How Long Do You Have for Symptoms to Show Up After a Florida Car Accident?

Minutes after you get into a car crash, the other driver asks if you’re okay. You nod your head yes since you don’t feel pain or tenderness anywhere. When police arrive, you give the same answer for the official report – no, you don’t have any injuries. You go to work the same day, only to leave early with a severe headache. You visit the hospital and discover you have a serious concussion. Since you said you didn’t have any injuries, it might now be more difficult to convince an insurance company of your damages. Learn about injuries with delayed symptoms to better protect your health and financial future after a collision.

Physical Injuries that Commonly Experience Delayed Onset

“Delayed onset” of an injury means that it doesn’t show any symptoms or visible signs of damage right away. Instead, the damage occurs quietly and often without notice on the inside, at least for a while. Depending on the nature of the injury, delayed onset can cause serious damage to the victim even notices the injury. Internal bleeding, for example, can be life-threatening if left undiscovered Prompt medical attention is critical to catch and treat hidden injuries. The most common injury types with delayed symptoms are as follows:

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

TBIs cause 153 deaths each day in the U.S. The most common type of TBI is a concussion. Minor and major TBIs can have delayed symptoms that don’t appear for hours or even days after impact. Headaches, dizziness, mood swings, and problems sleeping can all indicate a concussion.


Whiplash is the number one most common complaint on insurance claims in America. Rear-end collisions frequently result in whiplash or damage to the muscles in the neck and upper back. Whiplash can have delayed onset, where muscle soreness or stiffness is not noticeable until 24 to 48 hours after the wreck.

Slipped Disc or Other Spinal Cord Injuries

The adrenaline of an accident might conceal that fact that you suffered a painful back injury, such as a slipped disc, torn ligament, or nerve damage. Once the adrenaline wears off, however, you might notice back pain and need to go to the hospital.

Abdominal Injuries

Go to the doctor immediately if you notice strange or painful abdominal symptoms hours after an accident. Abdominal pain, swelling, or bruising could point to a hidden internal injury. Dizziness and fainting may also represent delayed symptoms of internal damage.


Many car accident victims develop headaches days or weeks after a collision. Although a headache may seem like no big deal, it can be a sign of a serious problem, especially when spells of dizziness accompany it. A headache can be a symptom of a blood clot, neck or head injury, or traumatic brain injury.

Neck and Shoulder Pain

In most cases, neck and shoulder pain is a sign of whiplash, which is one of the most common injuries that arises during car accidents. It can lead to stiffness around your head and make it uncomfortable for you to move it. While you may experience this type of pain right after the crash, these symptoms often take a few days to set in.

Back Pain

Back pain isn’t always apparent following a car accident. If you start to face it days afterward, you may have whiplash, a spinal injury, soft tissue injury, or a herniated disc. You may also have a pinched nerve if your back feels numb or tingly. These conditions can lead to mobility challenges and debilitating pain that affects your everyday life.

It’s extremely important to take yourself to the hospital after an accident of any kind even if you don’t feel injured. Medical tests and x-rays can make sure you don’t have any delayed onset injuries causing hidden damage. By seeing a doctor after a crash, you can find out whether you have any symptoms that may not be obvious, receive medical documentation to support your case, and begin a treatment plan so you can recover as soon as possible.

Taking care of your health and well-being immediately after a car crash or other incident can significantly boost your prognosis for a full recovery, as well as your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries. Go to the hospital right away to avoid any unwelcome “surprise” injuries.

Whiplash Can Often be Delayed

Whiplash, or neck sprains and strains, are the most common injuries for insurance claims in the U.S. Car accidents are the leading cause of whiplash injuries, as the forces in the accident can “whip” the head and neck forward and backward in quick succession, straining the muscles and soft tissues in the neck. Serious whiplash injuries can cause long-term nerve damage, rupture the neck’s ligaments, and even fracture the uppermost vertebrae. You could suffer chronic, lifelong pain from a whiplash injury – or one of these other surprising outcomes.

The adrenaline from your accident can conceal the fact that you suffered a painful neck or back injury. Whiplash can cause delayed symptoms, not appearing for hours or even days after the collision. Often, whiplash starts to appear several hours after the crash and then grows worse over the next 48 hours. It’s important to refrain from saying that you didn’t suffer an injury in an accident – especially a rear-end collision – until you’ve seen a doctor to make sure. Saying you don’t have an injury and then discovering one later can make it more difficult to prove your insurance claim.

