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Car Accident Injury Chiropractor Near Me-2
Dr. Summer TurnerMar 31, 2021 3:38:58 PM7 min read

How Long After An Accident Can It Take For Symptoms To Appear

If you feel fine after a car wreck, you are extremely lucky and have nothing to worry about, right?

Not quite.

While some accident victims do get lucky after auto accidents, there are also cases where a severe injury has occurred, but it won't be until long after a car accident when symptoms finally appear.

Many injuries show symptoms immediately, but others can remain dormant for a while.

There are even situations where a life-threatening injury can worsen for weeks before the accident victim realizes they were injured during the crash. 

Serious injuries, like injuries to internal organs and whiplash, do not always display symptoms immediately.

Other times, people don't associate their symptoms with motor vehicle crashes. 

Your specific injury will determine how long after your accident it will take symptoms to appear.

Related post: What is the Average Settlement Amount for Injuries in a Car Accident?

It's very unpredictable when pain after a car accident may finally show up.

This is why it's important to see a Car Accident Chiropractor after an accident, even if you don't have any visible injuries. 

The article below will go into depth about the common types of injuries that present delayed symptoms and common symptoms to look out for after being involved in a motor vehicle collision. 

Table of Contents


How Long After a Car Accident Can Injures Show Up?

Delayed symptoms will vary depending on the injury you sustained and the circumstances of your accident.

It isn't completely clear why some people will have immediate injury symptoms after a car accident while others will develop symptoms hours or days later.

Because it is so unpredictable, doctors rely on research and case studies to determine how long it will be until injury symptoms appear.

The delayed onset of injury symptoms for a crash victim can be attributed to various factors:

Internal Injuries

Internal injuries, such as bleeding or internal organ damage, may not present immediate symptoms. It might take time for the body to react to these injuries or for the symptoms to become noticeable. For example, internal bleeding can lay dormant for 24 to 72 hours until it shows symptoms.

Adrenaline and Stress Response

During a traumatic event like a car accident, the body releases adrenaline and experiences a heightened stress response. This can temporarily mask pain and other symptoms as the body focuses on immediate survival reactions. The adrenaline rush can keep individuals from the immediate feelings of pain. 

Soft Tissue Injuries

Injuries to muscles, ligaments, and tendons may not manifest immediately. These soft tissues can be damaged in a way that takes time for physical symptoms to become noticeable. For example, whiplash injuries are common auto accident injuries that often involve delayed onset symptoms.

Inflammation and Swelling

Injuries often lead to inflammation and swelling. The body's natural response to trauma is to send blood and other fluids to the injured area, which may not be immediately noticeable. As the inflammation develops over time, symptoms like muscle pain, joint pain, and stiffness become more apparent.

Shock and Numbness

Shock includes both physical and psychological trauma and can temporarily numb pain and other symptoms of injuries or sensations. In the immediate aftermath of an accident, individuals may not fully realize the extent of their injuries until the shock begins to wear off.

Neurological Factors

In some cases, injuries affect the nervous system, and symptoms might not appear until the damage becomes more pronounced. Nerve injuries or conditions may take time to manifest noticeable symptoms.

It's essential for individuals involved in automobile accidents to seek medical advice promptly, even if they don't immediately experience symptoms. Some injuries may not be apparent without a thorough examination, and early intervention can lead to better outcomes in terms of effective treatments and recovery time. 

Never Settle Right Away

If another driver's negligence caused your car accident, you shouldn't settle your personal injury claim too early.

Shortly after your accident, the other driver's insurance company will contact you and ask you to sign a release of any claims you might have.

They might even offer you money to sign the release right away.

Don't do this.

Never sign a release before you've been cleared of any medical issues and have spoken with an experienced accident lawyer.

If you are injured, you shouldn't sign a release until you have completely recovered from any accident-related injuries.

Once you sign the release, you waive your legal right to pursue fair compensation if injuries do show up or if they turn out to be worse than first expected.

Even if it seems like the insurance company is willing to work with you, it's best to speak with a personal injury attorney before you sign anything.

You never want to sign away your rights if signs of injury worsen.

Your accident lawyer will advise you on the best course of action to take regarding your insurance claim. 

