Life after a car accident can be highly disorienting and stressful. Victims are often confused, angry and looking for answers. Many also want to repair the damage immediately and minimize the long-term impact of the crash. However, the fact is that it can take time to get back to how life was before the accident; for some people, this many never happen.

This can be especially true for people with injuries that do not appear right away. These delayed injuries can be just as serious and painful as immediate injuries, but too often, they are overlooked or dismissed.

What are delayed injuries?

Delayed injuries include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Back pain
  • Internal soft-tissue injuries
  • Herniated discs
  • Nerve pain or numbness
  • Whiplash
  • Blood clots
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Pinched nerves

Some of these injuries may go away on their own over time. Others, however, can persist or become worse. In these cases, there is potential for the pain and health problems to be chronic and quite disrupting.

How can I identify them?

Typically, a doctor will examine you and provide a diagnosis. However, this depends on you taking your injuries seriously and visiting the doctor after a crash.

Stay mindful of your physical and emotional health in the days and weeks after an accident. And don’t dismiss symptoms just because a crash didn’t seem so bad or you are unsure of how something may be connected to the crash. Discuss your concerns with your doctor.

What should I do if I may have delayed injuries?

If you have delayed injuries, keep a log of your symptoms and how they impact your daily life. This information can help both when you visit the doctor and if you pursue compensation after the crash. You should also track your medications, days of missed work and other costs related to the injury.

It can also be wise to hold off on accepting a settlement offer from an insurance company or releasing another party from liability for your injuries. While you may want to move past a serious car accident as quickly as possible, rushing to make these kinds of decisions can prove to be a costly mistake.