Every car accident has three collisions: vehicular, human, and internal. The human and internal collisions are the two that can impact your health and safety, causing external and internal injuries. The consequences of your car accident injuries could last the rest of your life. More minor injury symptoms, however, should abate over the course of a few weeks. If you’re still feeling sore months after a car accident, you could have more serious injuries than you initially thought. In the event another party caused your accident, speak with a West Virginia car accident attorney to learn if you can recover compensation for your injuries.

When to See a Doctor

Don’t risk your health or future by delaying medical care after a car accident. See a physician the moment you suspect you have any type of car accident injury. Even if you don’t feel any symptoms, go to the hospital for a checkup. You could have injuries you can’t yet feel due to the adrenaline of the collision. Your physician will diagnose any injuries and give you a timeline for when to expect any soreness to subside.

Average Recovery Time: Six Weeks

No formula will tell you how long you’ll experience soreness or pain after a car accident. Only your physician can give you an accurate depiction of how long you may expect the sore feeling to last. However, most car accident survivors who experience pain, soreness, and discomfort fully recover by six weeks. This is the average amount of time soft-tissue injuries, such as minor strains and bruising, take to heal. Some patients may recover in a shorter amount of time, while others may feel sore longer than six weeks. The following questions can help you find out how long to expect soreness to last after a crash:

  • What type of car accident were you in?
  • How fast were both vehicles going at the time of the collision?
  • Were there bicycles, motorcycles, or commercial trucks involved?
  • Were you wearing your seatbelt?
  • Did the crash set off your airbags?

Again, six weeks is a very general estimate. Visit a doctor or chiropractor with experience handling car accident injuries for personalized information. An official, professional evaluation is the only way to get an accurate estimate of how long you may feel sore or stiff after a collision. Pay attention to the answer your doctor gives you, as well as to how you feel in the weeks following a collision. If your pain gets worse or your symptoms last longer than the doctor estimated, return for a follow-up appointment. Your injuries may not be healing as they should.

Signs of Something Amiss After an Accident

If your pain or soreness is bad after a car accident, your doctor can prescribe pain relief medication and/or physical therapy to help. You may have to refrain from typical work-related tasks while you recover; especially physical jobs such as lifting boxes or working on an assembly line. You could be eligible to recover these damages in a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Once you visit the hospital and receive your treatment plan, pay careful attention to how you feel in the weeks following a car accident. If you notice any of the following symptoms, return to your doctor:

  • Numbness or tingling
  • Chronic pain
  • Loss of movement or sensation in the limbs
  • Confusion or memory loss
  • Worsened pain
  • Behavioral changes

Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), can worsen over time instead of getting better – especially if you didn’t go to the doctor, don’t realize you have a TBI, and never received treatment. Others, such as a slipped disc, may feel okay until you do something that triggers the injury, such as bending down to lift a heavy box. Any new pain, continued soreness past the estimated timeframe from your doctor, and pain that feels debilitating are reasons to receive a renewed medical evaluation in the weeks or months following a car accident.