When Symptoms Are Delayed After a Traffic Accident

Traffic accidents are exceptionally dangerous. Often, the serious nature of the injuries that victims sustain in such accidents is only too clear. Sometimes, however, symptoms of serious injuries are slow to present, making it difficult to recognize exactly how serious your injuries are. If someone else’s negligence causes you to be involved in a car accident, don’t ignore, negate, or minimize your injuries – or potential injuries. Doing so can leave you without legal recourse and with considerable physical, financial, and emotional consequences. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t put off consulting with an experienced South Carolina traffic accident attorney today.

Silent Symptoms

While it’s true that many of the serious injuries sustained in traffic accidents are very difficult to ignore, there are others that lie silently (with delayed symptoms) until they develop into something far more painful, more serious, and more difficult to treat. If you are in a traffic accident in which you don’t think you’ve been seriously injured, you should think again. Consider all the following:

  • The adrenaline that is coursing through your body and the shock you’re experiencing can mask the pain of a serious injury.
  • Some injuries are painless early on – only to exhibit more serious symptoms over the course of time.
  • No matter what kind of injuries you’ve sustained, early diagnosis is closely associated with an improved prognosis.

When it comes to your health and well-being, erring on the side of caution is always in your best interest.

Symptoms to Be on the Lookout For

There are some common symptoms that you may fail to associate with serious injuries, but that are actually sending you a message that the situation may be more serious than you realize. If you experience any of the following after a traffic accident of any kind, it’s time to see a doctor:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance issues
  • General confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Memory issues
  • Numbness in any area of your body
  • Behavior shifts
  • Neck, shoulder, or back pain 
  • Problems with your digestion
  • Swelling or pain in your abdomen
  • Blood in your urine

If you aren’t feeling like yourself after a traffic accident, reach out to your doctor. Better safe than sorry was coined for this kind of situation.

Injuries That Commonly Exhibit Delayed Symptoms

There are certain kinds of injuries that are more closely associated with delayed symptoms than others are.


Whiplash is a soft tissue injury to the neck that is typically caused when it is rapidly forced back and forth in imitation of a cracking whip. Whiplash is very common in traffic accidents, and while it can immediately present with serious symptoms, such as pain and a loss in the range of motion, immediate symptoms don’t always appear. Whiplash can lead to chronic pain and other long-term physical challenges.


Concussions are a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Concussions are often bedeviling and can be difficult to catch from the outset. Many of the symptoms listed above can be indicative of a concussion. Even if you simply feel out of sorts or not quite like yourself, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a medical professional if you’ve been involved in a traffic accident. A concussion should not be ignored.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries tend to be quite painful, but these very serious injuries can also exhibit delayed symptoms. Because spinal cord injuries can lead to chronic pain and to severe losses in the range of motion, they require prompt medical attention.

Waiting for Treatment

If you’ve been involved in a traffic accident and don’t believe you were seriously injured, waiting to seek the treatment you need is very likely to negatively affect your health in more ways than one, including all the following:

  • You do not receive the medical care and attention that you need when you need it.
  • You jeopardize your traffic accident claim (you only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit).
  • The longer you wait to seek medical attention, the less clear it becomes that the traffic accident was the cause of your injuries.
  • Without the compensation to which you are entitled, you are unlikely to have the resources necessary to reach your fullest recovery.

If symptoms develop later, bringing a successful claim becomes that much more challenging, and if the statute of limitations (three years from the date of the injury-causing traffic accident) has run out, you’ll have no further legal options for seeking compensation.

Settling Early

Even if you do recognize that you’ve been injured and seek medical attention immediately after a traffic accident, it’s important to realize that some injuries can continue to develop and worsen (and can evade early medical detection). Further, some injuries that are identified early on can lead to secondary health concerns down the road that require more extensive medical treatment and care. The insurance company that is handling your claim is well aware of these facts, and if it makes an early settlement offer, it is very likely a bid to finalize your claim before you recognize how extensive your losses (or legal damages) are. Once finalized, there is no way to go back and seek the additional compensation you require.

Your Losses

The losses you incur as a result of a traffic accident can be extensive and should be addressed head-on (including those related to delayed symptoms). Such losses fall into the following classifications:

  • Property damage to your vehicle
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost earnings
  • Physical and psychological pain and suffering

An Experienced South Carolina Traffic Accident Attorney Can Help

Were you injured by another driver’s negligence? The savvy South Carolina traffic accident attorneys at McCravy Law take immense pride in helping clients like you to recover on their full range of losses – in pursuit of just compensation that allows them to regain their health and well-being to the extent possible. We’re on your side and here to help, so please don’t put off contacting or calling us at 864-388-9100 for more information today.

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