delayed injury after an accident

Delayed Injuries from a Car Accident

Millions of auto accidents happen every year, and in a large number of cases, it appears that those involved only suffer minor injuries, if any. You are very fortunate if you can walk away from a car accident without any broken bones or other severe injuries, but just because you don’t feel anything right away, you should not assume that you are unscathed.

For many people involved in car accidents, the injuries they sustain are not felt immediately. This is largely due to the adrenaline rush that we experience when we are involved in a traumatic event. The adrenaline produced by a high impact crash, for example, will often mask the pain associated with the injury, and it won’t be felt until later on.

For this reason, it is always best to get immediate medical attention if you get into a car accident, even if you do not feel like you need it. The sooner you get checked out, the sooner the doctor will be able to effectively treat any injuries you may have sustained before they get any worse. In addition, it is a very good idea to get in touch with an attorney right away to review your case.

Delayed Injuries that May Occur after an Auto Accident

Here are some of the most common delayed injuries that car accident victims may sustain:


Whiplash is a soft tissue neck injury that is very common in car accidents. This type of injury occurs when the head and neck are thrown back and forth in a rapid movement that resembles the cracking of a whip. Whiplash happens frequently to the lead driver in a rear end crash, because they are caught off guard and have no time to brace for the collision.

Whiplash damages the victim’s nerves, joints, and muscles in the affected area, and it is characterized by a number of different symptoms, including:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears/tinnitus
  • Neck, shoulder, and upper back pain
  • Numbness, tingling, or loss of feeling
  • Sleep disruptions

Symptoms of whiplash often do not show up until at least 12 to 24 hours after a car accident. In some cases, it might take up to a week before the victim starts to feel anything. A mild case of whiplash might require chiropractic treatment and/or physical therapy, which may help the symptoms to subside within about a month or so. Moderate to severe whiplash injuries take a lot longer to heal, and in some cases, there may be permanent damage to the affected areas.

Head/Brain Injuries

The impact of a collision could produce an injury to the head and brain, commonly referred to as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs usually happen from a blow to the head, which is a frequent occurrence during car accidents. Concussions are the mildest form of TBI, and they are characterized by symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Disorientation/loss of balance
  • Mood swings
  • Irritation
  • Significant changes in eating patterns

Mild concussion victims can usually recover within a couple of weeks, but more serious TBI’s can have long-term and even permanent effects.

Internal Injuries

Internal bleeding or other types of damage to internal organs is a very serious injury that is not always felt right away after a car accident. Sometime later, for example, you might start to feel abdominal pain from internal bleeding that could progress later into dizziness and fainting. This type condition is life-threatening and requires immediate medical care as soon as it is discovered.


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychological condition that frequently occurs after a traumatic event. PTSD is commonly associated with members of the military who return home after being involved in combat and later experience the effects of it, but the same thing can happen to car accident victims, abuse victims, and others who have experienced some type of trauma.

Some common signs and symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Nightmares and flashbacks about the event
  • Anxiety
  • Sleepless nights
  • Mood changes
  • Depression
  • Risky or reckless behavior

Contact Hedge Copeland for Assistance with Auto Accidents in Alabama

If you or a loved one suffered injury in a car accident in Alabama, you may be entitled to compensation – even if the symptoms showed up later. However, in a case like this, the other side might try to argue that your injuries were from a pre-existing condition or otherwise not caused by the accident. Before speaking with the representative for the other side, contact Hedge Copeland to discuss your claim. We will provide a free consultation to thoroughly assess the specifics of your case and advise you of your legal rights and options.

To get started, message us online or call our office today at (251) 432-8844. We look forward to serving you!