Don't Ignore These Six Delayed Symptoms After a Car Accident

Woman experiencing back ache after accident.

Many people who get into car accidents consider themselves lucky to walk away from the wreck with only vehicle damage and minor, if any, bodily harm. Sure, they may have a few cuts, scratches or bruises, but they may otherwise feel fine and fortunate to avoid serious injury. However, in the days or weeks that follow, they may start to notice changes in their health which point to serious and even potentially fatal injuries.

Here, we discuss six delayed symptoms that people in Denver and throughout Colorado should be on the lookout for after they get into a car accident – even a seemingly minor one. If you have not yet seen a doctor after a crash, you should get medical attention as soon as possible if you notice any of these symptoms. You should also get in touch with The Sawaya Law Firm to learn about your legal rights and options. Contact one of our offices today for a free consultation.


Most people feel shock and a surge of adrenaline after they have been involved in a crash. So, at first, they may feel little to no physical effects from the collision. But as time passes, and the adrenaline fades, one of the first signs that they have suffered a serious injury can be the onset of severe and/or persistent headaches. Those headaches may be symptoms of a concussion or a more severe form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), especially if they are accompanied by other symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, sleep problems or concentration and memory difficulties. A headache could so be a sign of a blood clot or bleeding within your brain which could potentially lead to a stroke if left undiagnosed and untreated.

Neck or Shoulder Stiffness

The jolt from a car accident can cause damage to the nerves, muscles, ligaments and tendons in your neck and shoulders which does not immediately reveal itself. If you start to develop stiffness in those areas of your body in the aftermath of the crash, it could be a sign that you suffered whiplash, rotator cuff injury or some other form of soft tissue damage. If you brush off those symptoms, your condition may only get worse and lead to chronic, debilitating pain that prevents you from working, doing tasks around the home or simply enjoying life as you should. You should see a doctor who can examine you and order tests such as an X-ray, MRI or CT scan in order to diagnose your condition.

Back Pain

If a nagging pain develops in your back after an accident, it could be a sign that you have suffered a serious injury. You may also feel the pain radiate to your legs and buttocks. This pain could be a sign of muscle or ligament damage in your back or something more severe such as a pinched or compressed nerve, cracked vertebrae or a herniated or bulging disc. You need to address the problem immediately. A back injury can greatly decrease your mobility and may eventually prevent you from being able to stand or sit for prolonged periods of time, which may affect your ability to work and earn a living.

Abdominal Pain

Blunt or penetrating trauma in a car accident can cause a person to suffer damage to vital organs and lead to internal bleeding. Without medical attention, the bleeding could result in organ failure and become fatal. One of the most common signs of internal bleeding is pain or swelling in the abdomen. This is because internal bleeding can irritate tissue and put pressure on organs. Often, the abdominal pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, bruising, shortness of breath, changes in vision or tingling or numbness in the hands and feet. Even though you may experience pain in your abdomen, the bleeding may actually be in a different area of your body, including your skull.

Numbness or Tingling

Generally speaking, numbness or tingling in your limbs or any other area of your body is a red flag. Those symptoms could indicate any number of medical issues that your car accident injury has caused you to suffer. For instance, the numbness or tingling could be a sign of a blood clot, internal bleeding, spinal cord damage or brain injury. Although it can be challenging to pinpoint the cause of the symptoms,

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can arise in the aftermath of being involved in a car accident or after seeing a loved one suffer severe injuries in a crash. If you suffer from flashbacks, panic attacks, anxiety or depression as you try to move past a crash, you should take those symptoms seriously and seek help from a mental health professional. Many car accident victims eventually overcome PTSD through a combination of therapy, group counseling and, perhaps, medication as well.

Get Help from a Denver Car Accident Attorney

Our team at The Sawaya Law Firm recommends that you see a doctor as soon as possible after a crash – not only for the sake of your health but also for the sake of any insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit that you file down the road. If you delay seeing a doctor, an insurance company may try to use it against you. The insurer may assert that you did not suffer your injuries in the accident, or that your injuries are not as severe as you claim they are.

Regardless of when you see a doctor, you should seek help from our experienced and compassionate car accident attorneys at The Sawaya Law Firm if you have been diagnosed with an injury after a car accident. If someone else’s negligence caused the crash, we can help you to pursue full and fair compensation, including coverage of all of your past and future medical expenses. Call or reach us online today to schedule a free consultation through our offices in Denver, Greeley or Colorado Springs.


Michael established The Sawaya Law Firm in 1977 and built it into one of the largest personal injury law firms in Colorado, with more than 20 lawyers and 80 staff members serving clients from five offices located in Denver, Greeley and Colorado Springs. Throughout its history, the firm has stayed true to its 12 Core Values, which emphasize excellence in advocacy and a commitment to providing outstanding client service. Michael studied sociology and economics as an undergraduate student at The Colorado College, and he earned his law degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law. In addition to being involved in several legal and community organizations, Michael enjoys playing music and cooking, and he has written a book on spiritual matters.