

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury, experienced loss of income, or are unable to work due to a car accident, you can benefit from the services of a Houston car accident expert in your personal injury case. Whether you missed work due to an injury or due to not having access to a vehicle, Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers can help you!


Beverly R Caruthers Law Office
Address: 4141 Southwest Fwy, Suite 620
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 526-9557
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