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What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident

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No two car accidents are the same, which means the injuries from a car accident also depend on the collision. Even a minor fender bender resulting in whiplash can have a long-term physical impact, and you might walk away feeling relatively okay, only to discover a few days later that your knee isn’t holding up like it used to. In more serious accidents, the damage can be extensive and debilitating, with the potential for life-changing injuries such as grievous tissue damage, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), or back injuries resulting in paralysis. Regardless of the severity of the accident, before jumping back into your everyday routine, it’s important to know what to expect physically after a car accident. Making a plan is the first step toward recovery, and exploring your legal options can help prepare you for the expenses that follow.

According to the National Safety Council, the odds of dying in a motor-vehicle crash are 1 in 107. As the eighth leading cause of death in the United States (surpassing drowning and deaths from firearms), the number of car accident injuries is even higher, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recording approximately 4.5 million medically consulted injuries in the United States in 2019 as a result of motor-vehicle crashes. Based on a California Highway Patrol report, 277,160 Californians were injured annually – more people than the entire population of the city of San Bernardino.

Recovering After a Car Accident

What to expect physically after a car accident is different for everyone. It’s not uncommon for people to have pain for months and even years after suffering whiplash from a rear-end collision. Victims of whiplash often feel dizzy, nauseous, suffer headaches, and can even have tingling in the arms.

According to a study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine, acute injuries from an automotive collision can have a high chance of recurrent injuries in the first two months that follow. For example, in a shoulder injury resulting from a car crash, there is a high risk of being injured again while participating in a simple activity, such as playing catch with a family member weeks after the accident.  

Woman holding her neck in front of car crash - know what to expect physically after a car accident

Can you tear your meniscus in a car accident?

Absolutely. The amount of force and pressure exerted when two vehicles weighing thousands of pounds collide at even 30 miles per hour is enough to injure (or reinjure) your arms, legs, back and neck – and that’s while wearing a seatbelt. Common knee injuries from car accidents, like a meniscus tear, can take as long as three months to fully heal. In some cases, there can be years of physiotherapy to help strengthen torn ligaments and avoid reinjury.  

Can I exercise after a car accident?

It’s common to experience delayed back pain after car accident injuries. Even a minor car accident can send enough adrenaline through your body to affect the way you respond to pain. That’s why it’s typically recommended to move slowly and take extra care after an accident, as you might not feel any pain until later, when you’re in a relaxed environment. Ask your doctor if you can exercise once they have a full diagnosis of your injuries, but keep in mind that in most cases it’s recommended to take it easy immediately after an accident. 

Should I get a personal injury lawyer after car accident injuries?

Understanding the legal options available to you after a car accident is an important step on the road to recovery. Even a seemingly minor injury, like a torn knee or injured back, could result in lost wages, expensive medical bills, and long-term physiotherapy.

At Avrek Law, we know that each case is unique, which is just one of the reasons we’re happy to offer free consultations. Hiring a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in cases just like yours increases the likelihood of obtaining maximum compensation for your injuries. With more than $1 Billion recovered in over 45,000 cases, Avrek Law has the knowledge and experience to help. Contact us today – we want to hear more about your case!

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