How Long Should You Be Sore After A Car Accident?

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Legally reviewed by Alex Uriarte on January 6, 2021 Alex Uriarte is a member of the 1-800-Injured network.

After a car accident, it is expected that you will have some aches and pains — or, in more serious crashes, that you will have significant pain for an extended period of time. Either way, dealing with pain after an accident that someone else caused can be both frustrating and disruptive, not to mention the financial impacts that your injuries will likely have on your ability to earn an income. This is why it is so important that you seek fair and appropriate compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the responsible driver’s insurance company. 

It can be difficult to make sense of the severity of your injuries – you may even go so far as to tell yourself that your injuries aren’t serious enough to warrant a claim, or that you should just file a claim for your property damage done to your vehicle and move on with your life. Unfortunately, many people will decide that pursuing damages for their injuries is too big of a hassle, but policyholders are entitled to collect compensation for their damages. Some insurance companies tend to try to maximize profits by paying as little as possible for any given claim against their clients. Your claim will be no different. 

Crashed Front

Contact 1-800-Injured To Be Connected With an Attorney Today

If you have been injured in an accident, one of the first things that you should be focusing on (other than getting the medical attention that you need to make a recovery) is your legal options, and building a case that will fight for a fair settlement or award for your injuries and suffering. However, taking this first step can be difficult when you are trying to come to terms with the extent of your injuries while additionally managing things like time missed from work, overwhelming pain, missed obligations, and more. This is why we offer a free initial consultation before connecting you to a car accident lawyer who is ready and willing to take your case as soon as possible. 

1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service. Instead of reaching out to countless personal injury attorneys in your area hoping to find a law firm that is ready to take your case, we will do the legwork for you while you use this valuable time to focus on your personal needs. Contact us immediately to schedule your case evaluation so that you will be able to discuss the specifics of your accident, your injuries, and the impact that someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior has had on your life with an experienced legal professional. 

Read more below to get a better idea of the types of injuries that you can seek compensation for in an insurance claim, and contact us as soon as possible to be connected with an attorney in your area who is available to represent your case today.

Common Injuries After Car Accidents

The following are some of the most common injuries that victims suffer after being in a car accident, though of course, the severity of specifics of your own injuries will vary. No two accidents are the same, and every injury is unique. Whether or not you see your own injuries listed below, contact us as soon as possible so that you can be connected with an attorney who will take a customized approach to calculating the damages that you have suffered and the compensation you are entitled to. No injury should go uncompensated when caused by the actions of someone else.


Whiplash is an extremely common injury in car accidents, even at low speeds. This is a soft tissue injury caused by the head being snapped rapidly in an “S” motion as the passenger jerks forward, down, and back as they are restrained by the seat belt . The resulting injury is damage to the soft tissues like the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck and can result in serious neck pain, stiffness, difficulty moving, headaches, and more. Recovery from this type of injury often requires a neck brace to keep the head and neck immobilized while the tissues recover, but in more serious cases, surgical intervention may be required. Whiplash usually gets better in 2-3 months, but you will want to work with your doctor in order to get a clear understanding of your expected recovery times.

Crash from behind


Sprains happen when ligaments — typically in joints like the ankles, wrists, knees, elbows, and anywhere else that two bones are joined by ligaments — are stretched, twisted, and otherwise torn. Ligaments are tough, fibrous bands of tissue that connect bones in joints, and allow for safe and easy mobility. These injuries may either simply require a brace and to be immobilized for an extended period of time, but more serious sprains may require surgery in order to reconnect tissues or to add additional support if the injuries are serious enough. Depending on the extent of the sprain, your recovery time could be anywhere between two weeks to two months, but you may experience lifelong issues as a result of your sprain if not treated properly and with urgency.


Bruising occurs when an impact breaks the blood vessels close to the surface of the skin, causing blood to pool under the skin that starts out with a black-and-blue coloration but then changes to colors like green, yellow, or purple as it recovers. Typically, bruises are left to heal on their own as long as they are supported with rest, intermittent icing, compression, and elevating the injured area. While the bruised area may likely be sore due to the impact, the bruise itself is relatively painless. If you have a painful, swollen, or lumping bruise, you may have a hematoma that will require medical treatment. If the bruise continues to spread, it may be an indication of more severe injuries that will also require immediate care.


Hematomas are similar to bruises, but occur with damage to larger blood vessels. Hematomas are characterized by swelling and lumps at the injury area, as well as sensitivity to the touch. Whereas bruises often recover on their own, a hematoma requires a visit to the doctor, as some serious cases may require surgery. The swelling from a hematoma will likely subside in the first two weeks, but the unsightly bruising could last for months.


