Symptoms of Car Accident Injuries

By Danielle Fletcher. Last Updated 4th August 2023. This guide has been written with the intention of providing information on various symptoms of car accident injuries. We will look at some of the more common symptoms you’ll probably be familiar with, such as whiplash. However, this guide will also look at the symptoms of some car accident injuries you may not have considered, such as mental injuries or delayed shock.

Symptoms of car accident injuries

Symptoms of car accident injuries guide

If the vehicle accident in which you were injured occurred due to the negligence of another road user, then you could claim compensation. In some cases, even if you were partially to blame for your car accident injury, you could still receive a payout.

Symptoms Of Car Accident Injuries

The process of making a personal injury claim can be daunting. If you have any issues or questions whilst reading this guide, or after you have finished, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our advisors are here to help. 

The more we know about the circumstances surrounding your car accident injury symptoms, the better. Once we ask you some questions, we should be able to offer a more accurate valuation.

If it’s deemed you have a valid claim, we may be able to connect you with a personal injury solicitor from our panel. They could work with you on a No Win No Fee basis. Read on for more information, including our contact details.

Get In Touch With Our Team

There are a number of ways you can reach our advisors.

  • Call us on 020 3870 4868
  • Use the live chat feature in the bottom right corner
  • You can fill out the form on our website to see if you have a valid claim

Services And Information

  1. Am I Eligible To Make A Claim For A Car Crash Injury?
  2. Examples Of Injuries After A Car Accident
  3. Always Seek Medical Advice About Your Symptoms
  4. What Could Be The Immediate Symptoms Of Car Accident Injuries?
  5. Could The Symptoms Of Your Injury Be Delayed?
  6. I’ve Been Injured In A Car Accident – How Much Compensation Could I Receive
  7. Symptoms Of Car Accident Brain Injuries
  8. Symptoms Of Car Accident Neck Injuries
  9. What Are the Symptoms Of Car Accident Shoulder Injuries?
  10. Symptoms Of Car Accident Back Injuries
  11. Symptoms Of Car Accident Lower Body Injuries
  12. What Are the Symptoms Of Car Accident Internal Abdominal Injuries?
  13. Limitation Periods For Car Accident Injury Claims
  14. I Suffered The Symptoms Of Car Accident Injuries, What Should I Do?
  15. Claim For  Symptoms Of Car Accident Injuries On A No Win No Fee Basis
  16. Resources
  17. FAQs About Injuries You Could Suffer In A Car Accident

Am I Eligible To Make A Claim For A Car Crash Injury?

If you suffered injuries from a car accident, you may want to know about the eligibility requirements for personal injury claims. In order to be eligible to seek compensation, you must be able to prove that:

  • Another road user owed you a duty of care.
  • They breached this.
  • You suffered a car crash injury due to this breach.

Road users are expected to navigate the roads in a way that prevents injury and damage to themselves and others. This is their duty of care. As part of this duty they need to adhere to the rules and regulations found in the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code. If another driver fails to adhere to these rules and regulations and you suffer an injury, you could be eligible for compensation.

If you have any questions about what to do following a car injury, get in touch with an advisor from our team.

Examples Of Injuries After A Car Accident

If you’re injured in a car accident, then you need to prove that your injury was caused by another road user’s negligence in order to make a claim.

How could you be injured in a car accident? We’ve included a few examples in the list below. However, be aware that this is not an exhaustive list. Everyone’s circumstances are different. If you do not see your injury below, then don’t worry. You may still be able to make a claim.

  • Broken bones – The impact of a car crash could cause fractures in various parts of your body.
  • Spinal damage – The force your body is subjected to could cause damage to the neck and spine. This may cause pain, numbness, or even varying degrees of paralysis.
  • Whiplash – This can often manifest as pain or discomfort in your neck. Whilst some cases can subside on their own, more severe cases may last longer and can result in lasting damage.
  • Cuts/lacerations – The vehicle’s windows or other objects in the car could cause these injuries during a collision.
  • Psychological injuries – It could be that you develop a condition such as anxiety or PTSD. You could be compensated for these too.

To find out more, get in touch with our advisors today.

Always Seek Medical Advice About Your Symptoms

If you do experience car accident injury symptoms, you shouldn’t ignore them. Even minor symptoms can be a sign of a deeper-lying problem. This is especially true if you experience any symptoms that could indicate a head injury. This includes seemingly inert symptoms like a headache or minor back pain.

