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Auto Accident Injuries That Have Delayed Symptoms

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you probably have a lot of thoughts going through your head. Initially, you might be wondering what just happened. Then, you’ll be focused on whether your car is drivable, whether other people have been hurt, and who you need to call for help.

Fortunately, you don’t need to go through any of this on your own. There are professionals who can lend a helping hand, and the first thing you should do is call 911. That way, the authorities can come to the scene, and you can access emergency medical personnel. Your top priority should be your medical recovery, and you might have suffered injuries that do not immediately show symptoms.

What are a few examples of injuries following a motor vehicle accident that could have delayed symptoms? Take a look at the list below, and remember to reach out to a car accident doctor as quickly as possible after an accident.


Immediately following your motor vehicle accident, you may feel fine; however, you may not realize that you have suffered a serious injury. For example, you may have a ligament sprain or muscle strain that does not immediately lead to symptoms.

After a motor vehicle accident, you will have a lot of adrenaline going through your body. As a result, your pain signals may be blunted, and you might not realize that you have gotten hurt. When you wake up in the morning, you might realize that you cannot move your arms, legs, or back, as well as you usually can. This might be a sign that you have suffered a ligament sprain or muscle strain, and you need to reach out to a car accident doctor who can do a full physical exam.


Another common motor vehicle accident that could lead to delayed symptoms is called whiplash. Specifically, this is a sprain of the cervical ligaments in the neck. Because your head changes direction quickly during a motor vehicle accident, you could damage the cervical ligament in the neck, leading to neck stiffness and soreness.

It is not unusual for the symptoms of whiplash to take a few days to show up, which is why you should reach out to a car accident doctor after the collision. If you do not give your neck a chance to rest, you could unintentionally make the injury worse. To prevent this from happening, always see a motor vehicle accident doctor following a collision.


If you strike your head on the steering wheel or dashboard, you may suffer a traumatic brain injury. There are some situations where a brain injury might result in delayed symptoms. Sometimes, the symptoms following a traumatic brain injury are due to changes in pressure inside your skull.

Because pressure changes are sometimes slow to develop, the symptoms might be slow to develop as well. Eventually, you may experience headaches, dizziness, light sensitivity, disorientation, and changes in sleep habits. You do not want this injury to get worse, and that is why you should always see a trained professional as quickly as possible following a motor vehicle collision.


You might also develop mental health issues following a motor vehicle accident, and these can be slow to appear as well. Initially, you might have a difficult time sleeping or eating; however, this can get worse down the road.

For example, you might develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD. It could cause flashbacks to the scene of the accident, and it could impact your relationships with your family members, friends, and coworkers. Mental health always has to be taken seriously, so you may want to ask for a referral to a trained professional following your motor vehicle accident.


Another common injury that people suffer in a motor vehicle accident is called a herniated disc. When your chest flies forward over your knees during a motor vehicle accident, you could place too much stress on the discs in between your vertebrae. If one of your discs herniates, you could suffer a serious spine injury. The most common place for a herniated disk to show up is between L3 and L4 or between L4 and L5. Both of these discs are located in the lower back.

When a disc herniates, symptoms show up because the liquid inside the disc coats the nerve endings, leading to weakness, numbness, tingling, and soreness. Sometimes, the liquid is slow to leak, which is why symptoms might not always show up right away.


Internal bleeding is a potentially life-threatening injury that could result from a serious motor vehicle collision. If you do not wear your seatbelt properly, or if your child is not seated in the correct manner, the seatbelt could actually lead to internal bleeding. Internal bleeding is not something that shows up right away, but it is something that can lead to a medical emergency over time.

Some of the symptoms of internal bleeding include abdominal pain, blood in the stool, coughing up blood, difficulty breathing, and large bruises on the chest or abdomen. Internal bleeding is an emergency, and it needs to be addressed as quickly as possible.


Finally, torn ligaments may also lead to delayed symptoms. One of the most common examples of a torn ligament is a PCL tear. A PCL tear can take place if your knee strikes the dashboard following a motor vehicle accident. You might be able to walk with a torn PCL, but if you try to put pressure on the knee, such as a rapid cut while changing direction, you might not be able to perform this athletic maneuver. This is a sign that you could have a torn ligament, and you need to reach out to a trained professional who can help you.


If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in Florida, you need to reach out to a car accident doctor as quickly as possible. We are Seminole Chiropractic Center, and we have the training and experience necessary to develop a recovery plan on your behalf.

We will work with you personally, taking a complete history and performing a full physical exam to make sure we do not miss any injuries. Then, we can help you recover while limiting possible complications and side effects. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our team!