By Adam B. Lawler | July 6, 2022

​What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident

​What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident

Experiencing a car accident isn’t high on anyone’s agenda. Car accidents can result in serious injuries, damage to your vehicle, and even death. Depending on the extent of your injuries and damage to your car, you may need to take off work to recover. While a car accident attorney can help you recover monetary damages, they can’t restore your health. Here’s what to expect physically following a car accident.

What Symptoms Are Common After a Car Accident?

You may experience various physical symptoms after a car accident, even if your injuries don't appear severe.


A headache can become apparent immediately following an accident or may take a few days to develop. Sometimes minor headaches can indicate something much more severe. Whiplash, concussion, traumatic brain injury, and PTSD can cause headaches. According to the CDC, car crashes commonly cause traumatic brain injuries. If you experience headaches after a car accident, get yourself thoroughly checked out by a doctor. A car accident lawyer can help you recoup the costs of your visit.

Neck, Back, and Shoulder Pain

A car crash subjects the body to sudden shaking. The neck may snap back and forth, and the upper or lower back may twist quickly. The impact from a car crash can lead to neck, back, and shoulder pain that can be symptoms of more severe conditions, such as whiplash, injury to the joints or muscles, or nerve and tissue damage. See a doctor if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms following a car crash. If your back or neck has sustained injuries, you may require ongoing treatment or even surgery to resolve them. Whiplash affects up to 83 percent of all car accident victims and may lead to chronic disability without adequate treatment. A car accident attorney can help you pursue compensation for past and future medical expenses for whiplash or other conditions resulting from your collision.

Numbness or Tingling Feelings

If you experience any numbness or tingling following a car crash, this should raise a red flag. Numbness and tingling are symptoms of nerve damage. They are common in individuals who have been in a car wreck, sustained fractures or sprains, or injured their backs. Tingling or numbness in the back can be a sign of a slipped disc, which may require surgery to correct. See a doctor at once if you see signs of numbness or tingling. They can determine where you sustained your injury and the care you need to improve. Your insurance should cover your medical expenses for your visit, and a car accident lawyer can help you pursue the money necessary to treat your condition.


The impact of a crash can cause bruises to any area of the body that pushes against your seat belt, hits the steering wheel or dashboard, or any other site of the vehicle. Bruises may indicate internal bleeding, so see a doctor. Other symptoms, such as an upset stomach or abdominal pain, can point to internal organ damage that needs immediate treatment. You may worry about the costs of seeing a doctor or visiting a hospital, especially if you don't have health insurance. A car accident attorney can help you fight for reimbursement for your costs.

Mood Changes

Mood changes are common after a car accident. You may find yourself scared to drive or experience bouts of depression and anxiety following the wreck. While the accident may have left you emotionally distraught, concussions can cause mood changes. Get checked out by a doctor to ensure that your mood changes aren’t the result of a concussion or other brain injury. A therapist can help with anxiety or depression. In some cases, accident survivors may develop PTSD, nightmares, depression, changes in mood, and anxiety. One study found that up to 50 percent of car accident survivors develop PTSD following their accident. Costs for therapy and medical assistance can be expensive, but you may recover reimbursement. Contact a car accident lawyer to find out how you can obtain damages for physical and emotional problems resulting from a wreck. Some injuries may be fully apparent immediately following a car wreck, while others may take days or weeks to appear. Individuals at the scene of an accident are often stressed following the event and may have a surge of adrenaline that prevents them from realizing the accident injured them. Adrenaline usually stops feelings of pain and results in victims feeling very alert following the crash. Once car accident survivors return home, symptoms may become apparent. If you feel the symptoms mentioned in this article after a wreck, visit a doctor. They can assess you for serious injuries you might not recognize. You'll also receive a recommended treatment program that you should follow to support your recovery. Rather than deal with all of the repercussions of an accident on your own, seek legal help. Car accident attorneys are well-versed in the injuries that accident survivors commonly sustain in collisions. A good car accident lawyer can recommend when a visit to the doctor is in order and help you pursue reimbursement for your medical expenses.

Should I Contact a Car Accident Attorney?

Most people don't realize how much a car accident can affect their lives. Injuries can require years of extensive treatment. Those injured in a car accident should see a doctor to restore their health. A car accident lawyer can recover the monetary damages to cover your medical costs.

Adam B. Lawler

Attorney at Law / Partner

Adam Lawler is the founder of Lawler Brown. Adam is a 2004 graduate of Saint Louis University School of Law. Adam worked for a local firm until founding the Lawler Brown in 2009. Adam’s practice areas focus in Personal Injury, Business, Real Estate, Probate/Trust/Estate Administration and general litigation.

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