Seeking appropriate medical care for your symptoms of car accident injuries is very important. Not only could it improve your chances of recovery, but it will also generate relevant medical records that you can use as evidence in the later stages of your claim.

For example, if you experience some pain in one of your limbs after a car accident, this could indicate that you have experienced a fracture. If you delay seeking medical attention or fail to seek it at all, then your bone could begin to heal in the incorrect position. This could lead to a more protracted healing process and an increased risk of arthritis in the future.

What Could Be The Immediate Symptoms Of Car Accident Injuries?

There are a number of immediate injuries that can occur after a car accident. For example:

  • Shoulder injurythe placement of the seat belt across the shoulder can result in a great deal of force being felt in this area during a road traffic accident. If you have chest pain after a road traffic accident, you should seek medical attention right away.
  • Whiplash this is where the impact with another vehicle causes the neck and back to be strained. The Whiplash Reform Program has changed the way that drivers and passengers over the age of 18 can claim for minor injuries following car accidents. Injuries worth less than £5,000 sustained in a road traffic accident after 31st May 2021 can now be claimed for through an online portal. This includes (but is not limited to) whiplash injuries.
  • Herniated discs when you’re involved in a forceful collision, the damage to the neck and back can be severe. If the force is great enough, the cushions of tissue in the spine can be pushed outwards and cause pain. Numbness is possible, and potentially even the loss of control of certain parts of your body. In some cases, these effects can be permanent. 
  • Traumatic brain injury if your head takes a blow during the accident, this could lead to many things such as brain damage or internal bleeding.
  • Knee injuriesthe force of a collision great enough may throw the driver forward, causing their knees to collide with the footwell of the car.

Car accident statistics

The graph below shows the number of road casualties and injuries that were recorded in 2020. As we can see, slight injuries were the most common severity of injury recorded, with over 91,000 slight injuries occurring as a result of road accidents. In addition, there were over 1,000 casualties on roads in the same time period.

Symptoms of car accident injuries statistics graph

Could The Symptoms Of Your Injury Be Delayed?

Mental effects such as shock can arise shortly after an accident. However, in some cases, you may not notice the mental or emotional impact that an accident has had on you until days or even weeks after the accident. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a kind of anxiety disorder that occurs after a stressful or traumatic event, which can include car accidents. In some cases, the person may experience some symptoms of PTSD straight after an accident happens. In others, it could be much more delayed. Sometimes, the symptoms of PTSD may not occur until years after the traumatic event.

Some physical symptoms can also be delayed. This includes things like:

  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Abdominal pain 

This is why we always advise that people seek medical attention after an accident, even if they don’t think they have been injured. In some cases, the shock of the accident happening could stop you from feeling some of the pain and discomfort than you otherwise would. Seeking medical attention right away means that there is as little of a delay as possible in treating you.

Your injuries being detected at a date later than the accident does not mean you’ll be ineligible for compensation. Get in touch with our advisors for more information and advice.

I’ve Been Injured In A Car Accident – How Much Compensation Could I Receive

Car accidents and injuries can have a multitude of effects on a person’s life. Injuries from a car crash could range from brain injuries to paralysis.

The compensation you could be awarded in a successful claim will depend on the effects the injuries have had on you. It will be assessed under two heads of claim.

General damages is the first head, which will look at the injuries from your car crash, and award you a compensation amount for the pain and distress they may have caused you.

Using the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) and their listed compensation brackets, we can show you examples of general damages. This document is helpful for legal professionals valuing claims, though they are merely examples of potential valuations for injuries and not guaranteed.

Injury Description Amount
Back Injury Severe (i) – Serious injury to the nerve roots or spinal cord. This will cause significant pain and an impaired bladder. £91,090 to £160,980
Back Injury Severe (iii) – Disc lesions or fractures which lead to chronic conditions that cause a continuing disability £38,780 to £69,730
Amputation of Arms Loss of one arm (i) – amputated at the shoulder Not less than £137,160
Neck Injury Severe (ii) – Injuries within this bracket will usually involve fractures to the discs in the cervical spine, which lead to disabilities that are considerably serious. £65,740 to
Neck Injury Severe (iii) – Injuries within this bracket will include things like fractures, dislocations and severe soft tissue injuries. They will result in chronic conditions and significant, permanent disability. £45,470 to
Psychiatric damage generally Severe – The injured person will have severe problems with working and personal life. Poor outlook for recovery. £54,830 to £115,730
Shoulder Injury Severe – These injuries will usually be associated with injuries to the neck and brachial plexus. £19,200 to £48,030
Shoulder Injury Moderate – Where a frozen shoulder limits the injured person’s mobility in the arm. This bracket also includes soft tissue injuries to the arm that last more than 2 years but that are not permanent. £7,890 to £12,770
Other Arm Injury Simple forearm fractures, £6,610 to £19,200
Whiplash Tariff The claimant suffers from whiplash with a related minor psychological injury symptoms for 18-24 months. £4,345
Whiplash Tariff The claimant experiences whiplash symptoms for 18-24 months. £4,215