Never wait too long to file a claim or speak to an accident lawyer. Each state has statutes of limitations you have to meet if you want a chance to obtain accident compensation for your losses. 


Delayed Injury Symptoms To Look Out For


It is very common for people to develop headaches after a vehicle accident. In most cases, they are harmless and will go away alone.

But sometimes, a headache can be a sign of a much more severe problem.

A severe concussion, blood clots on the brain, blurred vision, and neck and head injuries can all be signaled by headaches.

It's always a good idea to see chiropractic professionals if you start having headaches after an accident.

It's always better to be safe than sorry.

There is also the risk of a brain trauma. If you sustained blunt-force trauma to the head during the accident, your brain could hit the hard interior of your skull, causing a traumatic brain injury.

This can easily cause swelling, bruising, bleeding, blood clots, and damage to your brain tissue.

Traumatic brain injuries like this can be life-threatening, even if you feel fine immediately after the accident.

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Neck Pain or Shoulder Pain

After an accident, pain in your neck and shoulders is usually a sign of whiplash, a very common neck injury. 

It could also be a sign of other soft tissue injuries in your neck.

Sometimes, you will experience pain in your neck and shoulders right after the accident, but it could be several days until the symptoms reveal themselves.

If you develop pain in your neck or shoulders after your accident, you should seek chiropractic care as soon as possible.

Spinal cord injuries can also cause neck and shoulder pain, and need to be treated by a medical professional as soon as possible.


Back Pain

Back pain is a common injury that can show up days after a motor vehicle accident and can be a symptom of a herniated disc, a soft tissue injury, spinal cord damage, strains and sprains, or whiplash.

Numbness or tingling in your back could be a pinched nerve.

Any one of these conditions can result in chronic pain, decrease your mobility, and cause a reduced range of motion. 

That's why you must seek medical attention as soon as your back starts to hurt.


Get The Medical Care You Need

Just because you were able to walk away from a car wreck doesn't mean you haven't sustained accident-related injuries. 

Delayed accident symptoms are common, and it could be days after the accident when symptoms finally start presenting themselves.

But you shouldn't wait for days or weeks to receive medical treatment.

When your health and well-being are on the line, there is no such thing as being too cautious.

So, even if you feel fine after a car accident, you should still seek immediate medical attention before suffering from acute pain. 

If you're able to walk away from your accident, you should schedule an appointment with a chiropractor who can provide you with medical advice, along with a wide range of treatment options. 

A skilled car accident chiropractor will review your medical history and perform a full physical health exam to diagnose any accident injuries you may have sustained.

Arrowhead Clinic has been treating car accident injuries for over 40 years.

If you've recently been involved in an accident, you should schedule a Free Consultation with Arrowhead Clinic so they can provide you with chiropractic therapy to help diagnose any underlying injuries and reduce accident injury symptoms of pain.

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Dr. Summer Turner

Dr. Turner is Arrowhead Clinic’s Atlanta Chiropractor. She is originally from North Carolina but has traveled all over the country pursuing her career as a Chiropractor by treating people who have been injured in accidents and people who suffer from chronic pain. She has been with Arrowhead for many years, fulfilling her desire to help accident victims and patients who suffer from chronic pain conditions. Dr. Turner is well-versed in chiropractic care with an emphasis on sports-related therapies. She had the opportunity to train under the chiropractor for the Carolina Panthers to complete her Master's in Sports Rehabilitation. She studied under two more chiropractors, which allowed her to sharpen her skills and adjusting techniques. Dr. Turner is certified in several soft tissue techniques, including Active Release Technique (ART) and Fascial Distortion Model (FDM), as well as a movement diagnosis technique called Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA). Dr. Turner believes that movement is life and, as such, plays a critical role in overall health. She has always been passionate about helping people improve their quality of life, be it through chiropractic care, nutritional counseling, and/or a variation of physical modalities. She has helped many individuals achieve a healthier life. A recent review left by one of Dr. Turner’s patients stated, “Great customer service from staff. Quick and effective service from the doctor.” Dr. Turner offers free, same-day consultations to anyone in pain. She is available for appointments Monday-Friday from 9 a.m to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.