You can expect to feel physically sore or worse after a car accident, but just how bad you feel depends on how severe the accident was. Some people walk away from a car accident with minor bruises, while others sustain life-changing injuries. Some injuries show symptoms right away, but others do not. Either way, you should seek medical help after a car accident.
Whether your injuries are apparent at the scene of the car accident or become evident in the following days and weeks, you can expect expensive medical bills for your treatment. You may be able to recover the value of your medical bills plus other losses, such as repairs to your vehicle and your pain and suffering, if another party caused your accident. A personal injury lawyer can help you seek this compensation.
What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident
You can expect to feel your heart pounding right after the accident. An increased heart rate is part of the fight-or-flight response that an accident will trigger, according to Cleveland Clinic. You might experience other physical symptoms such as cold, clammy hands and goosebumps, and you might shiver or tremble. Your body might temporarily suppress your pain response after an accident, so you might not be aware of your injuries.
Although some people walk away from an accident unscathed, others sustain physical injuries after a car accident. Some of the most common injuries caused by car accidents include:
- Seat Belt injuries: Many people develop “seat belt syndrome” after a car accident. According to theStatPearls, people with this syndrome may develop external bruises and abrasions from the force of the seatbelt, fractures of the spine, ribs, sternum, and collarbone, or internal injuries to the liver, spleen, pancreas, and kidneys.
- Broken bones: Car accident victims may break almost any bone, depending on thelocation and force of the impact.
- Whiplash: According to Mayo Clinic, whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the neck is snapped back and forth like a whip. It can cause pain in the neck, shoulders, and arms, headaches, dizziness, and numbness or tingling in the arms. Some people develop chronic pain from whiplash.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, TBIs develop when a force such as a car accident shakes the brain against the skull, causing it to develop tears and bruises. TBIs can cause long-term changes in cognition, mobility, and personality.
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You Should Seek Medical Treatment After a Car Accident
Whether you have severe injuries, seemingly minor injuries, or no apparent physical injuries at all, you should seek medical treatment after a car accident. Some injuries do not show up right away, and the shock of the accident may prevent you from realizing just how hurt you are. Prompt medical treatment ensures that you do not overlook potentially serious injuries from the accident.
If another driver caused your accident, they may try to get out of paying you any damages. For example, they could claim that you were fine after the accident, so any injuries you have came afterward and are not related. However, medical treatment protects you from these claims, as it documents your injuries and links them to the car accident.
Who Is Responsible for My Physical Injuries After a Car Accident?
Your car accident might just be bad luck, but it might be the result of someone else’s negligence. Anyone who gets behind the wheel has an obligation to drive safely and follow traffic laws. People who ignore that obligation are negligent. Not every negligent driver causes a car accident, but those who do are responsible for them.
Here are a few examples of negligent driving that can lead to a car accident:
- Texting or talking on the phone while driving
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Running stops signs or stop light
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
A personal injury lawyer can investigate your case, collect evidence demonstrating that another party caused your car accident, and help you seek compensation from them.
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Damages Available to People Physically Injured in a Car Accident
If another party’s negligence caused your car accident, they should pay for your medical treatment, not you. Keep a record of your medical expenses related to the accident so that you can seek compensation for them from the responsible party. Here are some medical expenses that you may be able to recover:
- Ambulance rides
- Emergency treatment
- Diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds
- Hospital or rehab facility stays
- Rehabilitative therapies, such as physical, occupational, and speech therapy
- Follow-up appointments
- Medical equipment, such as braces, crutches, wheelchairs, motorized scooters, and transfer lifts
- Long-term care, such as a home health aide, an in-home nurse, or a nursing home
Medical bills are not the only loss that physical injuries cause. If your injuries keep you from working, either temporarily or permanently, you may have to take unpaid leave from your job. If your injuries make it so that you can continue to work but not in your previous position, you may have to take a pay cut. The at-fault party should compensate you for your past and future loss of income, including your wages, salary, and tips.
Some people never recover from a car accident. If you lost a limb or body part, lost the function of a limb or body part, suffer from chronic pain, have scars or other disfigurements, or went through an especially long recovery, you can seek compensation for pain and suffering. A personal injury lawyer can help you estimate the value of your total losses.
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Kaine Law Can Assist You After a Car Accident
The effects of a car accident can linger for months and years after a car accident. Even injuries that heal quickly can require expensive medical treatment. More severe injuries can lead to even higher medical costs and prevent you from working. Kaine Law is ready to assist you in seeking compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. Contact our office today for a free case consultation.