Dizziness and/or Fatigue

It comes as a surprise for many people to find that neck pain isn’t the only potential symptom of whiplash. While pain in the neck, shoulders, back, and arms is the most common symptom, other people have reported signs such as dizziness or vertigo, fatigue or difficulty sleeping, headaches, memory loss, problems concentrating, burning or prickling sensations, tingling or numbness, throat problems, speech issues, hearing loss, blurred vision, nervousness, irritability, and depression. If you notice anything out of the ordinary after a crash, see a doctor.

Emotional Trauma

Physical injuries and emotional trauma have a close connection. Physical pain, taxing medical procedures, and the sudden inability to do things you’ve always done, such as drive or go to work, can leave you feeling depressed and withdrawn. Frightening accidents such as car crashes can lend additional psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or nightmares. The emotional roller coaster after an injury can last for years after you physically recover. The more you know about the mental aftereffects of an injury, the better you can prepare yourself and know when to seek professional help.

Lost Quality of Life

Some of the greatest mental health effects of a serious injury stem from the sudden loss of the quality of life the victim previously enjoyed. A person with a traumatic spine injury, for example, can find him/herself unable to do most of what he/she did before, including walk, play sports, work, eat, and even talk. The inability to participate in everyday life activities such as socializing with friends can lead to the victim withdrawing from him/herself, worsening mental health issues such as depression.

Post-injury mental health can be in a fragile state for a multitude of reasons. Not only does the individual have to adjust to a new level of ability or disability, but there are also problems to deal with such as mounting medical bills. Fear of financial stability and the future can add to feelings of depression or anxiety after a serious injury. In just a matter of minutes, the victim’s entire life has changed. This can understandably take a mental adjustment period and/or professional aid.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a serious mental health condition that can develop after a victim has experienced a life-threatening event. Soldiers who return home from war zones, for example, can experience PTSD from the traumatic and terrifying things they witnessed. The same is true for victims of extreme car accidents, falls, burns, dog attacks, or acts of violence. Suffering serious injuries in traumatic ways can deeply affect the mental state, resulting in long-lasting psychological aftereffects. Common symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Reliving the event in flashbacks or nightmares
  • Avoiding things that remind the victim of the event
  • Constant feelings of anxiety
  • Feeling emotionally numb or detached
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Lack of concentration
  • Irritability or sudden mood swings/outbursts
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed hobbies
  • Detachment from family and friends

PTSD is a serious mental health condition that can plunge a person into a deep depression, cause suicidal thoughts, and even result in taking one’s own life. Coupled with depression and anxiety, PTSD can be deadly. It’s extremely important to seek professional help for your mental state after a catastrophic or permanent injury.

The Severity of Impact Isn’t as Important as You Think

It’s logical to assume that a rear-end collision at a higher speed of impact would cause a more severe whiplash injury; however, this is not necessarily the case. Even “minor” fender benders at just 2.5 miles per hour have caused symptoms of whiplash injuries. The severity of injury instead depends on other factors, such as the victim’s health and use of proper restraints, such as a seatbelt and headrest. Neck injuries can happen in any type of car accident, not just high-speed collisions.

Seek Help from a Professional

Accident victims often feel alone in their fights, as if no one understands them or could help. However, others have the same or similar injuries, and trained professionals are available to help with drastic life changes due to accidents. Talking to someone about your emotional ride after an injury can make all the difference in your future happiness and enjoyment of life.

Client Testimonials

“…the settlement I received was much higher than anticipated”

Fuchs was my car accident attorney and was very responsive from the first call. I had medical care the next day and the whole process was smooth. They handled everything with the insurance companies and coordinated all of the necessary medical information. It was a long process and in the end the settlement I received was much higher than anticipated I am more than happy and grateful for the outcome.

Sean O.
Google Review
“Not only did I get the medical attention I needed but I was compensated handsomely.”

It’s been a long bumpy road to recovery but with David and his office’s help, we finally got it done! Through a great network of professionals, David Fuchs makes a good experience out of what could’ve been quite a headache. Not only did I get the medical attention I needed but I was compensated handsomely. Thank you!

Giovanni G.
Google Review
“…they didn’t settle for anything and my boyfriend and I got what we deserved.”

I got in an accident in December 2021 when everyone was short staffed and insurance companies was not responsive. My boyfriend reached out to David F. and what a life changing experience. We had the pleasure of having all our worries handed to professional help. They worked diligently on our case, answered questions when asked and kept us updated on changes. More importantly they didn’t settle for anything and my boyfriend and I got what we deserved. I have dealt with others in the past but David got me the most according to the facts presented and never backed down when the insurance companies tried to make us settle for less. Thank you David, Jessica and the team for all your effort and hard work. I will recommend them to family and friends. [They’re] the best in town!

