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Important Signs of Trauma to Look Out for After a Car Accident

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Posted on April 30, 2023

After someone is involved in a car accident, the number one priority is medical assistance. Some injuries caused by a car accident are relatively obvious, while others are not. Here, we want to discuss some of the important signs of trauma individuals should look out for after they have been involved in a vehicle accident. The less-than-obvious injuries may begin to appear in the hours after the incident, so we strongly recommend all crash victims seek medical assistance soon after the incident, regardless of whether or not there is any obvious injury or pain.

Watch for These Potential Symptoms

There are a range of symptoms individuals need to be aware of that could indicate a delayed car accident injury:


Headaches are not uncommon after a vehicle accident, and they often indicate a relatively minor injury. However, there are times when headaches indicate a more severe brain injury, and they could indicate that the brain is currently swelling inside of the skull and causing damage to itself. Individuals who experience headaches after a vehicle accident should go right to the emergency room for the appropriate medical tests.

Neck or shoulder pain

Neck or shoulder pain could be associated with whiplash, which is a classic delayed injury associated with vehicle accidents. Incidents of whiplash can occur even in accidents involving slower-moving vehicles, and it could lead to complications in carrying out day-to-day activities.

Back pain

Back pain that appears after a vehicle accident could indicate an injury to nerves, ligaments, or muscles in the back, and it could even indicate damage to the vertebrae or discs in between the spine. Left untreated, back pain can get worse over time and lead to major complications with day-to-day activities.

Abdominal swelling or pain

Any pain, tenderness, or swelling in the abdominal area after a vehicle accident could indicate that there is some type of internal organ damage or internal bleeding. For severe internal injuries, abdominal swelling or pain could also accompany general weakness or nausea. Individuals experiencing these symptoms must seek emergency medical assistance.

Tingling or numbness

Any tingling or numbness to any part of the body could be associated with injuries to the neck, spinal column, or nerves in a particular area of the body. Tingling and numbness is more than just an inconvenience. These symptoms are often a sign of a major underlying injury.

Changes in the ability to function

Any changes in a person’s ability to function, or any new pain, after a vehicle accident could indicate that there is a major underlying injury.

Always Seek Medical Care

Any person involved in a vehicle accident should seek immediate medical care. The signs and symptoms of some accident injuries do not always appear right away, and seeking medical assistance can help accomplish a few goals. First, doctors know what signs to look out for and may be able to spot internal or hidden trauma before the crash victim even knows about it. Any delayed treatment for these injuries, which is what happens when someone goes home after a crash, could lead to significant and long-term complications.

Additionally, seeking prompt medical treatment establishes a solid timeline between the incident and any injuries that occur, which is helpful when it comes to an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.