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Injury Symptoms Commonly Experienced after a Car Accident

Car accidents can cause a variety of injuries, some of which are even life-threatening. After leaving an accident scene you might go home feeling “okay.” After a day or two, however, you begin to notice different aches and pains around your body. Chances are, you are suffering from an injury from the trauma you experienced in the crash.
neck and back pain
At Ladah Law Firm, we represent men and women injured in car wrecks in Las Vegas. Whether you were hit by a new or inexperienced driver or by a seasoned road warrior, you need a Las Vegas car accident lawyer who has your best interests in mind. Our team highlights some of the more common symptoms that signal you have been hurt and need to visit the hospital or a doctor.

Neck Pain

Our clients often complain of neck pain—and this is not a surprise. Car accidents are inherently traumatic. Even at a low speed, a motorist can be thrown about, which causes their head to whip around.

Neck pain is not always immediately following an accident. Instead, a day or two might pass before a person experiences so much stiffness that it is literally painful to turn their head. You might not connect the pain and stiffness to the accident, but odds are good that the crash is to blame.
Some of the more common neck injuries include:

  • Whiplash. This involves the stretching of soft tissue such as muscles and tendons in the back of the neck.
  • Compressed nerve. Something could be pressing against a nerve, causing chronic pain. If the pressure is not relieved, the nerve might die.
  • Cervical fracture. The vertebrae in the neck can crack in extremely violent accidents. A patient might need surgery to address the injury.

Immediately go to the hospital if you are experiencing neck pain. If you have a fracture, then treating the pain at home with ice or aspirin will not help you.


Headaches are one of the most serious symptoms a person can experience following an accident. We encourage all motorists to quickly get to the hospital because they could be suffering from a life-threatening injury.

Some headaches are caused by a buildup of blood inside the skull. If not stopped, the bleeding can eventually put so much pressure on the brain that portions of it begin to die. A person could suffer a permanent disability, even death if they do not receive surgery in time.

Other headaches are caused by traumatic brain injuries like concussions or by whiplash. These headaches can be controlled with prescription drugs and rest, though you still need to meet with a doctor.


If you are feeling dizzy when sitting or standing, then you might have suffered an ear injury or a brain injury. Vertigo can come and go, so some people do not link it to the accident.


If you feel like you need to vomit, then you are probably experiencing nausea. This could be a symptom of many types of injuries. It is hard to tell. For example, you might want to throw up simply because you are emotionally shaken by the wreck.

However, nausea could be a symptom of a larger problem, such as internal organ damage or bleeding. A doctor will probably order an imaging test (like an MRI) to check how everything looks inside. If you have a serious injury, you might require surgery.

Back Pain

Pain in your back could be a symptom of many different injuries. First, try to locate the pain. Many people experience pain in their lower back, which is often the sign that you have suffered damage to your spinal column. For example, the spinal canal might have narrowed, which can lead to pressure on your spinal cord and the nerves that shoot off from it.

Second, note the type of pain and when you experience it. If you feel a sudden bolt of pain when moving, you could suffer from a pulled muscle or tendon. Soft-tissue injuries like these often improve with rest and ice.

Constant and intense pain could be a sign that you have suffered a herniated disc or other trauma to the vertebrae that comprise your spinal column. Some spinal injuries improve with conservative treatment, like steroid injections and physical therapy, while others require surgical intervention.

Chest pain

Chest pain is alarming because the most vital organs are located in the chest. People are right to be worried whenever they feel chest pain. Some of the more common chest injuries we see following a car accident include:

  • Broken ribs
  • Torn pectoral muscle
  • Heart contusion (bruised heart)
  • Punctured lung

These are all serious injuries. People can die from serious chest contusions or collapsed lungs. Even broken ribs, which can heal eventually, could lead to pneumonia, especially in the elderly. Around 30-35% of the elderly who break a rib develop pneumonia and those with multiple fractures die at an alarmingly high rate.

Shortness of Breath

This is also a symptom of a serious lung injury. For example, a punctured lung can make it difficult to breathe, so you might always feel short of breath even if you are sedentary. Quickly go to a hospital.

Knee pain

delayed pain from accident
The knee is very complex, and it can be injured in a crash. Even if you’re just the passenger, you could slam your knee into the dashboard or the seat in front of you, leading to injury.
You might experience pain when sitting still or only when trying to move your knee. You might also notice that the knee can no longer bear any weight—a key sign that you have been seriously injured.
Some common knee injuries include:

  • Fractured patella (kneecap)
  • Ligament tear
  • Meniscus tear
  • Dislocated knee

Many people will need surgery, especially after suffering a ligament or meniscus injury. Go immediately to the doctor and keep weight off your leg.

Tingling or Weak Limbs

You might feel a numb or tingling sensation in your arms, hands, legs, or feet. Some people feel so weak that they can’t form a fist or even walk. These are symptoms that you have suffered a possible nerve injury. Depending on the severity of the numbness, your spinal cord could be damaged as well.
It is vital not to let spinal injuries degenerate. Many patients need their spine stabilized and bone fragments cleaned out. Go to the hospital immediately.


Adults do not normally lose control of their bladder or bowels. If you do, you probably feel embarrassed. However, incontinence is also a symptom of some of the worst car accident injuries, including spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries, and organ damage.

Anxiety & Depression

There is an emotional side to every car accident that is often overlooked. The pain a person experiences is not simply physical. For example, many accident victims experience intense anxiety following a wreck. They might relive the accident when asleep or daydreaming. Others will avoid getting into a car.

These behaviors are often a sign that a person is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. This complication is fairly common with car accidents. In addition to anxiety, a person might experience depression and sleeplessness. Symptoms are not always immediate, and the sufferer might not be aware of them. Often, it is family members who notice a change in their loved one.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today

Car accident injuries are expensive to treat, and victims deserve compensation when they are not to blame for the wreck. At Ladah Law, our team has secured favorable settlements for many of our clients. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation 702-252-0055.