As if the car accident alone isn’t stressful enough, you have to worry about the other consequences of it. Some include physical injuries and recovery, so you’d like to know what to expect physically after a car accident.
These injuries can vary from minor to severe or even lethal. In addition, some people feel the full extent of the car accident after-effects hours or even days following a car crash, so it can be challenging to know what to expect physically after such a crash.
That’s why this article will uncover everything you need to know about the physical consequences if you are a victim of such an unfortunate event.
What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident
No car accident is the same. While some crashes are less severe than others, and there are no physical symptoms after, you may still feel the emotional impact of the crash.
Physical Symptoms After a Car Accident
Neck, Back, and Shoulder Pain
When wanting to know what happens to your body after a car accident, remember that pain is common, primarily because the neck and head get whipped back and forth due to the impact. Musculoskeletal pain is also typical.
The cause of this pain after a car accident may come from
- muscle tension
- nerve or tissue damage
- injury to the tendons, joints, or muscles
Rear-end accidents often result in whiplash injuries, so remember that neck pain is a crucial symptom. Neck, shoulder, and back car accident pain may show itself immediately, but sometimes, you may experience delayed pain hours or even days after the accident.
People may feel headaches in the aftermath of a car accident, immediately after or even days later. They can be caused by:
- neck tension
- anxiety or PTSD
- traumatic brain injury
If you wonder what to expect physically after a car accident, remember that swelling is one of the usual car accident after effects. It can cause stiffness, pain, or being sore after a car accident, which you can often treat at home by icing the area.
Moreover, you can notice swelling hours or days after a crash. It can be felt because of pulled muscles, sprains, tissue damage, and similar.
Abdominal Pain and Upset Stomach
Wearing a seatbelt during a crash may result in abdominal pain and an upset stomach because the seatbelt is tightly pulled on the body. That may also lead to bruising or other trauma to the stomach.
Emotional Symptoms After a Car Accident
Other after-effects of a car accident involve changes in your mood. In fact, they are common after a concussion caused by a crash.
This is a normal reaction after a car crash, as people are often in shock. However, if it lasts more than several hours, seek medical care, as it may indicate brain injury.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Some of the psychological injuries from a car accident involve PTSD. Any traumatic event may trigger it. In fact, 38% of car crash survivors develop PTSD. Victims report nightmares and flashbacks and cannot put the crash behind them.
As we know, depression means sadness and a lack of interest in activities you typically enjoy. These symptoms can last for several weeks.
But why is depression one of the post-car accident symptoms? That’s usually because people who have experienced the accident feel guilty and sad, mainly if it ends in a fatality.
This is a typical mental health issue characterized by constant fear and worry. After a car crash, an anxious individual can have difficulties driving again because they’re afraid another collision will happen.
Some physical symptoms may include trouble breathing, increased heart rate, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems.
Signs You Should Go to the Hospital After a Car Accident
Tingling or Numbness
Tissue or nerve damage may lead to tingling or numbness, particularly in the shoulders, back, hands, neck, and feet. Furthermore, it may be accompanied by pain. These symptoms require treatment, so a doctor should be notified about them.
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, chances are you’ll have some bruising. Damage to capillaries causes it. However, it sometimes takes time, as the blood from your vessels has to reach your skin’s surface.
While most bruises heal on their own, severe car crashes cause damage to internal organs and need immediate medical attention. So, if bruising, discoloration, and tenderness don’t improve, be sure to see a doctor.
These are some of the most common high-impact car accident injuries. They can be seen and felt right away. Broken bones or fractures usually cause severe pain at the site of the injury. With broken bones, you can also notice swelling and bruising.
If there’s an open fracture, the bone sticks out from the skin. Whatever the case, get medical care immediately, even if you aren’t sure whether the bone is broken. Remember that avoiding treatment can lead to permanent damage.
Ear ringing or tinnitus can result from a concussion after a car crash. Seek medical care for the best way to treat this.
Dizziness or Blurry Vision
Many factors, like concussions, whiplash, or PTSD, can contribute to having blurred vision or dizziness following a car crash. It may take hours, days, or even weeks for these symptoms to develop. So, if they last or worsen, get checked.
Trouble Remembering or Concentrating
Shock, head injuries, or a high-stress level after a car accident may lead to you having trouble remembering things and feeling foggy. While they may be meaningless, they may also be warning signs after a car accident, as they may indicate serious brain trauma.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From a Car Accident?
There’s no one correct answer to this, as it depends on the severity and type of crash and your injuries. Car accident injuries may take days, weeks, months, or years to heal fully. Moreover, several factors play a large part:
- health status
What to Do to Improve Your Car Accident Recovery
Fortunately, there are things you can do if you want to know how to feel better after a car accident and improve your recovery:
- Seek medical care immediately.
- Follow your doctor’s advice.
- Try to reduce stress.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Get enough sleep.
What to Expect From Insurance After a Car Accident
Insurance companies offer protection in case of a car accident. In fact, State Farm is one of the best car insurance companies. So, contacting your insurance is crucial if you wonder what to do after a car accident.
However, in such an event, you can expect that an insurance company will try their best to save as much money as possible, usually by offering a settlement less than your claim’s total value, denying coverage, delaying your claim’s investigation, and similar.
Usually, a claim adjuster examines the car damage and informs the insurance companies about their findings. Then, the insurance company uses these findings to determine the car accident settlement.
The best ways of dealing with an insurance company successfully are:
- Collect as much evidence as you can.
- Keep strict records of everything.
- Communicate openly and clearly.
- Know the cost of repairs.
- Be careful about which documents you sign.
- Get legal counsel.
That said, remember that after an accident, insurance rates increase by 41%.
People Also Ask
What happens to your body when you get hit by a car?
When a car hits a pedestrian, the initial impact includes the car bumper hitting the leg or knee joint of the pedestrian.
The thigh touches the hood’s edge, and the body contours to the car front and is carried. Then, the lower body is thrown forward, while the upper part is thrown relative to the car.
How long after a car accident can injuries appear?
These injuries may appear right away, or even days or weeks after the accident. Sometimes, if the injury from the car accident is life-threatening, it can worsen for weeks before you realize the problem originated from the crash.
How long does fatigue last after a car accident?
Sleepiness and fatigue are expected after any stressful situation, including a car accident. In fact, when adrenaline after a car accident leaves the body, a person may feel exhausted. Then again, if it lasts for more than a week, or the fatigue doesn’t seem normal, seek medical care.
What are the symptoms of shock after an accident?
Some of the symptoms, whether they appear immediately or are delayed shock symptoms after an accident, include:
- fatigue and weakness
- increased agitation
- dilated pupils
- difficulty breathing
- pale skin
- nausea and vomiting
How long does it take for your body to feel better after a car accident?
As we already mentioned, that depends on many factors. However, a rough estimate is that soreness of the body after a car accident lingers for up to six weeks. So, keep this in mind when wondering what to expect physically after a car accident.