Potential Side Effects After a Car Accident

Car accidents happen unexpectedly and are usually outside of our control. They can leave most people feeling helpless. While some car crashes are minor, others can be severe and even deadly. Yet, no matter how minor a car crash can be, it is common for adrenaline to flood the body that can mask some of the physical discomforts a person may feel immediately afterward. Knowing what to expect after a car accident not only helps you get proper medical attention but also protects your rights in a lawsuit.

Common Physical Symptoms After a Car Accident

Every accident brings different side effects. The type and severity of a person’s physical symptoms will depend on many factors, including where a person sat in the car, whether airbags were deployed and if a seat belt was worn.  Also, some physical symptoms may be delayed and appear hours or even days after a car crash.

Below are some typical physical symptoms to watch out for after a car accident, as they can indicate a severe injury.


Headaches following a car crash are a common injury. Some headaches can be relatively minor and resolve themselves within a few days. Other times, a headache can be an indication of a more severe head injury. A car’s unexpected change in direction or a halt in speed can cause whiplash, causing a person’s head to jerk suddenly and unnaturally. Depending on the speed and impact, the brain can move and result in a concussion, traumatic brain injury, or other injuries.

If you are experiencing a headache, even if it appears days after the accident, you should pay particular attention and seek medical attention.

Neck, Shoulder, or Back Pain

Neck, shoulder, or back pain is another common complaint after a car accident.

For example, a person can experience pain, numbness, or a tingling sensation in their back. They may also have limited mobility and feel pressure on the nerves surrounding their spinal cord. It’s essential to seek medical attention so that a proper diagnosis can be made to alleviate the pain.

Neck pain is another regular occurrence. Following a car crash, a person may feel soreness or stiffness in their neck. They can also experience a limited range of motion and pain and swelling. There are many reasons a person experiences neck pain after an accident. A doctor can accurately diagnose the cause.

If you feel discomfort in any of these areas of your body, there can be several underlying reasons. Some causes for neck, shoulder, and back pain include stress or tension to the muscle, injury to the joints, tendons, muscles, and potentially nerve or tissue damage.

Pain in the Abdomen

If you had a seatbelt on during the crash, it likely put pressure on your belly. Pain in the abdomen can include purple bruising around the lower stomach area. The pain can even lead to dizzy spells or fainting. It may be a sign of internal bleeding and other serious injuries.

Numbness and Tingling Sensations

After a car crash, some people may feel a tingling sensation, like pins and needles in their extremities. Numbness and even pain are often present. These physical effects may be caused by damage or injury to the nerves around the spine.

Changes in Behavior

Not all injuries following a car crash are physical. Sometimes, a person may feel a little “off.” They may notice behavioral changes, mood swings, anxiety, and depression. These may be signs of brain injury and shouldn’t be ignored or explained away.

If you have been involved in a car accident, it’s essential to monitor your symptoms. At times, symptoms may not appear until days, weeks, or even months later. While you may believe that medical attention isn’t needed, it’s best to be evaluated by a medical professional. Contact our attorneys at 415-946-8900 or at Dan Rose Law to schedule a free consultation.