How Long Should You Be Sore After a Car Accident?

April 22, 2021 | By Nicolette R. Nicoletti
How Long Should You Be Sore After a Car Accident?

The length of time that you will be sore from your injuries following a car accident depends upon a variety of factors and will not be the same for everyone. One of the most important factors determining how sore you will be following a car accident is the type of motor vehicle accident that leads to your injury.

The nature and extent of your injuries, the medical treatment that you had to receive for your injuries, and the length of your treatment will also play a significant part in determining your symptoms and how long those symptoms will last. In addition, your general health at the time of your motor vehicle accident, along with the existence of any pre-existing injuries or medical conditions, can affect your long-term symptoms and recovery time.

If you suffered injuries in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, your top priority should be getting medical treatment for all of your injuries. In the meantime, a car accident lawyer near you can handle all of the legal aspects of your case while you recover from your injuries. Depending upon the circumstances of your accident, you could pursue a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver or some other individual or entity that caused your motor vehicle accident.

A knowledgeable car accident attorney in your jurisdiction will do everything possible to help you recover the monetary compensation that you deserve for the injuries you sustained in your car collision.

The Type of Car Accident in Which You Suffered Injuries

One factor that determines how long you will be sore after a car accident is the type of car accident in which you suffered injuries. Quite frankly, some car accidents are more serious than others and can lead to more significant injuries. For example, a head-on collision is likely to result in more severe injuries than a minor, slow-speed fender bender that occurs at a traffic intersection.

Generally speaking, drivers and passengers who are involved in less-serious car accidents are likely to recover from their injuries sooner than are victims of more serious car accidents.

The Extent of Your Car Accident Injuries

Similarly, the extent of the injury or injuries that you suffered in your car accident can determine how long you will feel symptoms, including soreness, after the accident. Some car accident injuries are much more serious than others. Minor injuries that a car accident victim might suffer include bruises, scrapes, and abrasions that last for a few weeks and then go away. Car accident victims can also suffer soft tissue injuries, including muscular sprains, strains, and contusions. Although these injuries do not involve a fracture or broken bone, they can still be serious and painful. They may require a significant amount of medical treatment and physical therapy to correct. Symptoms of a soft tissue injury (including soreness) can also last for many weeks or even months following a car accident.

In more serious car accidents, drivers and passengers can suffer extremely debilitating and sometimes permanent injuries. These more serious injuries often include fractures and broken bones, internal organ damage, traumatic head and brain injuries, and death in the worst-case scenario. In a case of permanent injuries, the accident victim could experience soreness and pain in the affected body part(s) for the remainder of their life.

Nature, Extent, and Length of Your Medical Treatment Following the Car Accident

The nature, extent, and length of your medical treatment following a car accident can have an impact on your post-accident symptoms. Generally speaking, the more extensive your medical treatment, the more likely you will experience symptoms of pain, soreness, and discomfort. Even when accident victims suffer soft tissue injuries, they may still have to endure a significant amount of medical treatment and physical therapy, all of which can be extremely painful.

In addition, victims of more serious accidents may have to undergo one or more medical procedures, such as surgeries or injections, to correct the problem. These types of medical treatment can involve a long recovery time (lasting for weeks or months), during which the accident victim might experience severe pain and discomfort.

Accident victims who experience pain and discomfort from injuries they suffered in their accident could bring a claim for non-economic damages. The purpose of these damages is to compensate accident victims for all of the inconvenience, pain, and suffering that they had to endure because of injuries that they suffered in their car accident.

Your General Health and the Existence of Any Pre-Existing Illnesses or Injuries

The presence or absence of pre-existing illnesses, injuries, or other medical conditions can have an impact on how long you will feel symptoms following a car accident. For most jurisdictions, the general rule of thumb is that the at-fault driver must take the car accident victim as they find the accident victim. If the accident victim was already suffering from a pre-existing illness, injury, or other medical condition at the time of their accident, the at-fault driver could be responsible for exacerbating that condition in the car accident.

For example, if an accident victim suffered from chronic back pain for a long time before a car accident, and the car accident exacerbated that condition, then the resulting pain and suffering that the accident victim experienced can still be compensable. When a negligent motor vehicle driver exacerbates a person’s pre-existing medical condition, the amount of time that the accident victim requires for treatment might be longer than if they were not already suffering from a medical condition. Keep in mind that for an at-fault driver to be responsible for an accident victim’s injury or injuries, the accident need only be a cause of the injury, not the only cause of it.

An experienced motor vehicle accident attorney near you could help you recover the compensation that you need for the injuries that you suffered because of your car accident.

