What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident?

Published on: 12/01/23 — In 

After suffering a car accident, it’s important to pay close attention and know what to expect physically after a car accident. From high-speed collisions to minor fender benders, any type of traffic crash can cause long-term damage both internally and externally.

Emotionally, you may be overwhelmed as you have to simultaneously process the toll of the accident, and handle phone calls with insurance companies, police reports, and more. It’s understandable if you feel helpless and alone in picking up the often daunting pieces of a car wreck.

Fortunately, there is support—experienced lawyers who help their clients during these trying times. At Ktenas Injury Attorneys in Chicago, our attorneys offer invaluable assistance when it comes to handling the aftermath of an accident. 

We will guide you through the legal process, ensure that you understand your rights, and ensure that your medical and legal bills are covered. We work hard to fight for your financial recovery and make sure you receive the maximum compensation for your losses so that you can focus on the most important thing—your physical recovery.

Call our skilled Chicago auto accident lawyers today for a free consultation and personalized case evaluation at 312-300-2515

Common Symptoms of Injury from a Car Accident

Immediately following the motor vehicle crash, adrenaline will be pumping and you may not feel any injury symptoms. However, in the coming hours or days after the accident, you may begin to feel the physical effects of the crash. 

The most common symptoms experienced after being in a collision might include headaches, neck stiffness and pain, dizziness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, and nausea or vomiting. You might also have a broken bone, shoulder pain, or numbness/tingling in your arms or hands.

Chicago car accident attorney Chris Ktenas discussing an accident claim with a client

Furthermore, you could feel back pain due to whiplash-like movements during the impact, abdominal or stomach pain caused by seatbelt pressure or airbag injuries, sleep disturbances from PTSD resulting from the trauma of the accident, and pain as a result of soft tissue damage.

If you experience any of these symptoms following a car accident, it is important that you seek medical attention immediately. It is possible these symptoms could indicate a type of brain injury or other underlying issue that requires immediate treatment.

Types of Injuries

There are some common car accident injuries that you may experience after a crash - some are more severe injuries than others. Depending on the severity of the crash and your body's position in the vehicle during impact, you might sustain anything from a minor bruise to an injury that requires immediate medical care. Here are some types of physical injuries associated with car accidents:

FAQ: How long does it take to settle a car accident claim in Chicago, Illinois?

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a result of physical trauma to the head and can have serious long-term effects. TBI can cause long-term damage to brain function, allowing individuals to suffer from memory difficulties, depression, mental health issues, learning disabilities, and personality changes.

Symptoms of a severe head injury may not present until days, weeks, or months after a motor vehicle accident, so it is important to be aware of any symptoms that could be caused by a TBI. Prompt medical intervention may be able to prevent further damage and allow for a better recovery rate from brain trauma. It is best practice for all accidents with impacts to the head that cause any possible concussion-like symptoms should be promptly assessed by a qualified medical professional.

Neck Pain

Neck pain is also an incredibly common injury in car accidents. Neck injuries caused by a sudden jolt or jerk, such as whiplash, can have lasting effects on the back and neck muscles and tissues. Whiplash is caused when the head quickly moves backward and forward like a whip, causing strain on the neck and back muscles. These common types of injuries often leave crash victims with significant discomfort, stiffness, reduced range of motion, neckaches, headaches, and difficulty concentrating for extended periods of time.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal injuries are serious crash injuries that can occur as a result of accident trauma. Spinal cord damage can result in significant nerve damage that can leave an individual with a lifetime of pain, or lifelong disabilities. While experiencing back pain is normal after an accident, if you’re experiencing extreme chronic pain or pressure, it’s important to seek medical care right away because you may have a spinal cord injury.

a man holding his head after an injury in Chicago

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is a potentially serious medical condition, especially when linked to internal organ damage or bleeding. Any type of auto accident—whether it’s a minor fender bender or head-on collision—can cause blunt force trauma to the abdomen area and result in intense abdominal pains. If you experience any severe pain symptoms in your stomach region following an accident, it is important to take immediate action to avoid both short-term and long-term health problems.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries are surprisingly common after a car accident, despite not being visible on X-rays or other medical scans. Our bodies have many soft tissues, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments, that give hard structures like our bones support. In the event of a car accident, these relatively fragile structures are often strained or twisted as a result of the quick jerking motions experienced during impact. This can lead to injuries such as whiplash, strains, sprains, joint pain, and muscle damage in the neck, back, or other body areas.

