New Jersey car accident victims may not realize that not all serious injuries manifest symptoms immediately after a crash. Some people do not experience any immediate symptoms for several days. Headaches commonly develop several days after an auto accident and may be a sign of a more serious underlying problem, such as a concussion or a blood clot. Neck and shoulder pain and stiffness are also likely to show up on a delay.
Back pain is another common symptom that often manifests after an accident. Abdominal pain and swelling, both of which can indicate internal bleeding, may not be noticeable until hours or days after an accident. Numbness is another delayed symptom that occurs due to damage to the spinal column and neck. This type of damage is often referred to as whiplash and it occurs in approximately 20 percent of people who were injured in rear-end collisions.
Changes in personality or physical function are common signs of a traumatic brain injury and they often manifest after the accident has occurred. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that vehicle accidents are the third-leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. PTSD is another serious condition that can develop long after an accident has occurred and often results in vivid recollections of the crash, including nightmares.
A person who has been injured in an accident caused by an impaired or distracted driver may wish to speak with a personal injury attorney to determine how to proceed. Experienced legal counsel will likely know that certain injuries do not present until some time after the accident has occurred, and they can use this information to counteract any allegation by the defendant in a subsequent personal injury lawsuit brought on behalf of the injured victim that the delayed injury was caused by some other factor.