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Why Some Auto Accident Injuries Don’t Show Up Immediately

Auto accidents can be traumatic for anyone. From fender-benders to a car pileup, there is a large amount of force involved with a vehicle hits or is hit by another. Often, when a person is in a car accident that seems minor, they are unable to notice their injuries right away.

Adrenaline And Endorphins

When something is ‘exciting’ or ‘thrilling’, it can really distract you from realizing your own injuries. It isn’t to say that accidents are ‘exciting’ in a good way, rather it is an event that gets your ‘blood pumping’. This ‘blood pumping’ effect causes a burst of adrenaline and endorphins into your body that allows you to feel an increase in energy, but also a lack of pain. Your body does this as a way to help you in dangerous situations with a temporary boost.

However, this effect is only temporary. So the injuries and pain that you may not have noticed right after an accident will become much more noticeable later on.

Soft Tissue Injuries

When we refer to a soft tissue injury, we are referring to the damage that has been done to a part of the body that is muscle, tendons, or ligaments. In other words, injuries to the non-bone parts of your body.

Even in a low-speed car accident, there is a lot of force generated between the vehicle and what the vehicle hit. Drivers and passengers will often be hit with an immediate stop or get thrown around. All of this can place a huge amount of stress on the joints and other vulnerable areas of the body.

One of the most known forms of a car accident related soft tissue injury is ‘whiplash’. This refers to an injury where the neck muscles and the head are suddenly and forcefully thrown forward and then back.

Usually, soft tissue injuries will result in pain, swelling, and reduced mobility. However, these symptoms may not show up right after your auto accident. In fact, it can take days or even weeks for them to manifest. Additionally, soft tissue injuries cannot be seen with an X-ray, making them even more challenging to diagnose and document.


While your brain is pretty well protected by your skull and the fluid inside, it does not mean it cannot be damaged. For example, if you strike your head on something or your body is violently jolted, your brain could end up striking the inside of your skull with great force. This isn’t uncommon with car accident injuries.

Concussions are serious, but the symptoms do not typically show up right away the accident. That aside, the symptoms of a concussion may not be that obvious. Here are just a few of the more subtle symptoms you may see with a concussion:

  • headache
  • nausea
  • blurry vision
  • dizziness
  • clouded thinking or an inability to concentrate
  • memory loss or difficulty remembering new information
  • lack of energy
  • restlessness or aggressive behavior
  • clumsiness or a lack of balance
  • abnormal sleep patterns

If you or someone around you is exhibiting any of these following symptoms after a recent car accident, it could be the result of a concussion and you should seek out medical attention.

Medical Attention After A Car Accident

After an auto accident, you should see a medical professional if you feel any level of pain or discomfort. It may even be a good idea to get yourself checked out even if you are feeling fine since a doctor will be in a better position to determine if you have sustained any injury and the severity of those injuries. Your doctor can also provide you with advice on how to properly monitor your symptoms and what red flags you should be watching out for.

If you are considering making any type of injury claim after your auto accident, make sure to document that you got medical treatment within a reasonable amount of time. If you wait too long, insurance may argue that you couldn’t have been that badly injured.

It is also important to note that since injuries do not pop up immediately after an auto accident, you should wait a decent amount of time and get a full medical evaluation before you sign a release with any insurance companies.

During his time as a public attorney for the State of Florida, Bernard Walsh developed a passion for defending the legal rights of Florida's citizens. Having seen many people being taken advantage of after being injured and the financial harm that can cause for families he committed himself fully to helping injured clients get justice, by fighting to make greedy insurance companies pay what they owe.

Why Some Auto Accident Injuries Don’t Show Up Immediately

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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