Getting into a car accident is a traumatic experience – even if the collision was mild in nature. Everyone responds differently in a crisis, and between assessing the damage of your vehicle and gathering information for your insurance claim, it can be all too easy to forget about your own safety and well-being.

You may feel perfectly normal after your accident, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, the shock and adrenaline rush from your crash is enough to obscure any pain you are experiencing. Other times, minor or even severe injuries may not display any symptoms for several days or weeks.

The human body isn’t designed to endure forceful impacts at high speeds – even 10 mph is enough to cause whiplash. For this reason, you must seek a medical evaluation as soon as possible after an accident. Below are some of the more common delayed signs of injury after a car accident and what they could mean:

Neck pain and stiffness

Neck pain is often the result of a whiplash-type injury after a car accident or the forceful back-and-forth movement of the neck. Whiplash injury symptoms are commonly delayed, usually developing within days of the accident. While some people can recover on their own in a matter of weeks, others will continue to have pain for months or years after the accident.

Back pain and stiffness

In accidents with injuries reported, more than half of rear-impact collisions and three-fourths of all side-impact accidents resulted in low back pain. Back pain after an accident may be indicative of an injury to the soft tissues, such as the muscles, ligaments, or nerves. There may even be more severe damage to the spine or vertebrae that will only worsen if left untreated.

Headaches  

Headaches in the days following your car accident are another common symptom people may experience. Head injuries are serious, and a headache could be symptomatic of a concussion or even a blood clot. It’s essential you see a doctor, especially if you hit your head in the collision.

Injuries may not always be apparent after a car accident, especially if they are internal. By seeking medical attention as soon as you can, you can ensure you receive the right diagnosis and treatment for your injuries as well as fair compensation for your claims.