Special Damages For A Car Crash Injury

Furthermore, if you make a successful car crash injury claim, you may also be awarded special damages. This compensates you for the financial losses you have suffered due to the injury you suffered, such as a neck injury, in a car accident.

Some examples of the financial losses you could be compensated for include:

  • A loss of earnings if you required time off work to recover.
  • Medical expenses, such as paying for prescriptions.
  • Travel costs, such as taxi fares to and from medical appointments.

You will need to provide evidence of these losses, for example, with bank statements and invoices.

To find out if you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim following a minor car crash, you can contact one of our advisors.

Symptoms Of Car Accident Brain Injuries

After you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may expect to feel certain symptoms, such as a headache, confusion or nausea. You may assume that these are normal, minor symptoms of a car accident caused by stress or shock. 

But in some cases, symptoms that seem minor could indicate an injury such as a concussion. In some cases, they may be indicative of a more serious injury such as brain damage.

Symptoms that could indicate these kinds of injuries include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Change in character
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating

You should be looked over by a medical professional following any impact to the head. This is so that they can run any diagnostic tests that need to be performed to rule out a more serious condition. 

Symptoms Of Car Accident Neck Injuries

Symptoms of car accident injuries involving the neck can again seem quite minor, but should always be checked out by a medical professional. They can be things like:

  • Pain
  • Discomfort
  • A strained feeling
  • Swelling
  • Bruising

Many of us can experience neck pain as part of our daily lives. For instance, you may experience some pain and stiffness in your neck if you’ve slept in an awkward position or been sitting at your desk for too long without a break. Because of this, you may assume that neck pain after a car accident is something that you can disregard.

This is not the case, however. Your spine, as well as providing support to your torso and facilitating movement, protects your spinal cord, which sends signals from the brain to the rest of the body. If your spinal cord is damaged, it could result in things like a loss of sensation, nerve damage or even partial paralysis.

What Are the Symptoms Of Car Accident Shoulder Injuries?

Shoulder injuries can occur during car accidents. This is in part due to the placement of seatbelts. Some symptoms of car accident injuries involving the shoulder are similar to those of neck injuries:

  • Stiffness
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Numbness

You should always have shoulder injuries examined after a car accident. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves in the shoulder that allow the movement of the arms and hands. If this is damaged, it could seriously reduce your mobility in these parts of your body.

Get in touch with our team today if you’ve experienced a shoulder injury in an accident caused by a third party. One of our advisors will be happy to give you a no-obligation valuation of your claim.

Symptoms Of Car Accident Back Injuries

Back pain following a road traffic accident can be caused by a number of underlying injuries. These include soft tissue damage, a herniated disc, a sprain, pinched nerves, or even whiplash. Some of these injuries may only become apparent days after the accident. The symptoms of car accident injuries of this nature can be:

  • Bruising
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of sensation/control in certain areas/limbs

If you’re experiencing numbness, difficulty walking or a loss of control in certain parts of your body (for instance, you’re no longer able to control when you go to the toilet), this could indicate that damage has been done to your spinal cord because of injury to your back. You should seek medical attention

Symptoms Of Car Accident Lower Body Injuries

There are many areas of the lower body where you can sustain an injury in a car accident. For example, you could suffer an ankle injury or a knee injury. Impacts can result in fractures, bruising, and dislocations. Severe cases, for example where there has been extensive soft tissue damage, can lead to amputations.

As with other injuries, a lower-body injury can seem minor. They could however result in something more serious. You should always seek medical treatment.

For example, you may have a sore knee that you assume has been bruised or sprained in a car crash. In actual fact, this could be broken. If you fail to get medical attention for a fracture as soon as possible, this could lead to it healing incorrectly and could affect your range of motion permanently. 

Get in touch with our team today for more information on the lower body injuries you could claim for. One of our advisors will be happy to give you a valuation of your claim with no obligation to continue.

