How Long After a Car Accident Can Injuries Appear?

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Written by: Benton Accident & Injury Lawyers Last Updated : June 20, 2024

How Long After a Car Accident Can Injuries Appear Image

If you’ve been in a car accident in the Dallas area, you might be asking yourself, “How long after a car accident can injuries appear?” It’s not uncommon for pain to surface days or even weeks and months after the crash. At Benton Accident & Injury Lawyers, we understand how frustrating and confusing this can be. We’re here to explore these delayed symptoms and help car accident victims learn how to get the support you need from our Dallas car accident lawyers.

Delayed Pain After a Car Accident

Delayed pain after a car accident can happen for several reasons. Failure to wear a seat belt and not having your head, neck, and shoulders in the proper seat positions can exacerbate the trauma that blunt force can damage your body. Soft tissue injuries like whiplash might not become painful until inflammation sets in. The body’s adrenaline response during the accident can also mask pain initially, and symptoms can appear days later. Other issues, like internal injuries or concussions, can develop slowly. This is why it’s essential to monitor your health and seek medical attention if you experience new or worsening symptoms.

Delayed Car Accident Injury Symptoms 24-48 Hours Later

Certain symptoms do not appear until 24-48 hours after a car accident after you have gone to the emergency room. These delayed symptoms can indicate underlying injuries that require medical attention. What are some commonly delayed symptoms after car injuries?


Experienced intense headaches after a car accident? You may have experienced delayed vertigo after car accident injuries. The impact of a car accident can jolt your brain inside your skull, leading to symptoms that may not appear immediately but can become noticeable within a day or two. A concussion can cause:

    • Headaches
    • Dizziness
    • Blurred vision
    • Fatigue

In addition, delayed neck pain after a concussion can also happen due to whiplash.


Have you experienced delayed neck pain after car accident injuries? Whiplash occurs when the neck is suddenly forced back and forth in a motion like the cracking of a whip. The sudden movement can strain the neck’s muscles and ligaments, leading to pain and discomfort that may manifest hours or days after the accident.

Some whiplash symptoms that are delayed often include:

  • Neck pain
  • Stiffness
  • Headaches

Muscle Spasms

Muscle spasms can result from the body’s reaction to trauma. They often occur in the back and neck and are the body’s way of protecting injured areas by limiting movement. Spasms may start subtly but can intensify within 24-48 hours.

Internal Organ Damage

The force of a collision can cause bruising or bleeding in organs like the liver or spleen. These injuries might not present symptoms right away but can become life-threatening if left untreated. At worst, internal bleeding can be toxic to the body and worsen your health. Common symptoms of internal organ damage are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Slipped or Herniated Discs

Experienced delayed lower back pain after a car accident? The impact of a car accident can cause the discs between the vertebrae in your spine to move out of place or rupture. Spinal cord injuries can compress nearby nerves, leading to pain and discomfort that develop over time. Symptoms indicating possible slipped or herniated discs:

  • Back pain
  • Leg pain
  • Numbness

Delayed Car Accident Injury Symptoms Days to Weeks Later

Certain symptoms may not appear until days or weeks after a car accident. These delayed symptoms can indicate serious injuries that need medical attention.

Broken Bones

Hairline fractures may not be immediately apparent. As the initial shock wears off, the true extent of the injury becomes more noticeable. Symptoms may include:

  • Bruising
  • Severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

Soft Tissue Damage

This includes muscle weakness and joint pain as the body reacts to the trauma. Swelling and inflammation can increase over time, making the injuries more noticeable in the days following a car accident. Look for signs such as:

  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Bruising


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can develop days or weeks after the accident. The emotional impact of the accident may not be immediate, as the mind takes time to process the traumatic event. Symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Flashbacks
  • Trouble concentrating

Delayed Car Accident Injury Symptoms Months Later

Even months after a car accident, certain symptoms can emerge. These delayed symptoms may indicate underlying injuries that have slowly developed and now require attention.

Shoulder Pain and Arm Pain

These symptoms often result from injuries such as rotator cuff tears or nerve damage. Initially, these injuries might not be severe enough to notice, but inflammation and scar tissue can develop over time, leading to persistent pain and discomfort.

Leg Pain

Have delayed knee pain after a car accident? This could indicate issues such as sciatica or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Sciatica results from pressure on the sciatic nerve, which can lead to delayed leg pain after a car accident. DVT, a condition where blood clots form in the veins, can develop slowly and become symptomatic much later, presenting a serious health risk.

Trouble Sleeping

Insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns can be a delayed response to PTSD or chronic pain. The stress and anxiety from the accident, combined with ongoing physical pain, may gradually affect sleep quality, making it difficult to rest properly.

Irritability and Personality Changes

These can be symptoms of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or PTSD. TBIs can cause significant mood and behavior changes over time. PTSD can also lead to increased irritability and changes in personality as your brain processes the emotional impact of the accident. Pain management methods can also affect mood and personality, as treatment plans can affect hormones.

Can I File a Personal Injury Claim for Delayed Injuries?

How Long After a Car Accident Can Injuries Appear_ Image 2In Texas, you generally have two years from the accident date to file a claim. This timeline is critical because it affects your ability to get compensation for your injuries. The sooner you start the process, the better your chances of gathering the necessary evidence and building a solid case.

Delayed injuries can make things tricky, as insurance companies will try to argue that your symptoms aren’t related to the accident. Having a lawyer on your side early in the process is the best way to be sure your claim is handled correctly and to increase the chances of a positive outcome.

If you’re experiencing any symptoms mentioned above and were in a car accident in the Dallas area, quickly reaching out to an experienced local personal injury firm is vital. Acting fast can help you get the compensation you need and support your recovery.

Contact a Benton Accident & Injury Lawyers Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation

If you’re experiencing delayed symptoms after a car crash, it’s essential to understand their causes and seek timely help. Benton Accident & Injury Lawyers offers free initial consultations and is available online or by calling (214) 777-7777 to discuss your case. Our legal team is here to support you during this challenging time and help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

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