How Long Should You Expect to Be Sore After a Car Accident?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Feeling sore after a car accident is a common symptom of being in a crash. Many minor and severe injuries, ranging from bruising and whiplash to dislocations and broken bones, can cause soreness after a vehicle collision.
Post-accident soreness can last days, weeks, or months, sometimes indicating a more serious underlying injury. Understanding what might be causing your soreness after a car accident and how long it lasts can help you get the medical care you need.
At Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C., our car accident attorneys can help you receive compensation to pay for your soreness-related expenses after a crash. Our legal team will help you file for personal injury protection insurance benefits and, if necessary, seek a settlement from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Car Accident Injuries That Cause Soreness
Several types of injuries can cause soreness after a car accident, such as back pain, neck stiffness, or limb or body discomfort. Typical injuries that cause soreness for those involved in a car crash include:
- Whiplash: Whiplash is one of the most common injuries associated with car accidents. It typically occurs during rear-end collisions when the sudden force causes the neck to whip back and forth, resulting in soft tissue damage in the neck and upper back. Whiplash symptoms can include stiffness, reduced range of motion, headaches, and soreness.
If you suffer whiplash, symptoms may not manifest immediately—they can take hours, days, or even longer to appear. Depending on the severity, whiplash-associated discomfort can last from a few days to around three months, with severe whiplash injuries causing long-term discomfort.
- Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue injuries encompass damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. In a car accident, these can occur from the impact itself or the body’s sudden movement. Strains, sprains, and bruising are common examples. The resulting soreness can range from mild to severe, potentially impacting movement and everyday tasks. Soft tissue injuries may take days to weeks to heal, but more serious cases could require months of recovery.
- Contusions and abrasions: Contusions (bruises) and abrasions (scrapes or scratches) are frequent in car accidents due to the body’s impact with the car’s interior or if an airbag deploys. Although these injuries are usually skin-deep, they can cause tenderness and discomfort that may last a few days to a couple of weeks. Larger or deeper contusions might take longer to heal, potentially resulting in longer-lasting soreness.
- Fractures and dislocations: Fractures (broken bones) and dislocations are more severe injuries that can occur in high-impact accidents. Both can cause substantial pain and soreness. Healing times vary depending on the severity and location of the injury but can range from weeks to several months. Even after the initial healing process, some soreness might persist during rehabilitation.
When Soreness May Indicate a More Serious Injury
Part of understanding how long you will be sore after a car accident is knowing whether you have a more serious underlying condition that can leave long-lasting damage. If you feel sore after a car accident and experience the following, see your medical provider as soon as possible. This will ensure you receive proper treatment and document your injuries for your car accident claim.
- Headaches: While headaches can be a symptom of whiplash, they can also indicate a more serious injury, such as a concussion, blood clot, or traumatic brain injury. A headache that intensifies over time or is accompanied by other symptoms like vomiting, blurred vision, or confusion should be considered a medical emergency.
- Neck pain: Neck pain is often associated with whiplash, but persistent or intense pain can signal a more severe issue, such as a cervical fracture or herniated disc.
- Shoulder pain: Shoulder pain may be due to soft tissue injuries, fractures, or dislocations but could also be referred pain from injuries to the neck or spine, which may require immediate attention.
- Back pain: Back pain can result from soft tissue injuries or whiplash. However, it could also indicate a serious injury to the spine or internal organs, especially if accompanied by other symptoms such as difficulty breathing or abdominal pain.
- Stomach pain: Stomach pain following a car accident could be a sign of a serious internal injury, such as internal bleeding, which requires immediate medical attention.
- Numbness or tingling: This can be a symptom of a herniated disc or spinal injury, which may cause nerve damage. Immediate assessment is crucial to prevent permanent damage.
Should You Seek Medical Attention if You Feel Sore After a Crash?