What Are the Symptoms Of Car Accident Internal Abdominal Injuries?

Some symptoms of car accident injuries sustained to the internal abdomen can be interpreted as something else. However, they can be very serious and you need to be vigilant if you have a suspected internal injury. They can be fatal if left untreated. You could have an internal abdominal injury if you experience:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising (can be deep purple, but not necessarily)
  • Pain
  • Light-headedness

In some cases, you may have sustained an internal injury because of a forceful blow to your abdomen. However, in others, an internal injury may come about as a result of another injury you have sustained. For instance, if you experienced a fracture to your collarbone or rib that becomes displaced, the broken end of the bone could pierce your internal organs.

Limitation Periods For Car Accident Injury Claims

Personal injury claims will generally have a 3-year time limit placed on them. This is stated in the Limitation Act 1980. However, there are certain circumstances where this time limit can be extended, or even suspended. We’ve included some of the most common scenarios where the personal injury claims time limit can function slightly differently.

Child Accident Claims

Underage claimants cannot legally pursue their own claim until their 18th birthday. Because of this, their time limit does not begin until this date. Therefore, they will have until they turn 21 to make their claim. 

Their claim can only be pursued via a third party before they turn 18. The adult who acts on their behalf is known as a litigation friend. They are a legal adult who has the child’s best interests in mind. It can be someone like a parent, guardian, friend, or legal representative.

Claiming On Behalf Of Someone With A Reduced Mental Capacity

Some claimants may suffer from a reduced mental capacity. The time limit is suspended until they regain the mental capacity to claim. If it never returns, the time limit remains suspended and the claim can only be made by a litigation friend

Car Accident Injuries – How To Prove Them

If suffered from car accident injuries, we recommend you first seek medical help. Treating of your injuries should always be treated as priority but hospital records can also provide crucial evidence of injuries for car accident claims.

Whiplash is an example of one of the more common injuries after a car accident. However, if your injury is worth £5,000 or less, you will need to claim through the online portal in the Whiplash Reform Programme. A medical report can help legal professionals figure out how you should be making your claim.

Other forms of evidence could include:

  • CCTV or dashcam footage
  • Photographs of the accident site or your injury
  • Witness statements that can be collected by a solicitor

To find out more about car accident claims, speak to an advisor at any time and at no cost to you. All you have to do is pop up to an advisor using the live chat feature on your screen.

Claim For  Symptoms Of Car Accident Injuries On A No Win No Fee Basis

A No Win No Fee agreement is when the claimant is not responsible for paying their solicitor’s legal costs in their case is unsuccessful. They also won’t be asked to pay any upfront or ongoing fees to them. Sometimes, A No Win No Fee agreement is referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Following the conclusion of a winning claim, the lawyer will be paid via a “success fee“, which is a legally capped percentage taken from the claimant’s winnings.

The lawyers on our panel work with all of their clients on a No Win No Fee basis. Many people find this a desirable method of financing a claim. It makes what can be a stressful experience slightly easier.

If you wish to work with a lawyer from our panel on a No Win No Fee basis then get in touch with us today.

  • Call us on 020 3870 4868
  • Use the live chat feature in the bottom right corner
  • You can fill out the form on our website for a callback at a time that suits you 


We’ve included some links to additional information you may find useful.

  1. Our guide on how to report a car accident.
  2. What happens if you’re hit by an uninsured driver.
  3. A guide looking at the minimum payout for whiplash.
  4. More information on litigation friends.
  5. How do I know if I’ve broken a bone?” – NHS advice
  6. The Whiplash Reform Programme – this explains changes that have been made to how drivers and passengers over the age of 18 pursue claims for injuries worth less than £5,000. 

FAQs About Injuries You Could Suffer In A Car Accident

Here are the answers to some common questions we’re asked about claiming for symptoms of car accident injuries.

How long after a car accident can symptoms appear?

Some car accident symptoms might be apparent as soon as they occur, for example, cuts or broken bones. Others, however, might only become apparent in the days or weeks following the accident.

Can whiplash symptoms be delayed?

Yes. According to the NHS, it can take several hours after your accident before you notice pain or stiffness in your neck. 

How does a car accident affect your body?

A car accident can cause a variety of injuries. Some symptoms of car accident injuries may be only minor and cause only mild discomfort. However, some accidents can cause serious injuries, and may even be fatal.

Thank you for reading our guide looking at potential symptoms of car accident injuries. We hope that you have found it useful.

Writer IB

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