Following a car accident, victims may be in pain and wondering how long that pain is likely to last. Pain is hard to deal with on top of the emotions resulting from an accident, such as anger and shock.
Often, it’s natural to feel some degree of pain after a car accident, but you need to know when to see a medical professional. Usually, that’s after any car accident.
Contact an experienced Brownsville car accident attorney today at Kenny Perez Law to assist with your claim.
How Long Does Pain Last After an Accident?
In a car accident, the body endures a level of trauma that makes pain a common symptom afterward. The pain will depend on the severity of the accident and other factors. For instance, the speed of the vehicles upon impact, vehicle sizes, the person’s position at the time of the accident, and the presence of preexisting injuries could impact the level of pain experienced.
Generally, car accident victims may feel sore for hours or even days following an accident. While many people endure pain for up to six weeks following an accident, it’s generally best to consult a medical professional if symptoms linger for longer than a few days. If pain lasts longer than this, it could indicate more serious injuries.
Even if pain appears minor, it could develop into something serious as a latent injury.
What Causes Pain After a Car Accident?
Multiple types of injuries can cause pain in a car accident. Accident victims may feel sore if they sustained:
Many victims of car accidents endure whiplash, especially after rear-end collisions. These injuries cause a sudden whipping of the head and neck from the motion of the impact.
In a rear-end crash, the seat will move forward while the head and neck sit against the seat. The sudden movement of the seat will cause the head and neck to snap forward. The resulting injury can cause pain in the neck and back, potentially causing more serious injuries such as herniated discs that could hurt the limbs.
Muscle Sprains and Strains
Overexertion or injuries can cause strains or sprains in an accident. As the body moves into unusual positions during impact, muscles and tendons will experience a degree of strain that can lead to tears, which can hurt and inflame the affected area. Typically, these injuries will heal without medical assistance over time.
Head injuries could involve minor cuts and scrapes, but more severe cases will entail concussions or traumatic brain injuries. Head injuries are the most sensitive, making it crucial to get an assessment as soon as possible to gauge the severity of the injury. Some head injuries may be fatal or cause further injury to the spinal cord and neck.
According to the CDC, car accidents account for more than 20 percent of hospitalizations for traumatic brain injuries.
The jerking motion of a rapidly stopping vehicle or impact with another vehicle can cause back injuries in many accidents. These injuries can hurt the back, along with difficulty moving, bending, or turning.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Although soreness in the back may be somewhat common after an accident, pain experienced with spinal cord injuries will feel unique. People with these injuries often feel pressure in the back or severe pain, either of which warrants a trip to a medical professional.
How Long Should You Wait to Seek Medical Attention After an Accident?
Regardless of the level of pain or soreness experienced following a car accident, victims need to make sure that the injury isn’t serious. Many car accident victims may not seek medical attention because the injuries are minor, but latent injuries could develop that may become severe or even fatal in extreme cases. Instead of waiting for symptoms to pass, visit a doctor as soon as possible following an accident to determine the full extent of your injuries.
If you carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, you will only have a certain amount of time in which to seek treatment, depending on the state. While injury symptoms may not appear within that time, a professional assessment can identify underlying injuries and determine how to treat them early.
Keep in mind that medical records can also serve as evidence if a car accident victim decides to file a personal injury lawsuit or claim against a negligent party. These records detail the full extent of injuries sustained and may support the victim’s claims, along with other evidence such as police reports and photographs or video footage.
How Can You Recover After a Car Accident?
After visiting a medical professional for a proper assessment of your injuries, follow your doctor’s advice, which could help you heal. Adhering to a treatment regimen can also help support a personal injury case or insurance claim. Ignoring a doctor’s advice could lead to further injury or hurt a potential case, and insurers may even claim that injuries resulted from your own actions instead of the crash.
If you sustain any injury, seeking medical attention and following the doctor’s orders can help make a swift recovery and support a potential claim or lawsuit.
The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention Soon After an Accident
In any case, car accident victims should always consult with a medical professional to assess the extent of their injuries. While pain may subside after a few hours, days, or weeks, injuries that seem minor at first could develop into life-threatening conditions.
Speaking with a doctor can help gauge the severity of the injury and lead you on the road to a full recovery. Medical records could also be a critical piece of evidence if you choose to file an insurance claim or car accident lawsuit.
Contact a Skilled Attorney Today
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident, you may have the right to receive significant financial compensation from the at-fault party or parties. Contact an experienced car accident attorney today.