Car accident victims often suffer one or more injuries after a collision, from concussions and facial injuries to internal organ damage, fractured bones, or spinal damage like a herniated disc. Even an accident involving low speeds can cause injuries, so it’s always better to err on the side of caution and seek medical attention following a collision.
If you were in an accident you didn’t cause, a car accident attorney can help you file for compensatory damages to cover the cost of your medical treatment. If that soreness persists especially if it prevents you from working and earning a living you can recover compensation for the pain and suffering from your accident.
Are You Just Sore, or Is Something Else Wrong?
It’s normal to feel a little sore after an accident after all, your body went through a lot. Soreness, stiffness, and swelling are all common, but if they persist in the aftermath of the accident, you may have an injury that needs attention.
The pain resulting from a car accident typically lasts about a month or slightly longer. If you have a severe injury, such as a broken bone, whiplash, or concussion, you could be in discomfort longer than that.
The time it takes to heal depends on a few things, including the extent of your injury and whether you need surgery, physical therapy, or other rehabilitation to regain your physical abilities.
If you didn’t cause the wreck, your car accident lawyer might seek compensatory damages from the party that did. You can use these damages to pay for your necessary medical care.
When Should You See Your Doctor About Your Post-Accident Pain?
Ideally, car accident victims should see a doctor for a full evaluation immediately after the accident and follow the treating physician’s recommendations for follow-up visits. However, not everyone feels hurt enough to go to the doctor right away.
During stressful events like car accidents, your body releases adrenaline as part of its fight or flight response. Adrenaline serves to suppress pain, which means even if a car accident hurt you, you may not realize it right away, or you may dismiss the indications of a serious injury as simple soreness or stiffness.
Emergency medical responders understand the effects of adrenaline and how it masks injury, and they’re trained to diagnose common car accident injuries and get victims started on a treatment path right away.
But you may still be in need of medical attention even if you didn’t receive it after your wreck. If you decide to visit your doctor later, explain that you were in a car crash and that your pain and soreness started after the incident. The doctor will make a note of your condition in your medical records, which your car accident attorney will need to handle your case.
Some common signs that you might have a serious car accident injury include:
- Persistent headache: A headache that won’t go away can indicate a strain in the neck or shoulder muscles or a brain injury or concussion
- Sharp pain: Sharp pain can be a symptom of broken bones you didn’t know you had until you tried to use that part of your body
- Weakness: Weakness in your extremities (arms and legs) could be a sign of a spinal cord injury
- Unresolved or worsening pain: If the pain is getting worse instead of better, it could point to any number of serious injuries
- Confusion, disorientation, or trouble concentrating: These are among the primary symptoms of concussion or a traumatic brain injury, which often require a CT scan to diagnose
- Blurry vision or difficulty hearing: These symptoms can include tunnel vision, ringing in the hears, or problems focusing on words or letters
- Chest or abdominal pain or swelling: Swelling in the torso may be associated with internal organ damage, cracked ribs, or a punctured lung
- Feeling drowsy or faint: While it’s normal to be tired after an accident, you might have a brain injury if you’re persistently exhausted or have a hard time staying awake throughout the day
Pain is the body’s way of telling you something is wrong, and any type of pain may indicate an injury that wasn’t diagnosed right away.
Many people suffer multiple injuries after a car accident. With that in mind, your best chance of healing is through prompt diagnosis and careful observation of your treating physician’s instructions.
You’ll also want to inform your car accident attorney if your condition worsens or your doctor discovers a new injury, as they’ll need to update your claim.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Your car accident lawyer will likely ask you for your medical records from the crash, including any operations and physical or occupational therapy you needed to recover from your injuries. Every car accident injury should be taken seriously; failure to do so could have life-changing consequences.
Depending on how the accident happened, your injuries could include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion
- A herniated disc in the spine
- Partial or full paralysis
- Whiplash or other neck injuries
- Bone fractures or full breaks
- Internal organ damage from crushing injuries
- Road rash or lacerations
- Soft tissue injuries like contusions, sprains, or strains
Recovering from an injury can be a long and painful process. If another driver caused your injuries, they could be held liable for your medical bills, as well as your lost wages and pain and suffering. Consult an experienced car accident attorney to learn more about the types of damages you can seek.
Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help You if You Didn’t See a Doctor Right Away?
Even if you didn’t call 911 after a car wreck, your car accident lawyer may still file a claim against the other driver. The earlier you seek counsel, the better that way, you can ensure that your car accident attorney works with fresh information.
When you go to the doctor, tell them you were in a collision and explain the details of the crash and the location of your discomfort. Medical professionals can use this information to look for specific injuries that could cause your pain.
During your initial consultation with your Southern Illinois personal injury law firm‘s attorney, tell them when you saw a doctor and that the pain of the accident didn’t go away. They’ll need this information to build a strong case for you.