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Delayed Pain After a Car Accident

In California, there are close to 200,000 automobile accidents each year that result in injuries. Statistically, over three thousand of these accidents result in fatalities. The majority of these accidents usually result in minor to severe injuries for drivers/passengers.

If you’ve recently been in a car accident, it’s normal to feel some pain right away, but sometimes the pain doesn’t start until hours or even days later. 

This can be confusing, but there are steps you can take to help manage delayed pain and possibly pursue legal action after a car accident. 

Why Pain is Often Delayed After a Car Accident

There are a number of factors that can cause your pain to be delayed after a car accident, including 

Unfortunately, the moments following a car accident, when adrenaline wears off, many people report feeling pain and soreness along with a laundry list of ailments. The body needs time to adjust and settle down after any injuries incurred after an accident.

Common Injuries That Cause Delayed Pain After a Car Crash


A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) that occurs when the brain is damaged due to blunt force trauma or shaking to the skull. 

This injury is commonly seen in sports, violent assaults and personal injury cases such as car accidents or slip and falls. 

Some of the symptoms associated with a concussion include:

  • Headaches
  • Chemical changes in brain 
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Drowsiness or fainting
  • Amnesia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry Vision 


Whiplash occurs when the neck and skull are forcefully shook back and forth or side-to-side due in a snapping motion

This sudden motion can result in several neck injuries and leave the driver feeling stiff and sore days later. 

Whiplash is often characterized by a range of symptoms, including 

  • headaches
  • back and neck pain
  • stiffness
  • swelling
  • pain in the shoulder

Delayed Back Pain

Delayed back pain following a car accident can be a sign of a much more serious injury to the vertebrae, spinal discs, or muscles. 

Many drivers may find themselves with a herniated disc or a pinched nerve after a collision. Symptoms of these ailments can go unnoticed for hours or even days after an accident. 

Symptoms of Delayed Pain

After a car accident, it’s important to be aware of any symptoms that begin to develop, even if they don’t appear right away. 

Common symptoms of delayed pain can include:

  • Headaches
  • Stiffness or soreness in the neck, shoulders, or back
  • Tingling or numbness in arms and legs
  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue or dizziness
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Vomiting or Nausea 

How To Treat Delayed Pain After an Accident?

Seek Medical Attention

The most important step is to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you're experiencing any delayed pain. 

Rest and Ice

Rest and ice can help manage your pain and reduce inflammation. Try to rest as much as possible and apply ice to the affected area.

Take Pain Medication

Taking over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen are great ways to help manage pain and reduce inflammation.

We highly suggest consulting with a doctor, depending on the severity of your pain, you may need prescription painkillers. 

Attend Follow-Up Appointments

Listen to your doctor or chiropractor's recommended advice! Be sure to attend any prescribed follow-up appointments or physical therapy sessions. 

Keep a Record

Document any symptoms or pain you start experiencing right after your car accident. Keep any communication between you and the other parties involved.  

Don’t Ignore Your Pain 

Do not ignore any symptoms. Ignoring your pain can lead to further health complications, while also making it difficult to seek compensation. 

WCTL Helped Numerous Car Crash Victims Claim Their Settlements

Our experienced legal team has helped numerous car crash victims all across California. With a winning track record of over 1.5 billion dollars in settlements, West Coast Trial Lawyers is the go-to law firm for personal injury cases. If you are experiencing any delayed pain after a car accident, it’s important to seek medical attention, rest, take pain medication if necessary, and contact the professionals at West Coast Trial Lawyers right away! 


  1. Can delayed pain after a car accident be a sign of a more serious injury?
  • Yes, delayed pain can be a sign of a more serious injury. It’s important to seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms after a car accident.
  1. What should I do if I’m experiencing delayed pain after a car accident?
  • If you’re experiencing delayed pain after a car accident, seek medical attention, rest, and take pain medication if necessary.
  1. Should I contact a personal injury lawyer if I’m experiencing delayed pain after a car accident?
  • Yes, it’s important to contact a reputable personal injury lawyer if you’re experiencing any delayed pain after a car accident. They can help you recover any losses incurred as a result of your injuries.

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