After a car accident, you have many concerns to address. You will have to speak to the authorities, address the damage to your vehicle and report the crash to the insurance company. With so many details to consider, you might be tempted to set aside getting medical attention, especially if your injuries seem minor.

However, getting medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident could be one of the most important steps you take in caring for your health. Many injuries are not immediately apparent after an accident, and waiting to seek medical treatment can make it more difficult to get the treatment you need.

What symptoms should you look for after an accident?

You may not experience symptoms of a serious injury for hours, days or even weeks after an accident. Delayed symptoms can include:

  • Headaches—While a headache after a car accident could simply be the result of stress, it could also be a sign that you have suffered a traumatic brain injury or other head trauma.
  • Cognitive issues—If you have trouble sleeping, feel confused or experience gaps in your memory, you may have experienced a serious head injury.
  • Abdominal pain—While internal bleeding may not be immediately apparent from the outside, abdominal pain could be a sign that you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Internal bleeding may require immediate surgical attention to treat.
  • Pain or stiffness in the neck, back, or shoulder—Car crashes commonly cause whiplash and other injuries to the neck and spine. If left untreated, these injuries could result in permanent damage.

If you experience these delayed symptoms after a crash, it can be essential to seek medical care. Not only can doctors offer more effective treatment, you can also create a record of your injuries and their cause.