What to Expect After a Car Accident?

September 26, 2023 | By Francis Firm Injury Attorneys
What to Expect After a Car Accident?

Car accidents can occur suddenly and without warning. The force and impact can cause long-term physical and emotional trauma, often leading to lifelong and permanent consequences.

Many people may think that if they are in a low-speed car accident, they will not suffer as badly. However, even minor car accidents can cause severe injuries that last a lifetime.

What to Expect After a Car Accident

Since car accidents can happen to anyone at any time, knowing what to expect can prepare you for the aftermath. It can also help you realize when something seems wrong and how to protect yourself legally.

While having this general knowledge about car accidents can help, you will want a Southlake car accident lawyer to assist with your claim.

Common injuries after a car accident 

After a car accident, you may suffer injuries. Your blood pressure and adrenaline may begin pumping, and you may feel like your heart is beating out of your chest. You may feel overwhelmed, stressed, and frustrated. Conversely, you may feel ready to run a marathon and feel no pain due to the instant adrenaline rush. You may not notice some serious injuries as a result.

Even though you may feel like you do not have any injuries, you must seek medical attention immediately after your car accident.

Some of the symptoms of your injuries may take hours, days, or even weeks to show up, so promptly inform a doctor about your accident. They will run tests, note your symptoms, and assess your body for injuries. If you put this off, you will likely feel severe pain, aches, and soreness once your body’s survival response starts to wear off.

The following are some of the most common car accident injuries that result from a car accident:

  • Head and skull injuries
  • Concussions, contusions, and other traumatic brain injuries
  • Severe bruising
  • Burn injuries
  • Cuts, punctures, and lacerations
  • Amputations or loss of limbs
  • Paralysis
  • Coma
  • Disfiguration
  • Disability
  • Severe scarring
  • Facial, eye, or dental injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Whiplash or neck injuries
  • Mental injuries such as PTSD
  • Abdominal injuries
  • Chest injuries
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Permanent nerve damage

While you may think you know yourself better than anyone, get checked out by a licensed medical provider right after your car accident, as they can find injuries you may not have noticed. You can begin a treatment plan developed specifically for you before your body’s fight-or-flight response fades and your pain levels kick in.

How does the impact of a car accident affect your injuries?

Most of the time, car accidents cause the body to withstand a lot of force and impact. This force can cause many problems, as vehicles weigh much more than humans—the average car weighs around 4,000 pounds, and the average adult human weighs approximately 200 pounds.

In addition, flying debris, sharp glass and metal pieces, powerful airbags, and hard objects, such as the steering wheel or dashboard, can damage your body. This physical trauma can cause overwhelming stress and damage.

Depending on the type of car accident you were involved in, the vehicle may begin to roll over, flip, collapse, or catch on fire. The accident may crush your body, your body may make sudden turns and twists, sharp objects may pierce the skin, or you may feel burning sensations.

These extreme scenarios can cause significant strain on the body. In addition, airbags and seatbelts can actually damage your body even as they reduce the impact and save you from worse injuries.

What signs and symptoms should I look for to determine an injury after a car accident?

Although you should see a doctor regardless of whether or not you have signs or symptoms of an injury after a car accident, there are specific indicators that you can look for that may help you determine that you may be injured.

Here are a few of these signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for:

  • Swelling: If you notice any swelling, you may have an injury. You may first see swelling on your hands, fingers, feet, ankles, wrists, or arms, indicating a broken or fractured bone, internal bleeding, or infection. However, swelling may also mean an emergency medical issue. Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you see any swelling on your body after an accident.  
  • Pain is one of the first signs and symptoms you will experience after a car accident. While it can take some time after an adrenaline rush to notice any pain, promptly seek medical attention for your injury.
  • Bleeding: Many sharp objects fly around during car accidents that may slice or cut you instantly. You may need stitches or even surgery.
  • Headaches: Headaches are often a clear sign that you have a traumatic brain injury or some type of head injury. If you experience intense headaches that are not going away, get your head checked for any trauma.
  • Stiffness in muscles and joints: Many people experience stiffness in their muscles and joints after an accident. Stiffness in muscles and joints can indicate neck, shoulders, back, and other body injuries.
  • Bruising: When you see a bruise, you are bleeding underneath your skin. If you notice any bruising on your body after an accident, inform your doctor and make sure the accident did not not bruise or injure your internal organs.
  • Inability to think or concentrate: If you cannot think, focus, or concentrate, you may have a traumatic brain injury. Inform your doctor about these symptoms to start a treatment plan to help you recover.
  • Numbness: Numbness is usually a sign that you may have permanent nerve damage. 

You may assume you have no injuries if you do not experience any discomfort, but the body’s reaction to injuries can differ for each person, so reach out to a physician who will diagnose any injuries after a car crash.

Is it normal for my injuries to worsen after starting a medical treatment plan?

Unfortunately, doctors can make errors or mistakes when assessing your medical situation. If your injuries worsen after starting a medical treatment plan created by your doctor, let your physician know. While doctors receive training to provide the best possible medical advice, they can make errors and mistakes.

Car Accident Injuries

Sometimes, new injuries and symptoms emerge after starting a treatment plan. Always keep your doctors updated on your condition and how you think the treatment plan designed for you is going. If any new symptoms arise or your current symptoms worsen, inform your licensed medical provider immediately, as you may have developed a severe condition.

How long will my recovery take after a car accident?

Never put a specific time limit on your recovery after a car accident. Your doctor can estimate how long it may take for your injuries to heal, but this is just an estimate. While you may have the same injuries as someone you know, everyone’s healing journey is different. Your body may take longer to recover and regain strength. You may also suffer long-term complications you never expected after the accident.

You may begin to feel impatient during your recovery. If you try out new things without asking your doctor’s advice, you might experience a delay in your recovery, which will only frustrate you more and lengthen your healing journey.

How a car accident lawyer can help me after a car accident

After you seek medical care for your injuries, focus on finding a car accident attorney to help you after your accident. You likely need compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, property damage, caregiving services, etc. Therefore, hiring a knowledgeable and skilled car accident lawyer will increase your chances of holding the responsible parties accountable for their injuries and getting the compensation you deserve.

An attorney will help you after a car accident by:

  • Listening to your side of the story and taking notes about your claim
  • Investigating your accident to look for details, facts, and information
  • Answering any questions and concerns you may have, as well as providing the best possible legal advice about your case
  • Communicating and negotiating with insurance companies
  • Collecting appropriate and relevant evidence to support your case
  • Filing a lawsuit or insurance claim on your behalf
  • Determining a fair amount of compensation to help you pay for your bills and rebuild your life
  • Preparing to go to trial and represent your case if needed

Contact a car accident lawyer today

Anyone can suffer injuries from a car accident and need immediate legal assistance. In that case, a car accident lawyer will guide you through the entire legal process, helping you get the justice you deserve as quickly as possible. Even though you may feel lost and hopeless during this time, a car accident attorney knows the ins and outs of the legal system and will act fast to protect your rights and secure the maximum compensation for your injuries and other losses.
Every single day counts regarding car accident cases, so do not hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer today. Case evaluations are free with no obligation, so you have nothing to lose.