Even if you only feel a little sore after a car accident, you should always seek medical attention as soon as possible after the crash. The adrenaline surge during and after a traumatic event like a vehicle collision can mask pain and discomfort. However, these injuries can be serious or life-threatening if not promptly diagnosed and treated.
Medical care can protect your health and your rights to compensation after a crash. Seeing your doctor can help you with the following:
- Early diagnosis: Early medical attention can help identify and treat hidden or internal injuries before they worsen. Prompt medical attention can prevent complications, such as internal bleeding, nerve damage, or long-term impairment, by providing appropriate treatment and rehabilitation.
- Linking injuries to the crash: Seeking immediate medical attention helps establish a clear connection between the accident and your injuries, which is essential for insurance claims and potential legal actions.
- Comprehensive documentation: Medical records serve as evidence of the extent and severity of your injuries, supporting your claim for compensation and maximizing the chances of obtaining a fair settlement.
- Accurate compensation: Medical care helps you and your attorney determine fair compensation for your injuries. This includes medical expenses like treatments, rehabilitation services, and attendant care. You may also be able to include non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, in a third-party claim.
Can You Seek Compensation for Injuries Resulting From a Collision?
In the event of a car accident, you can seek compensation for injuries sustained. In Michigan, the primary form of compensation comes through Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which is part of the state’s no-fault auto insurance law.
- Personal injury protection (PIP): PIP insurance covers all necessary medical costs associated with the accident, regardless of who was at fault. This includes expenses for medical care, rehabilitation services, and in-home nursing care if necessary.In addition to medical costs, PIP covers up to 85% of the income you would have earned if you hadn’t been injured (for up to three years). It can provide up to $20 per day for replacement services like housekeeping or yard work that you cannot do because of your injury.
- Serious injury threshold and third-party claims: If your injuries exceed Michigan’s serious injury threshold or your costs exceed what is covered by your PIP insurance, you may be able to file a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The serious injury threshold typically includes serious impairment of a body function, permanent serious disfigurement, or death.
In these third-party claims, you may be able to recover damages for excess medical costs and lost income not covered by your PIP insurance. Third-party claims also allow you to seek non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, that PIP doesn’t cover.
What Can an Attorney Do for Your Car Accident Case
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, speaking with an attorney from experienced Michigan law firm Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. can help you with your claim. Our knowledgeable legal team can do the following to assist you with your case and help you receive a fair settlement for your injuries:
- Filing the appropriate claim: Based on the extent of your injuries and the details of the accident, we can help you file a PIP claim, a third-party claim, or both. We will ensure all paperwork is correctly completed and submitted on time.
- Negotiating for a fair settlement: Engaging an attorney from our law firm to negotiate a fair settlement is a strategic move because we can provide expert advice, protect your interests, and handle complex legal procedures.
Our expertise lets us evaluate your situation objectively, understand the applicable laws, calculate fair compensation, and negotiate assertively on your behalf. By leveraging our negotiating skills and legal knowledge, you stand a better chance of achieving a favorable outcome.
- Representing you in court: If the insurer refuses a fair settlement or your case is particularly complex, it may be necessary to go to court. If this happens, you can rely on our legal team’s trial experience and legal knowledge. We will stand by your side, present a strong case, and advocate for your rights.
- Offering accessible legal services: We understand that many accident victims struggle to pay for medical care and vehicle repairs and may have lost wages due to time off work to recover from their injuries. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t have to worry about legal fees upfront. This allows you to get the representation you deserve so you can receive restitution for your injuries.
Get Compensation After Experiencing Soreness in a Michigan Car Accident
When feeling sore after a car accident, early action is critical, both in terms of medical treatment and legal action. Being proactive can help ensure you receive the necessary medical care and that your rights are protected throughout the process.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Michigan and are unsure of your next steps, contact Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. Our attorneys can review your case during a free consultation and help you understand your legal options when you suffer injuries that leave you feeling sore after a car accident.
Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 1-866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.