Rib pain after a car accident may be delayed for a variety of reasons. In some cases, the impact of the accident may cause a rib injury, but the symptoms may not appear immediately. This can be especially true for injuries to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which may become sore and painful as swelling and inflammation develop. In other cases, the symptoms of a rib injury may not appear until several days after the accident due to the nature of the injury. For example, a rib fracture may not cause symptoms until the bone begins to heal and the surrounding tissues become inflamed. Additionally, some people may not notice the symptoms of a rib injury immediately after the accident due to the adrenaline and other hormones released during stressful situations.