How Long Should You Be Sore After a Car Accident?

Immediately after a minor car accident, it’s common to not feel much pain. Instead, you might feel more shaken up and a little sore. The waves of pain often don’t hit until a day or two after the accident occurred when your body has had a chance to relax. If the car accident wasn’t severe, the soreness alleviates in a short time. Doctors say pain relievers that can be bought over the counter can help discomfort and pain in the meantime.

But there are other things you should know about soreness after an accident. Our best car accident lawyers explain more below:

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man holding the back of his neck with his spine highlighted

How Serious Is Soreness After An Accident?

If the soreness, pain, and general discomfort continues or worsens after a day or two – you may have a more serious underlying condition that needs medical attention. The severity of your injuries ultimately determines how long you should be sore after a car accident. Do not expect this increased discomfort to disappear on its own. A car accident attorney at The Barnes Firm can hold those who caused the accident accountable for your injuries and advocate for you to receive the compensation you need in your recovery.

Always Seek Medical Treatment After a Car Accident

To be confident that you didn’t sustain serious injuries, it’s always best to seek medical attention after a car accident, whether or not you feel it’s necessary. Even if your car accident was a minor fender bender – getting a proper diagnosis with timely treatment can shorten the number of days that you’re in pain after the collision.

Should severe injuries manifest down the road, a delay in seeking treatment may substantially impact a settlement offer for your damages. If you postpone treatment, the insurer might argue that your injuries were not severe, or that your injuries were not the direct result of the car accident.

doctor holding a stethoscope out
woman holding her head in pain after an injury with a car accident scene in the background

What Injuries Cause Soreness After a Car Accident?

After a car accident, soreness generally lasts six weeks or longer. It’s imperative that you follow the advice of the doctor who treated your injuries. Standard testing for injuries after a car accident typically includes:

  • Range of motion tests
  • X-rays
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Failing to follow your doctor’s instructions can not only prolong the length of time that you’re sore and in pain but can also give the insurer reason to deny your claim. A doctor can track the progress of your healing and, should your injuries not heal within a reasonable time frame, send you for further examinations.

Whiplash Injuries After a Car Accident are Most Common

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries to cause long-term soreness after a car accident. Whiplash is technically a neck sprain that the Mayo Clinic describes as “a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip.” Our best car accident lawyers say a vehicle does not need to be moving at high speeds for whiplash to occur. In fact, many whiplash injuries result from low speed, rear-end car accidents. The impact to the rear of your car causes your neck to snap forward and back, which can damage the fragile tissues throughout your neck, back, and shoulders.

Rear View Of Female Driver With Neck Injury Getting Out Of Car After Crash

Symptoms of Whiplash

Symptoms of whiplash are known to take a day or two before they fully appear. That’s because your body releases adrenaline to combat the pain immediately after an accident, and it takes time before your body relaxes again. Outside of feeling sore, symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Headache
  • Neck stiffness
  • Jaw pain
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Blurry vision
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

Treatment of Whiplash

In general, most victims of whiplash recover in a month or so. Outside of over-the-counter pain relievers, your doctor might prescribe muscle relaxers for the first few days of your recovery when pain is often at its peak. Treatment for whiplash may include:

  • Neck exercises
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Regular massages
  • Chiropractic therapy

While victims of whiplash generally recoup within a month or so, severe cases might cause pain to persist for months or longer. An acute whiplash injury can interfere with your ability to work, drive, or go about much of your routine. Chronic pain can, overall, negatively impact your quality of life.

Severe cases of whiplash might require nerve block injections for pain relief, and sometimes disc surgery is needed. If a negligent party caused the accident, an experienced car accident attorney could help ensure you receive compensation to pay for these medical expenses, lost wages, and more.

Doctor examining patient suffering from whiplash's neck and brace after a car accident
person holding their bandaged hand

What Other Injuries Cause Soreness After a Car Accident?

Whiplash injuries are the most common after a car accident, but many others cause soreness including:

  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Hairline fractures
  • Disc injuries
  • Torn ligaments
  • Strained or sprained tendons and joints

After a car accident, seek medical care immediately to treat your injuries. Delaying treatment can significantly worsen your injuries and prolong your soreness and pain. A car accident lawyer protects your rights after a car accident and negotiates compensation with the insurer. While many car accident injury cases settle, The Barnes Firm attorneys are always prepared to go to trial to help you get the best results possible.

Contact A Trusted Car Accident Lawyer 

If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you could benefit from the services of highly trained and experienced Los Angeles car accident attorneys at The Barnes Firm. Many of our attorneys are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and have received accreditations for their work in personal injury law. To speak with an experienced car accident attorney at The Barnes Firm today, complete an online contact form or call our office to schedule your free consultation.

The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000