Injury Law Blog

What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident

Even a seemingly minor car accident can cause serious injuries and long-lasting pain. Car accidents may also aggravate preexisting injuries and medical conditions and cause injuries that do not manifest symptoms immediately. It is not uncommon for a driver to leave the scene of an accident feeling unharmed and then be in so much pain the following day that he or she can barely get out of bed or stand up. Drivers should know the injuries possible from car accidents and seek immediate medical treatment after any accident, even if a driver feels unharmed or believes he or she only sustained minor injuries.

Car Driving on Highway

Possible Injuries From a Car Accident

Drivers experience a wide range of injuries from car accidents each year. Some of these injuries may only cause minor pain and heal quickly while others cause intense pain and may require extensive recovery times. Catastrophic injuries have the potential to cause permanent disabilities and forever alter the quality of the victim’s life.

  • Bone fractures, some of which may require surgical procedures to heal
  • Burn injuries, which often result in permanent disfigurement and disability
  • Traumatic brain injuries, which entail a wide range of unpredictable symptoms
  • Spinal cord injuries, which may cause permanent loss of motor function in different parts of the body

These are just a few examples of acute traumatic injuries possible in a car accident. Many drivers only sustain minor scrapes, cuts, and bruises, and they may assume these injuries will heal on their own with minimal medical intervention. However, even seemingly minor injuries can cause serious medical complications later, and seeking immediate medical treatment after an accident helps reduce the risk of an unseen issue worsening before it shows any noticeable symptoms.

What Are the Side Effects After a Car Accident?

Most drivers may associate car accidents with injuries like bone fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal injuries, but the reality is that car accident victims also suffer from often-overlooked injuries.

  • Stomach and abdominal pain. An incorrectly fitted seatbelt could cause seatbelt syndrome, a condition characterized by the seatbelt squeezing the abdomen and damaging internal organs. Stomach pain after an accident could also be a symptom of acute internal injuries that require immediate medical care.
  • Soft tissue injuries. Damage to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the body may not be severe the day of the accident, but then turn excruciating the following day. Some of these injuries may only require rest to heal, while others may result in nerve damage or other long-term medical complications.
  • Headaches. A driver who recently had an accident may dismiss a headache as a symptom of stress or some other cause, but it could also be a sign of a blood clot, concussion, or other brain injury.
  • Numbness and tingling. These sensations may appear harmless at first but indicate serious medical issues like nerve damage, a spinal injury, or a herniated vertebral disc.
  • Aggravation of a preexisting illness or injury. A driver who has back problems could experience more severe symptoms after an accident due to the force of the crash worsening his or her preexisting condition. When drivers experience this, they can recover compensation for their additional or worsened symptoms, but cannot expect compensation for the total cost of such injuries.

This is not an exhaustive list, and an injured driver may experience these or other symptoms, some of which may indicate critical medical issues that demand immediate attention.

Seek Immediate Medical Care

It is important for every driver to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after a car accident. A medical professional will know how to check for potential injuries and investigate a patient’s symptoms to determine the underlying causes. A physician can provide a patient with a medical report after an exam for car accident injuries, and this report could be crucial for an insurance claim or future lawsuit.

If you were injured in a car accident due to the fault of another, a qualified Sacramento car accident attorney at Rosenthal & Kreeger, LLP can help. Our team has over 25 years of legal experience, and can handle your claim so you can focus on healing. Contact us today.