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How Long After A Car Accident Can Symptoms Appear?

How Long After A Car Accident Can Symptoms Appear?


If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, you may have sustained a couple of different injuries with varying degrees of severity. 

Whereas some people walk out of these situations relatively unharmed, others will sustain broken bones or life-threatening injuries. Many of these symptoms will be felt immediately yet there are a couple that will be delayed. Hence, authorities always suggest getting first aid training Kitchener to learn what to do right after an accident while EMS arrives on the scene.

If the car crash occurred as a result of a negligent third party, you may want to pursue a legal claim with the help of a knowledgeable car accident lawyer. If so, visit a lawyer such as for more detailed information about hiring a legal professional and how they can help you. You are entering a world of legal needs.

Furthermore, if you want to know when car accident symptoms typically appear, read on!

Common Delayed Injuries

You may receive medical treatment for an injury several hours after a car accident has occurred. Yet if it’s been a few days or weeks and injuries are only now starting to present themselves, it’s time to seek immediate medical attention. After all, many of these injuries can be life-threatening!

Here are the common types of injuries that take time to appear:

  • Bruising: Contusions can take days to fully form. Fortunately, they’re usually pretty mild and will disappear after a week or two. Yet severe bruising might indicate something more sinister such as internal bleeding or a broken bone.
  • Chronic Pain: This is usually an immediate side effect of a car accident but will become worse in the months following a car accident.
  • Concussions: You might be waiting hours, days, or weeks for these symptoms to appear. See a doctor if you’re concerned.
  • Internal Bleeding: This may take anywhere from 24 hours to 3 days to appear after an accident.
  • Mental Health Conditions: Some car accidents might lead to mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Whiplash: This is a very common neck injury that occurs as a result of car accidents. The symptoms might not fully appear for several weeks later.

Why It Takes Time For Some Car Accident Injuries To Appear

A potential long fall stopped by an early guardrail, ca. 1920. Guardrails, median barriers, or other physical objects can help reduce the consequences of a collision or minimize damage.

Truthfully, it may take a couple of months for car accident injuries to show themselves. In some situations, an individual may not realize that they have sustained an injury until it begins to impact them much further down the line.

There is a clear explanation for this.

The human body experiences a huge increase in endorphins and adrenaline during a car accident. This intense feeling can easily mask any pain that a victim might be feeling directly after the accident but usually disappear within a couple of days.

When this happens, the victim will begin experiencing the full impact of their car accident injuries.

Even if you feel okay, it’s in your best interest to seek immediate medical treatment. If there’s nothing visible, monitor yourself by keeping an eye out for the symptoms we have listed below.

Immediate Symptoms To Look Out For

There are a few car accident symptoms that present themselves immediately after a car accident occurs. However, they will vary depending on the person and the type of crash. 

Some accidents may result in immediate discomfort whereas others might cause delayed symptoms a few weeks later. Some of the most common symptoms that occur directly after a car accident might include:

  • Headaches
  • Neck and back pain
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Tinnitus (ears ringing)
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to all light

Delayed Symptoms To Look Out For

Other symptoms of a car accident might show up several months later. These are the more dangerous ones as you might not even know you have been injured until they begin to appear!

A delayed sign of injury often occurs because of the body’s natural healing process where some injuries take longer to heal than others. 

That being said, you must keep an eye out for the following delayed injury symptoms in the weeks and months after an accident:

  • Soreness
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Redness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Painful bruising
  • Irritability
  • Personality changes
  • Difficulty concentrating

Fortunately, these symptoms will disappear naturally with some quality rest. Whatever symptoms you experience, make sure to keep a note of everything after the accident to show your doctor if necessary.


There is no one specific answer to this question. This is because some symptoms will immediately present themselves whereas others will take a couple of days or weeks to fully form. It all depends on the type of accident, the person, and the severity of the injury.


How Long After A Car Accident Can Symptoms Appear?