personal injuries, car accident, hit and run

How long after a car accident can injuries appear?-how to prove injuries to car insurance company?

How long after a car accident can injuries appear?

You all know that an abrupt injury like hitting your toes against a rock, stone, or any object does not automatically result in feeling pain. Some injuries and pain take time to build depending on the nature of the cause and location of your injuries. 

For instance, you can easily manipulate a fresh wound you sustained seconds ago without feeling much or any pain. Actually, you can easily remove any debris or any foreign substance from that wound you just suffered 10 seconds to a minute before. 

This means that symptoms of injuries or pain do not show up immediately after an injury. The same thing happens in car accident injuries. Some injuries and symptoms will show up immediately while a couple of others could show up days or weeks later.

But what are the types of car accident injuries that appear days or weeks later? will your car insurance deny you claims for those personal injuries that show up later? How do you prove to your car insurance that those injuries were due to the car accident you recently had? Do you need to hire a car accident lawyer to prove so? 

Alright, here are the contents of the article. You may want to go through it first and know beforehand what I am going to cover. Alright, here we go!

Page Contents

Most common types of car accidents

People who are involved in car accidents sustain different personal injuries. The same type of car accident has the potential to injure different parts of the body because the circumstances of the accident differ.

According to travelers, below is a list of the 7 most common types of car accidents many people suffer from in car crashes.

1. Rear-end collisions. These accidents occur when the vehicle behind you crashes into the rear end of your vehicle.

2. Parked car damages. This occurs when your parked car is hit by another car.

3. Single-car accidents. These car accidents occur if you hit a rock, animal, debris, etc. Some rollovers are also single-car accidents. 

4. Windshield accidents. The vehicle in front of you could throw stones or any other object which flies and damages your windshield. 

5. Road intersection accidents. These occur at highway intersections. They occur because of distracted driving or failure to observe traffic signs/lights.

6. Theft in a parked car. Forcefully breaking into your car could also cause damage to your car.

7. Backing collisions. These car accidents occur when a driver is backing out of the parking spot or his driveway.

extrication, accident, rescue

Types of injuries in car accidents

Yes, the above-highlighted types of car accidents cause different injuries to both drivers and passengers. 

According to NSC injury facts, there were a total of 5,251,000 vehicle crashes in the USA in the year 2020. Of the 5,251,000 crashes, 35,766 resulted in 38,824 injuries and deaths. On the same note, 1,593,000 crashes resulted in injuries that were kind of disabling.

According to Kraft and Associates attorneys at law P.C., below is a list of 5 types of injuries in car accidents. 

  • Traumatic brain injuries. These are brain car accident injuries.
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis. These result in disabilities.
  • Back injuries
  • Burns. You get burns when your skin gets into contact with chemicals, or burns from fire
  • Internal injuries like liver or kidney damage
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Amputations and limb losses.

How long after car accident can you claim injury?

Many states have different statutes of limitations in which an injured person should file car accident lawsuits. To know the exact deadline from your state, I recommend you speak to a car accident attorney or any other personal injury lawyer. 

The average time in which injured people should file car accident lawsuits is from 1-5 years. Of course, there are some variations and adjustments like if the injured person is in a coma, or the injured person is below 18 years.

If you decide to settle with an insurance company other than filing lawsuits, the average period in which you should claim from the insurance company after an accident is up to 3 years. 

I also recommend you consult your car insurance broker to know if there are changes. Car insurance laws change from time to time. What you need to know is that you should inform your insurance of the crash immediately after the accident.

Abdominal pain

Delayed symptoms after car accident

Some people for unknown reasons experience injuries hours, days, or weeks later after a car accident. Some of the reasons why you might experience delayed injuries after an accident include the following.

  • Adrenalin rush. Adrenalin masks the pain by causing anxiety and tension. 
  • Delayed inflammation. It takes time for the injured part to respond to the injuries. Signs of inflammation include redness, hotness of the part, swelling, and pain. 
  • Numbness. You will take a longer time to feel pain if many nerve supplies to certain parts of the body are cut off or damaged.

Some delayed symptoms after a car accident include the following.

  • Muscle stiffness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • on and off a headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Shoulder, back, or neck pains
  • Dizziness
  • trouble walking or waking up
  • Swollen abdomen etc

How Long After a Car Accident Can Symptoms Appear?

Car accident injuries show up immediately after the accident but there are other that manifest days or weeks later. Few life-threatening injuries could even appear weeks or months after the accident.

According to a statute of limitations for personal injuries, the injured person is supposed to file a civil action claim 1-5 years after the accident or after the period he/she realized injuries. Better ask an attorney who has experience handling car accident cases in your local area. 

Car Accident Injuries That Have Delayed Symptoms

According to FVF law injury attorneys,  the six common car accident injuries that have delayed symptoms include:

  • whiplash injuries. These affect more than 2 million Americans every year
  • Concussions. These are injuries to your brain (skull) due to a force or blow to the head
  • Internal bleeding especially in the head and abdomen
  • Haematomas and clots. It takes time for a hematoma to build up and cause obvious symptoms
  • Back injuries and other
  • Psychological or emotional injuries. For instance depression, post-traumatic stress disorders, etc
car accident injuries
car accident

What to expect physically after a car accident

Below is a list of 4 things you should expect after a car accident.

1. Many things happen to your body after a car accident. There may be bleeding from the nose, ears, mouth, or from any obvious wounds and lacerations.

2. Shortly after, you may experience swelling of body parts due to inflammation or hidden bleeding. In some people or in certain injuries, swelling might show up hours or days later. 

3. You should expect pain after a car accident. If you sustained reasonable soft tissue injuries, fractures, bruises, sprains, and others, you may experience pain immediately or after a few hours or days.

4. stiffness, numbness, and paralysis. Whiplash injuries and other injuries that affect your spinal cord cause the above symptoms.

Back pain 3 weeks after car accident

Back pain is one example of personal injuries that show up days or weeks later after the car accident. 

A back pain that shows up 3 weeks after the car crash could be a symptom of herniated spinal discs, whiplash, or spinal injuries. 

How long after a car accident do you feel pain?

The pain you usually feel immediately after a car crash is due to minor injuries. Injuries under the skin like torn muscles or head injuries appear later, usually hours after the crash. 

Some injuries like concussions, inter-cranial bleeding, and intra-abdominal bleeding all show up hours, days, or weeks later. In most cases, the deeper the injury, the longer it might take to show up.

personal injuries

How long after a car accident can you go to the hospital?

Going to the hospital is very important after any car accident. Your settlement claim or personal injury lawsuit will hinge on the fact that you sought medical treatment after the accident or not.

Your compensation from the insurance company or your awards by the jury will all consider the fact you went to the hospital or not. Going to the hospital for treatment proves you sustained injuries and personal injuries and therefore you are seeking damages.

Most insurance companies expect any injured person to have gone to the hospital within 72 hours. The defendant person (the one who caused the accident) will use it against you if you are seeking damages yet you did not or delayed seeking medical treatment.

By going to the hospital immediately after a car accident, you will have saved yourself or your attorney the trouble of proving your injuries are due to the accident you just recently had. 

More importantly, the damages you will be entitled to like pain and suffering and other non-economic, or economic damages are all calculated based on your medical expenses. By not going to the hospital means losing out on so many compensations.


how long after a car accident can injuries appear? majority of injuries after a car accident appear immediately or show up a few hours later. There are also other injuries like concussions, back injuries, or symptoms that show up days or weeks later.