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How Long After a Car Accident Can Injuries Appear?

Injuries after a car accident can appear immediately or take hours, days, or even weeks to surface due to delayed symptoms.


The aftermath of a car accident can be a whirlwind of emotion and confusion. One crucial question that often comes to mind is, “how long after a car accident can injuries appear?” Understanding this aspect is key to securing the compensation you may be entitled to for any injuries sustained.

Accidents are generally sudden, shocking events, and our bodies, in response, tend to release adrenaline, a hormone that can mask pain and injury. Because of this natural defense mechanism, it’s not uncommon for injuries to go unnoticed immediately after an accident. Some symptoms may not present themselves until hours, days, or even weeks later.

So, just how long after a car accident can injuries appear?

Immediate to 24 Hours

Some injuries, like cuts and broken bones, are immediately evident following an accident. However, other injuries such as whiplash, concussions, and soft tissue injuries might not become apparent until several hours later. Symptoms such as headaches, neck or back pain, or dizziness could indicate these injuries.

24 Hours to a Week

During this time frame, more symptoms could appear related to the aforementioned injuries or others like herniated discs, sprains, or even emotional trauma like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Symptoms to watch for include persistent pain, changes in personality, mood swings, memory issues, and sleep disturbances.

A Week to Several Weeks

More serious conditions like traumatic brain injuries (TBI) may not show symptoms until a week or more after the accident. These symptoms could include cognitive difficulties, emotional instability, sensory problems, or even changes in mobility.

The crucial takeaway here is that it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately following a car accident, even if you don’t feel injured. A medical professional can conduct a thorough examination to detect and document any injuries, which will be crucial if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim.

Now that you understand how long after a car accident injuries can appear, it’s equally important to understand your legal rights and obligations. If you’ve been involved in a car accident and are now experiencing symptoms, you might be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering.

Speak With a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s advisable to consult a qualified car accident lawyer. In St. Louis, The Hoffmann Law Firm has over 25 years of experience handling thousands of car accident cases. Our team can guide you through this complex process, ensuring that you understand your rights and are equipped to fight for the compensation you deserve.

With a free case evaluation from The Hoffmann Law Firm, you can get a clear understanding of your case. And you don’t pay unless we get you compensation. 

The answer to “how long after a car accident can injuries appear?” can range from immediately to several weeks. It’s essential to seek immediate medical attention and legal advice post-accident to ensure your well-being and protect your rights.Don’t delay; the road to recovery begins with a single step. If you’re experiencing symptoms after a car accident, contact The Hoffmann Law Firm, your trusted St. Louis car accident lawyer, today.

Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

Free Consultation (314) 361-4242
Updated: July 27, 2023