A car accident derails your life. On the day of the accident, a crash prevents you from reaching your destination, of course, and causes untold stress, potential pain, and expense. In the weeks that follow, soreness from car accident injuries—even ones that at first seemed “minor”—can prevent you from working, exercising, and taking care of day-to-day tasks.
The longer soreness lasts after a car accident, the more worrisome it becomes. What started as the sort of ache or pain you might expect as a matter of course, turns into chronic discomfort that disrupts your life and leaves you wondering: how long is this supposed to last?
Only a doctor can provide you with a definitive answer to that question; but here are some general guidelines.
Average Durations of Soreness After a Car Accident
For minor injuries following a car accident, soreness should resolve within around six weeks. Strains and sprains, for example, usually show significant progress toward healing in that timeframe. More serious injuries, including traumatic brain injury and spinal cord damage, may take longer to heal, and require the careful supervision of a qualified medical professional. Here are some general guidelines for how long soreness may last for other types of common car accident injuries.
Neck and Shoulder Soft Tissue Injury
Car accidents frequently cause harm to the soft tissue in the necks and shoulders of vehicle occupants. These injuries occur when vehicles come to a sudden stop, causing a person’s head to “whip” forward and backward. For some people, pain and stiffness from soft tissue injuries resolve within a few days of the accident. Other victims, however, may notice that whiplash lingers even longer, sometimes for the rest of their lives. Regardless, see a doctor immediately because this condition can lead to chronic pain if not treated appropriately.
Generally, broken bones heal within six to eight weeks. If repairing a broken bone requires surgery, however, then the timeline may stretch to more than three months. Even after they heal, bone breaks may a person struggling with lingering pain that never seems to go away. Seeing a doctor right away for a broken bone is the safest way to manage that discomfort.
Abrasions and Lacerations
A car crash can inflict severe cuts and scrapes; not the kind you treat with a BandAid, but rather, deep trauma to skin layers and muscle tissue that require major medical intervention to repair. While minor cuts and scrapes typically heal within seven days, these more serious injuries may take months to mend and, even then, leave behind disfiguring scars, chronic aches, and limited range of motion. See a doctor right away for a major laceration or abrasion, and for any cut or scrape that refuses to heal, radiates redness, feels hot or painful to the lightest touch, or increasingly hurts over time (as these may signal a dangerous infection).
Minor burns may heal in as little as ten days to two weeks. More serious burns and those that cover a large surface area may take three or four weeks to heal. The most severe and extensive burns may take months or more, and painful surgeries, to repair. Pain decreases with time as the burn heals. In some cases, scarring may leave the skin with ongoing sensitivity following an accident.
What if My Soreness Lasts Longer Than Average?
Soreness that lasts for longer than you expect, or that gets worse over time, could be a sign of serious, dangerous health conditions caused by your car accident. See a doctor right away.
We do not mean to scare you. Stay calm and remember that everyone heals differently. The soreness you feel could constitute a typical aspect of the healing process. However, if there is one thing we have learned over our years of experience as Las Vegas personal injury lawyers, it is this: the one thing you should never gamble with, is your health.
Here is the advice we offer anyone who has suffered through the trauma of a car accident:
Always seek medical attention after a car crash. Do not wait to start to feel sore, and definitely do not wait for soreness to get worse. Take a trip to the hospital emergency room directly from the accident scene, or schedule an immediate appointment with your regular doctor. Why are we so insistent about this? Because we know from experience that many car accident injuries do not show symptoms right away. In fact, some of the worst trauma—brain injury and internal bleeding, for example—may not seem noticeable at all to a victim in the moments after a crash.
Doctors can diagnose these injuries with simple tests or examinations almost immediately, however. Not only does seeing a doctor protect your health, it also generates important health records that demonstrate the link between your crash and your injuries, which may prove critical when it comes time to deal with insurance companies and lawyers.
Rest. Your body needs rest to heal properly after an accident. If you fail to take the necessary time to rest, you may discover that soreness lasts longer than you originally expected. You may even end up hurting yourself further. Consult with a doctor to learn how to adapt your daily schedule to speed your recovery.
Consult an attorney. An attorney’s job is to get you the money you deserve after you suffer injuries in a car accident. Do not wait for soreness worsen to decide you might need legal help.
Schedule a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney right away to learn whether you have grounds for a legal claim for damages against the party who was at fault in your crash.
If you do, then your attorney can help you manage the process of interacting with insurance companies and taking the steps in your recovery to ensure you protect your legal rights.
Contact an experienced car accident injury attorney today to learn more.
Benson & Bingham
626 S 10th St
Las Vegas, NV 89101