A fracture is, simply put, a broken bone, and requires immediate medical care to ensure that you are able to make a full recovery without any complications or further injuries. Many fractures must be “set,” meaning that the doctor will realign the bone to its original shape, and then will be placed in a cast for up to 8 weeks, or in certain cases even longer. Minor fractures, such as a hairline fracture, may simply require an air cast or other removable cast so that it stays immobilized as it heals itself. Serious fractures might require surgery as well as hardware like screws, pins, or plates to ensure that the bone stays where it should as the broken parts fuse back together.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries come in many forms, all of which require medical care to ensure that accident victims are able to make a recovery without worrying about any additional complications or side effects. These types of injuries typically come from a blow to the head, but can also be caused by drug interaction, loss of oxygen, and more. The most common type of traumatic brain injury is a concussion,  also referred to as the  “silent killer.” Historically, concussions were downplayed and left to recover on their own. Unfortunately, they  can cause long-term or permanent brain damage such as changes in personality, headaches, irritability, amnesia, confusion, and more. In the most extreme cases, a concussion can cause brain death. In most instances, a concussion will begin to dissipate in 7 to 10 days, but serious concussions can last for months.

Spinal Injuries

Spinal injuries are extremely serious and always require medical care and attention. If you suspect that you or someone else in your vehicle has suffered from a spinal injury, it is important that you do not move them so that you do not do further damage to the spine. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves running from your brain stem to your tailbone and sends signals from the brain to the rest of the body. Severing the spinal cord can result in paralysis, either partial or complete, below the site of the injury. These injuries may be repaired with physical therapy and a range of medical interventions, but in many cases, a paralysis injury may be permanent.

Nerve Damage

Nerve damage takes many forms and can result in symptoms like tingling in your extremities, or complete loss of sensation in the affected area. Depending on the type of injury and the severity of the wounds that caused the nerve damage, recovery time could be anywhere from 2 weeks to indefinite. If you are experiencing numbness, tingling, or difficulty with sensations, it is important that you see a doctor as soon as possible so that they can determine what the issue is, and begin to develop a treatment course in order to facilitate a successful recovery. You will need to have a specific understanding of your nerve damage in order to understand how long you can expect to experience symptoms. 


Lacerations are extremely common in car accidents and can either happen because of a blow to a hard surface or from sharp objects such as broken glass from the accident. Because lacerations can range from extremely minor cuts that require a bandage to very serious damage to main arteries, it is important to determine the extent of your injury and then decide whether or not you need medical intervention. If you are unable to stop the bleeding, or if you are losing excessive blood, you must get medical attention as soon as possible. In the meantime, applying pressure to the injured area can help to slow the blood loss until EMTs arrive on the scene. Depending on the severity of your lacerations, you may recover within days, or it may take months for internal and/or external stitches to fully heal and the area to be considered “recovered.”

What To Do If You Are Sore After an Accident

In many instances where someone suffers soft tissue injuries, they may not actually realize they are injured until a day or two after the crash. This is similar to doing a hard workout and not being completely sore for 36 to 48 hours after your workout. This is why it is important that you do not make ANY absolute statements about your condition at the scene of the accident; otherwise, the insurance company will attempt to use these statements against you and try to downplay your injuries. They may go as far as trying to suggest that the injuries you are claiming are not even related to your accident, knowing full well that it is common for people to have these delayed reactions.

Contact Your Doctor Immediately

After any accident, one of the first things that you should do is to contact your primary care physician and schedule an appointment for an examination. During this examination, they will be able to check any areas that you are experiencing pain in, and determine the cause of the pain, nature of the injury, and develop a treatment and recovery plan so that you can get on with your life as soon as possible. At the same time, they will be producing important documentation that can prove your injuries so that the insurance company is not able to question their validity. Any injury that you do not have supporting evidence of will be difficult to seek fair compensation for, since the insurance company will use your lack of evidence as a way to reduce the amount of money that they ultimately pay out for your claim. Again, if you are sore at all, contact your doctor immediately. 

Hire an Attorney To Help Build Your Case

At the same time, it is important that you hire an attorney soon after the accident. Shortly after a crash that someone else caused, you will need to file a claim with their insurance company in order to recover fair compensation for your injuries. However, if you are filing this claim on your own, then the insurance company may  take advantage of your inexperience and health condition, so that they can pay you as little as possible. Instead of trying to take them on by yourself, hiring an attorney will give you the necessary power to push back, while giving yourself valuable time to focus on your own needs. 

Do Not Downplay Your Injuries

If you are suffering in any capacity as a result of someone else’s dangerous, reckless, or negligent behavior on the road, then there is absolutely no reason that you should have to suffer without compensation or retribution. At the same time, do not feel guilty that you are seeking compensation – this is what insurance companies are for, and if you do not speak up for your needs, the insurance company will NEVER offer you the money that you rightfully deserve. Your attorney will help you fight to get the money that you are rightfully entitled to, so that you do not need to suffer the consequences of the other driver’s actions without some sort of support. While no amount of money will make your injuries go away, it does not change the fact that you are entitled to compensation.

Contact 1-800-Injured As Soon As Possible For a Free Case Evaluation

The sooner you request your initial consultation with 1-800-Injured, the sooner you will be able to connect with an experienced and diligent personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your rights and options as a victim in this situation. They will be able to help you understand the legal implications of your injuries more and can help you understand how compensation works – especially when relating to ongoing injuries and soreness after going through such a painful and frustrating experience as a car accident. We look forward to speaking with you, and to helping you along this journey towards getting the care and compensation that you deserve.

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