If you have ever been in a car crash, you may have sustained some injuries that were instantly noticeable. Perhaps you had immediate bruising, a bloody nose or even a sprain. But did you notice any injuries that only presented symptoms after a few days?

When delayed symptoms do appear, it is critical that you recognize that they may be associated with your crash. Here are six common delayed injury symptoms you may suffer after a vehicle crash:

  1. Stomach pain: Pain and swelling in your abdomen could indicate internal bleeding. Intense bruising and dizziness are other symptoms of internal bleeding. You should seek medical attention right away if you are experiencing these symptoms.
  2. Dizziness or headaches: This could indicate a minor injury – or it could signal that something is seriously wrong. It could be the side effect of a blood clot on the brain, a neck injury or a concussion.
  3. Confusion or disorientation. These symptoms, especially if accompanied by headaches or nausea, could indicate a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries can range from mild to severe.
  4. Shoulder, neck and back pain: If your neck, back or shoulders feel stiff or ache, you may be experiencing the aftermath of whiplash. Back pain could also be the result of damage to your muscles, ligaments or nerves in your back. Your doctor may recommend an X-ray, CT scan or MRI for an accurate diagnosis.
  5. Arm numbness: If you lose feeling in your arms or hands, your neck or spine may have been harmed in the crash. This is another common injury associated with whiplash.
  6. Emotional injury: Not all injuries following a car accident are physical. You could experience depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Persistent sadness and loss of interest are common signs of depression. Vivid flashbacks, nightmares and disturbing thoughts about the crash may indicate PTSD.

If you were recently involved in a vehicle accident, it is best to seek medical attention right away. If you develop symptoms of other injuries later, it is important to go back to the doctor for a second examination. Early diagnosis of such injuries can greatly increase your chances of recovery.