Americans spend more than 1 million days in the hospital each year due to car crash injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says crash injuries for one year alone can cause $18 billion in lifetime medical costs, 75% of those costs occurring in the first 18 months.

Despite the often fatal or devastating injuries that occur during a crash, others may not be so obvious for hours or days immediately afterward as shock and other conditions can disorient people. However, once symptoms present themselves, it’s vital to seek medical treatment immediately.

Common delayed crash injury symptoms

There are many signs of injury that can arise hours or days later, such as:

  • Headache: Getting a headache even days after a crash is not unusual, but it could signal a serious condition, such as a blood clot on the brain, a severe concussion or another neck or head injury.
  • Whiplash: Stiffness or pain in the shoulder or neck are common symptoms of whiplash, which can result in rear-end collisions of less than 14 mph. These can be serious and may require an X-ray, CT scan or MRI to diagnose.
  • Back pain: Pain in any region of the back could signal an injury to your vertebrae, muscles, ligaments or nerves.
  • Abdominal discomfort: Stomach pain, bruising and dizziness can signal internal bleeding, which often goes undetected for hours, or days, and could be a life-threatening condition.
  • TBI: The CDC says motor vehicle crashes are the third-leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. Symptoms include vision or hearing problems, confusion, memory problems and changes to your personality.

Seek immediate medical treatment

If you have been in a crash and experience any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to see a doctor immediately or call 911 if the condition escalates quickly. Crash injuries can cause long-lasting or permanent injuries, which can also cause massive financial consequences, including lost wages and related costs. An experienced personal injury attorney here in Massachusetts can help you recover the compensation you deserve if you have been injured by someone else’s negligence.