What Hidden Injuries Can Occur After Car Accidents?

woman and doctor

After a serious car accident, one may find it necessary to move on in order to prevent added stress. A car accident victim probably considers themselves lucky to be alive and may actively work to minimize any nagging concerns that crop up in the wake of the incident. Still, hidden injuries do not present themselves until after the dust has settled. For this reason, it is important to always seek immediate medical attention after a car accident happens.

After dealing with the headache of car repairs, the invasiveness of initial medical evaluations, and the aggravation of interactions with insurance representatives, one may be hoping to put the incident behind them. It can be tempting to try to move forward instead of addressing the stress of an accident. Yet, a victim may be unable to avoid some lingering hidden effects of the accident.

Many car accident injuries are immediately apparent and are treated right away. However, other injuries are not evident at the scene of the accident. Some injuries take days or week or longer to develop. Some of these latent car accident injuries include the following:


The most common hidden injury that shows up hours or days after a car accident is whiplash. Also known as cervical strain, whiplash is an injury to the soft tissues of the neck. It is caused by the force of the body being thrown violently during the impact of a crash. Whiplash causes pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders. The condition can be diagnosed with the use of X-rays, MRIs, or CAT scans. Whiplash is treated with a combination of physical therapy and prescription medication or other pain management options.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Besides whiplash, there are many other types of soft tissue injuries that do not appear right away. Ligaments and connective tissues in the body can also be injured during car crashes. Besides the neck, the knees and shoulders can also be damaged during automobile collisions.

Ligaments connect the bones in the body. When the body is jostled around in a car accident, the ligaments that connect the bones at major joints can be stretched, strained, torn, or damaged in other ways. This damage can result in pain, stiffness, and swelling at the site. The injury may affect someone’s mood, sleep habits, or other aspects of daily life, including one’s ability to work or perform certain activities.

Back Pain

One type of injury that can be life-altering is a back injury. If a car accident damages the muscles, vertebrae, and the connective tissues of the back, it can be debilitating.

One painful back injury involves a herniated disc, which occurs when one of the pads that cushions the bones of the vertebrae protrudes through its outer casing. This often causes unbearable pain for the victim. Sometimes, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms or legs can result. A herniated disc often requires surgery to correct it.


The stress and activity of being involved in a car accident can mask a common symptom that has the potential to become a chronic problem, which is a headache. Headaches can occur right after the accident and then subside as things return to normal.

In other cases, headaches can be a sign of something much more problematic. In the blur of the accident, one may not realize that a hit on the head can lead to serious problems. If headaches persist, a car accident victim should talk with a doctor right away.

Traumatic Brain Injury

The effects of a traumatic brain injury can result in a concussion or contusion that alters the brain. Concussions can be quite serious, but they usually heal over time. This type of trauma can cause headaches, dizziness, confusion, nausea, drowsiness, or problems with vision or balance, as well as sensitivity to light and noise. Serious traumatic brain injuries have the potential to affect cognition, memory, mood, or personality.

Internal Bleeding

If a victim experiences swelling or pain in their abdomen along with dark bruises, they should seek immediate medical care for possible internal bleeding. Symptoms may also include dizziness, fainting, nausea, headaches, coughing up blood, blood in urine, breathing trouble, among other serious problems.

Psychological Trauma

The lasting effects of car accidents are not limited to physical injuries. The trauma of being in a serious crash can haunt a car accident survivor long after the physical wounds have healed. The mental torture involved in reliving the event or living in fear can affect people for the rest of their lives. With intervention, people can overcome the stress, depression, insomnia, phobias, and other mental health problems that stem from accidents.

When Should I Speak to a Lawyer?

Once a car accident survivor notices symptoms and realizes that they are linked to the car crash, they should immediately seek help. A victim should consult with a physical or mental health professional to get started on treating the symptoms and to identify the underlying problems.

A victim should also speak with a lawyer to solidify their chances of having an injury covered by insurance or by the person liable for the accident and injury. Car accident victims should not delay filing legal actions related to accidents. There are deadlines victims must meet if they hope to collect compensation for injuries and financial losses.

Millsboro Car Accident Lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Recover Damages for Car Crash Survivors

If you were in a car accident and you suffer from physical or psychological injuries, you may be entitled to collect compensation. Claims through auto insurance companies must be filed in a timely manner, the same is true for personal injury claims. Our Millsboro car accident lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. help car accident victims obtain necessary compensation. Complete our online form today or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free case evaluation. Location in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we represent clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.