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What To Expect Physically After A Car Accident | John Foy & Associates

What To Expect Physically After A Car Accident

Around 7,500 people are injured every day in auto accidents, according to 2017 crash statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Car accident injuries can vary from minor to severe and even deadly. Many crash victims don’t feel the full extent of their injuries until hours or days after a car accident, and so it can be hard to know physically what to expect.

No matter how serious or minor your injuries may be, an experienced attorney can help you seek the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact us today for more information.

what are common physical symptoms after a car accident?

You may not fully feel all of your injuries in the moments immediately following the accident (more on that below), so here are some symptoms to watch out for.

headaches (very common)

Many people experience headaches after a car accident, but not always right away. Maybe you feel fine right after the accident, but wake up with a terrible headache the next morning, or even days after.

Headaches after a car accident can be caused by:

  • whiplash
  • neck or shoulder strain
  • concussion
  • traumatic brain injury
  • anxiety or disorder post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

A headache can range from a minor annoyance to a symptom of something more serious. If you get a headache at any time after your car accident, see your doctor as soon as possible to make sure everything is okay.

neck, shoulder or back pain

Pain in the neck, shoulders, or back is also common after a car accident. Some of these pains can seem to come out of nowhere after you feel fine. the pain may be in one place or feel like it’s going down your arms or legs. Either way, neck, shoulder, or back pain shouldn’t be ignored.

The causes of these pains may be due to:

  • stress
  • muscle strain
  • joint, tendon, or muscle injury
  • nerve or tissue damage
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Bruises are caused by damage to capillaries, the tiny blood vessels under the skin. You may not see the full extent of bruising right away because it can take time for blood from the vessels to reach the skin’s surface.

Most bruises heal on their own, but serious car accidents can cause internal organ damage that requires immediate medical attention. You should see a doctor especially if you have bruising, tenderness, or discoloration that does not improve.

numbness or tingling

Nerve or tissue damage can cause numbness or tingling, especially in the back, neck, shoulders, hands, or feet. this can sometimes be accompanied by pain. These symptoms will need treatment, so it’s important to mention them to your doctor as soon as you notice them.

mood swings

Physical injuries are the main source of compensation in a car accident insurance claim, but emotional damages are also very common. You may notice that you experience more anxiety, depression, or mood swings after the accident. concussions can also cause mood swings after a crash.

upset stomach or abdominal pain

If you were wearing your seat belt during the crash, it was likely tight on your body. this can cause bruising or other trauma to the stomach area. if you have pain or nausea, tell your doctor right away to rule out serious conditions such as internal bleeding.


After trauma to your body from an accident, swelling is very common. You may experience swelling due to tissue damage, muscle pulls, sprains (such as whiplash), and more. swelling can be complicated because it may not reach its full effect until hours or days later.

When the area swells, it can cause a lot of stiffness or pain. You can often remedy swelling at home by elevating and icing the area. however, you should still tell your doctor if you need additional medical care or longer-term treatment, such as physical therapy.

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ringing in the ears

Ringing in the ears is also known as tinnitus. it can be the result of loud noises, stress, or a concussion as a result of a car accident. Get your doctor’s opinion on the best way to treat your tinnitus.

difficulty concentrating or remembering

Stress, shock, or head injuries from a car accident can make you feel confused or have trouble remembering things.

While it may sound silly to go to the doctor for poor concentration, it’s best to make sure you don’t have serious brain trauma or mental health issues from the accident that need to be addressed.

blurred vision or dizziness

A variety of factors, such as whiplash, concussions, or post-traumatic stress disorder, can cause blurred vision or dizziness after a car accident. These symptoms can also take hours, days, or even weeks to fully develop, so get checked out if they continue or get worse.

Why don’t some car accident symptoms show up until later?

Many people feel shocked or even confused immediately after being in a car accident. As the driver in the accident, your mind is instantly on how to handle the situation. You’re probably worried about the damage the crash caused, whether or not those involved are okay, how to report the accident, how much it will cost, and more.

also, your body is being pumped with “fight or flight” hormones like adrenaline. These hormones help keep you alert to handle the accident while suppressing pain. He may not feel all the pain from his injuries (or any pain at all) until the stress hormones have balanced. That is why it is important to monitor yourself hours and days after the accident in case the pain worsens.

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How long can I expect physical recovery to take?

This answer can vary widely depending on the severity of your accident and your injuries. It can take anywhere from days to weeks, months or years for a car accident injury to fully heal. Factors such as age, health status, and treatment also play a role.

what you can do to help improve your recovery time

can help improve your recovery time by:

  • get treatment right away
  • follow your doctor’s advice carefully
  • follow all recommended long-term treatments, such as physical therapy
  • get get enough sleep
  • eat a healthy diet
  • do what you can to reduce stress

do you really need to hire a lawyer?

Working with a car accident attorney is helpful to many injury victims after a collision. If you were not at fault for your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your expenses. but dealing with the insurance claim and the insurance company while trying to get better is a lot to take on.

Having an attorney on your side allows you to focus on healing, reducing stress, and being with family while they handle the legal side of things.

for a free legal consultation, call 404-400-4000

If you need legal help after a car accident, contact our attorneys today

john foy & associates can help you file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance after being injured in a car accident. you shouldn’t have to worry about the legal process on top of trying to get better and pay your bills.

Our goal is to obtain full compensation for your damages and we have been helping car accident victims do just that for over 20 years. To schedule a free consultation with us, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online today.

call or text 404-400-4000 or fill out a free case evaluation form

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