Why Should You See A Doctor Immediately After A Car Accident?

According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, in the U.S. nearly 37,000 people die in auto accidents every year. An additional 2.35 million suffer injuries or are disabled as a result of a car crash.

Injuries from car accidents can vary from minor sprains to severe head and back injuries. If you are in a car accident it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to reduce lasting effects for any injuries you may obtain. Some injuries will appear right away while others can take a few days, week, or even months to show signs or symptoms.

Accident Care & Treatment Center, Inc. has the highest standard related to auto accident injuries with on-site medical doctors, imaging equipment, and physical therapists conveniently located in one place to help you on your road to recovery.

Common Car Accident Injuries Include:

Whiplash/Neck Strain

Whiplash and neck strain are the most common types of injuries suffered in rear end collisions. This happens when a person’s head is moved backward and forward suddenly with great force. Whiplash results when the muscles and ligaments of your neck are extended beyond their typical range of motion.

Whiplash symptoms can take anywhere from 24 hours to 72 hours to appear.

Signs & Symptoms*:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Worsening of pain with neck movement
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Headaches, usually at the base of the skull
  • Tenderness or pain in shoulder, upper back or arms
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

Chest injury

Chest injuries are extremely common among auto accident injuries. These injuries typically occur by the force of impact causing the chest to collide with the steering wheel/dashboard, or the force of the chest pressed against the seat belt.

This can result in contusions, abrasions, bruises, broken ribs, fractured ribs, or internal injuries.

Signs & Symptoms*:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Bruising
  • Shock
  • Extreme shortness of breath
  • Severe/sharp pain in chest
  • Pain worsens when you cough/sneeze or breathe deeply
  • Pain when moving shoulder, arm, or rib cage

Traumatic Brain Injury

A Traumatic Brain Injury does not necessarily include cuts or bruises. This can occur when there is no visual sign of trauma as the brain may have been jostled inside the skull due to the force of impact.

Signs & Symptoms*:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Visual Disturbances
  • Memory loss
  • Poor attention/concentration
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Dizziness/loss of balance
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Confusion


 A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that affects the functioning of your brain. This is caused by a sudden blow to the head or violently shaking the head or upper body.

Signs and symptoms of a concussion can be subtle and may not show up for hours or even days after the incident.

Signs & Symptoms*:

  • Headache or feeling pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Memory loss
  • Amnesia surrounding the event
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Delayed response
  • Dazed
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability/Personality change
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Sleep disturbances

Damage to the Spinal Cord

A spinal cord injury may result from a sudden and traumatic blow to your spine that factures, dislocates, or crushes one or more vertebrae. This could affect your ability to control your limbs, bladder/bowel, breathing, or lose the ability to feel sensations such as hot and cold.

Symptoms such as numbness or paralysis may show right away or could take several days. However, any traumatic injury should be treated as a spinal injury until further examined as it could worsen over the following days.

Signs & Symptoms*:

  • Loss of movement
  • Loss of sensation, including ability to feel hot/cold
  • Loss of bladder/bowel control
  • Exaggerated reflexes or spasms
  • Changes in sexual function
  • Difficulty breathing

See a doctor immediately if you experience*:

  • Extreme back pain or pressure in your neck, back, or head
  • Weakness, incoordination, or paralysis in hands, fingers, toes, or feet
  • Difficulty balancing or walking
  • Difficulty breathing after injury

*Symptoms can vary.