Sheila N.
Google Review
“Best lawyer in Broward County”
Evans P.
Google Review
“Mr. Fuchs and his staff were very helpful.”

I highly recommend Law offices of David Fuchs. Mr. Fuchs and his staff were very helpful. The case was handled in a timely manner and I was always informed if there were any changes or updates with my case.

Velouse G.
Google Review
“Mr. Fuchs is one of the hardest working attorneys that I know.”

Mr. Fuchs is one of the hardest working attorneys that I know. He is really good at what he does and puts 110% in you case. I have been using him for 19 years now and refer all my friends to him. I can leave him alone with my case and not call him all the time. I know he is working hard in my case. When he has any information he calls me and we go from there. There are not a lot of attorneys I can do that with! If you have any Personal Injuries please do call him. You won’t be disappointed!!

Libby E.
Google Review
“I would definitely refer to this firm as the go-to Florida personal injury gurus.”

At first I was afraid…I was petrified! I truly was! But the extensive knowledge, patience and professionalism I received brought me not only such peace and assurance that I was in good hands, but we got through my case like shining stars! David made sure I understood exactly what, when, where, why and [answered] whatever question I had. I would definitely refer to this firm as the go-to Florida personal injury gurus.

Donna M.
Google Review
“They have a wonderful team.”

…took care of my well-being [and were] very informative about my situation. [T]hey were on the ball when it came down to settling…I highly recommend David.

Nicholas G.
Google Review
“My experience with David Fuchs was awesome.”

I got a really good return… thank you David Fuchs and staff for being so helpful and working so hard to help us, you are appreciated.

Yvette W.
Google Review
“This is a great law office.”

The David I Fuchs law office is a group of excellent people that helped to their fullest potential. They treated me with respect and I really appreciate that. This is a great law office.

Jonathan Z.
Google Review
“Never did I imagine myself getting into an accident.”

It has been an unexpected journey since stepping foot in Florida. Never did I imagine myself getting into an accident. I just want to thank the staff and all the support. The Therapy the doctors; you guys were awesome and made me feel better in my situation. This the first time I ever experience such a thing but I’m blessed , thankful and behind it all DAVID FUCHS who made it happen for me.

Sade P.
Google Review
“They helped tremendously!”

I would totally recommend David to everyone. They’re extremely professional and work in a timely manner. They helped tremendously!

A Boone
Google Review
“I highly recommend this man.”

A good man knows, his law 35 years experience. Will get the job done and help you and your family get compensated for you pain and damages. I highly recommend this man. I want to revisit my review and say that Mr. Fuchs always picks up his phone and answer any questions that may pertain to my case. Thank you, David.

N. Hit
Google Review
“He was able to settle my case with little to no trouble and did so in a very professional manner.”

David Fuchs was my car accident attorney. He was able to settle my case with little to no trouble and did so in a very professional manner. I would highly recommend him to others.

Samantha D.
Google Review
“…all went good and successful. thank you so much for all your help.”

I got into an accident for the first time and I didn’t know what do or how things works, but I was lucky to find a professional and helpful people to guide through this experience.
They did take care of my case all went good and successful thank you so much for all your help.

Karen G.
Google Review
“Very professional. Had no problems with communication”
Zuberi L.
Google Review
“He was there every time I called and got me a great settlement.”

I was in a car accident and looking for a professional, caring attorney.I was fortunate to find Mr. Fuchs, who helped me through the whole process. He was there every time I called and got me a great settlement.

Joan K.
Google Review
“My settlement was fast, fair and professionally handled.”

Had a car accident and needed an advocate to communicate my concerns through my insurance provider. The law office of David Fuchs, was efficient and thorough. My settlement was fast, fair and professionally handled. Would highly recommend giving this office a call if you need legal assistance.

Willie M.
Google Review
“A+++++ recommended.”

I want to thank the office of David Fuch’s. A+++++ recommended.

J. Hernandez
Google Review
“I could not have asked for a better team by my side.”

They were very helpful. I could not have asked for a better team by my side.

S. Rodriguez
Google Review
“They got me my settlement pretty quickly and worked hard on my case for me.”

I was in an accident mid last year and Mr. Fuchs handled my case and his case manager[s] Yessi and Jessica were very informative as to the process. They got me my settlement pretty quickly and worked hard on my case for me. Mr. Fuchs was extremely knowledgeable and informed me of everything that would happen in my case. I will recommend this firm to my family and friends and i will be using their services in future if need be.

Pastor D.
Google Review