Learn More: Filing for Pain and Suffering After a Car Accident in Illinois

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder injuries can cause a lot of physical pain and discomfort for injured accident victims. When the human body is thrown forward or twisted due to a car accident, the force can specifically put an immense amount of strain on one's shoulder. Common shoulder injuries as a result include bruising, strain, and even more severe damage such as rotator cuff tears. The longer a person goes without properly treating these issues, the worse they’ll become, and may require surgery or physical therapy to fully recover in some cases.

Internal Organ Damage

It is essential to seek immediate care from a healthcare professional after a car crash as you may have internal injuries that you may not be aware of. In some cases, the initial signs of internal trauma, organ damage, or internal bleeding may not be immediately apparent, and these are often referred to as "hidden injuries" since they are not visible externally. Instead, they may manifest as unexplained abdominal swelling or a sudden high fever.

Internal bleeding, blood clots, and organ damage are life-threatening injuries. This is especially true of internal bleeding, which can quickly progress into sepsis if not attended to in time. In such cases, medical attention is highly recommended and any delay could result in a permanent disability or even death.

Treatment for Car Accident Injuries

Seeking treatment for car accident injuries is essential, though it can be costly and have a significant financial impact. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure you receive appropriate financial compensation for your treatment plan. Our lawyers can help you file a personal injury claim or personal injury lawsuit for catastrophic injuries and psychological damage from a motor vehicle collision. 

Medical Attention and Treatment Options

If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor can provide an initial examination and determine if any serious injuries were sustained during the crash. If left untreated, even minor physical trauma can result in a long-term disability or an injury that may be difficult to treat later on.

a woman dealing with the physical effects after a car accident in Illinois

Treatment options for physical injuries from car accidents vary depending on the severity of the injury. In most cases, doctors will recommend rest and icing of the affected area to reduce swelling and pain. Pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may also be prescribed to help manage discomfort. Physical therapy may be recommended for some types of injuries like whiplash or shoulder strain, which can help strengthen muscles and increase flexibility over time. In more extreme cases, surgery may be required in order to correct injuries to bones or organs. Maintaining a complete record of your medical visits is crucial as it will aid your attorney in recovering your financial losses.

Insurance Companies and Coverage for Medical Treatment after an Accident

If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to discuss coverage for medical treatment. Depending on the type of policy you have, your insurance company may be able to help you pay for the cost of treating physical injuries sustained during the crash.

Additionally, depending on who is at fault for the accident, they may also be able to help cover any other associated expenses such as property damage and lost wages due to missed work. It is best practice to document all conversations with your insurer so that you have a clear understanding of what is covered and what will be required from you in terms of payment.

Call an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today!

If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, it is important to contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. A personal injury attorney can help guide you through the process of filing a claim for any physical injuries sustained from the crash and ensure that you receive legal rights to compensation for any expenses associated with treatment. You can also be compensated for emotional effects caused by the automobile collision including mental health issues such as loss of enjoyment of everyday activities and emotional trauma.

Call Ktenas Injury Attorneys today for a free, initial consultation. Our personal injury lawyers and legal team will help negotiate with insurance companies and the fault driver on your behalf to make sure that you receive the maximum amount of coverage allowed by law. One of our experienced car accident lawyers will be able to give you legal advice on how best to proceed, making sure that all of your rights are protected and that you get the fair compensation that you deserve.