Filing a Claim for Your Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. In many instances, these accidents happen when a motor vehicle driver behaves negligently under the circumstances. The driver might disregard a stop sign, yield sign, or red traffic light, or the driver might greatly exceed the speed limit while operating a vehicle on the road. At other times, distracted motor vehicle operation plays a part in car accidents.

For example, the driver who caused your accident might have been looking at a cell phone or other electronic device rather than paying attention to the road just before your accident occurred. Finally, motor vehicle accidents can happen when drivers operate their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These types of accidents often result in the most serious injuries because they occur at high rates of speed, and they often involve a head-on impact.

Although it seems somewhat unfair, it is the accident victim, not the at-fault driver, who has the burden of proof in a car accident case. In other words, the accident victim will need to demonstrate that it is more likely than not that the at-fault driver acted unreasonably under the circumstances, that an accident happened as a result, and that the accident victim suffered an injury or injuries in the collision.

If you have sustained an injury in a car accident that occurred because of a motor vehicle driver’s lapse of judgment, recklessness, or negligence, a knowledgeable car accident attorney in your jurisdiction can assist you with filing a claim in your case.

Most jurisdictions are at-fault jurisdictions. In those places, you can file a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s motor vehicle insurance company. The claims process begins by filing a settlement demand with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. After some negotiations, if the insurance company refuses to offer you the compensation that you deserve for your injuries, you could file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

When your attorney files a lawsuit in your car accident case, this does not automatically mean that your case will end with a jury trial. What it does mean is that the court will likely set in a scheduling order that establishes deadlines for various milestones in the case. Along with a discovery completion deadline, pre-trial or settlement conference date, and jury trial, the court will closely monitor the progress of the case to ensure that parties are meeting all deadlines and that the case is moving forward in a timely and orderly fashion.

Once your lawyer files a complaint, the court will issue a summons that will be served to the at-fault driver. The at-fault driver will then refer everything to their insurance company so that an attorney can enter an appearance on the at-fault driver’s behalf. The parties will then typically engage in a period of written and oral discovery. Written discovery typically consists of interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and sometimes requests for admissions.

The interrogatories and document requests pertain to important pieces of potential evidence, like police reports, investigation reports, medical bills, medical records, lost wage statements, earnings statements, and photographs. During oral discovery, the defense attorney may take the accident victim’s deposition. At a deposition, the defense attorney will typically question the accident victim about how the accident happened, the injuries they sustained, the length of treatment, and the permanent impacts of the injury or injuries, if any.

Discovery completion might put the at-fault driver’s insurance company in a better position to settle the case favorably. If this does not happen, the parties will usually go to a pre-trial or settlement conference. At this conference, a judge or settlement officer will work with both sides of the case to try and facilitate meaningful settlement discussions and get the case in a position to resolve.

If the insurance company still refuses to settle favorably, you could take your case to trial and allow the jury to decide what, if any, damages you may recover for your injuries. Alternatively, you could pursue mediation or arbitration in an attempt to resolve your case favorably.

Recoverable Damages for the Injuries You Suffered in Your Car Accident

The damages that an accident victim is entitled to receive in a car accident case depend upon a variety of factors. One of those factors is the amount of soreness, stiffness, pain, and suffering that they have to endure because of injuries suffered in the accident.

First and foremost, accident victims can pursue monetary compensation for all of their medical treatment bills, procedure costs, and physical therapy expenses associated with their injuries. If they had to miss time from work because of their accident injuries, they could make a claim for lost wages or for loss of earning capacity in more serious cases.

In addition, the accident victim could bring a claim for non-economic damages. While there is no exact formula for calculating the amount of non-economic damages an accident victim should recover, the nature and extent of injuries, the length of treatment, and the amount of pain and suffering related to the injuries are important factors.

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In addition, the accident victim might pursue monetary compensation for any emotional distress or mental anguish they endured because of injuries suffered in the accident. Finally, depending upon the circumstances, accident victims could bring a claim for loss of enjoyment of life, loss of use of a body part, or loss of spousal companionship related to the injuries sustained in a car accident.

A knowledgeable car accident lawyer in your area can determine what, if any, damages you might qualify for in your car accident case. Your attorney will then work to help you pursue and recover those damages by way of a favorable settlement award, arbitration award, or jury verdict in the court.

Nicolette R. Nicoletti Author Image

Nicolette R. Nicoletti

Managing Partner

Nicolette R. Nicoletti is the founder and managing partner of the Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers. She was born and raised in New Port Richey, Florida.  Nicolette attended Genesis Preparatory School and graduated salutatorian of her class.  She then went onto Saint Leo University for her undergraduate education. She graduated magna cum laude from the Honors Program with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.  While at Saint Leo University, Nicolette was President of Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honor Society), Secretary of Alpha Phi Sigma (Criminal Justice Honor Society), and an active member of Delta Epsilon Sigma (National Scholastic Honor Society).

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