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How Long Should You Be Sore After a Car Accident?

Almost everyone who is hurt in a car accident will be sore at some point. But how long should this last? How severe should your discomfort be? Every injury is a little different, and everyone’s body handles pain and soreness differently. The amount of pain and suffering you endure will impact the fair value of your injury claim.

The Types of Injuries That Can Cause Soreness

While soreness can come from almost any type of injury to almost any part of the body, there are certain injuries that are known to cause soreness and discomfort. Here are some of the most common injuries our car accident lawyers see:


According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash is a specific neck injury caused when the neck is forced into rapid back-and-forth movements. This is what occurs in a car accident: the force of the collision causes the neck to whip forward before it is forced back again. When this occurs, the entire neck cracks like a whip. This violent movement causes pain, stiffness, soreness, and other discomfort. Whiplash is also known as a neck sprain or strain. Mild cases of whiplash can resolve on their own with a few days of rest and mild painkillers. More serious cases of whiplash could require long-term treatment, such as physical therapy or chiropractic care. The symptoms of whiplash could also be signs of a more serious condition, like a concussion or spinal cord damage. This is why it is important to see a doctor anytime you feel soreness in your neck after a car crash.


There are many types of bruises you can suffer in a car accident. Bruises are common across the abdomen and anywhere that your seatbelt restrained you at the time of the collision. You may also have bruises where you were slammed into the windshield, gear shift, or other parts within the vehicle. Most minor bruises clear up on their own. Bruising can, however, be a sign of much more serious medical conditions. Bruising across the abdomen can be a sign of internal bleeding. Internal bleeding can become life-threatening if it is not treated right away, and can also lead to damage to the vital organs that are no longer being supplied by the blood they require. Be cautious with any bruises that seem suspicious, are unusually large, or do not go away on their own. You should also be wary when bruises are accompanied by other symptoms, such as soreness in the abdomen.

Broken Bones

There are hundreds of bones in the human body, and almost any one of them can be broken in a car accident. The process of healing a broken bone can be painful. You might be in a cast for months. Your muscles will become weak and sore from disuse. In the case of complicated breaks, you might even require surgery so the orthopedist can realign the bones properly with pins or screws, or plates. All of this causes pain and discomfort. But there is also pain aside from the broken bone itself. Broken shards of bones can sometimes cause damage inside your body. You might have a broken blood vessel that causes internal bleeding. The bone could injure the soft tissue surrounding it, such as muscles or tendons, or ligaments. These soft tissues will have to realign around the misplaced and broken bone. All of this is painful and causes soreness and discomfort that is not directly caused by the broken bone.

Experienced, Aggressive South Carolina Car Accident Lawyers

Our injury team has years of experience handling all types of car accident cases. We have helped many South Carolina injury victims get the compensation they deserve, and we will fight hard for you, too. Contact us at (803) 200-2000 for your free case evaluation.

Car Accident Injury FAQ


When Should I Seek Medical Treatment?

The sooner you get medical attention, the better options your doctors will have for treating your injuries. You could have a life-threatening condition after an accident (such as a concussion or internal bleeding) and not even know about it. This is why it is absolutely vital to see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident – even if you do not think you were hurt. Early intervention can also improve the outcomes of certain types of injuries. This gives you the best possible chances of healing properly.

When Should I Seek Legal Advice?

The sooner you seek legal advice, the better protected your legal rights will be. Anything you say to the other driver’s insurance company could be used against you. As soon as the insurance company is notified that you have an attorney, they are no longer allowed to contact you directly about the case. All communications must go through your attorney’s office. Your attorney will also take other steps – such as preserving evidence – that will protect your legal rights. The sooner you have an attorney, the sooner he or she is able to take these critical steps to protect your right to be fairly compensated for your injuries.

What If My Injuries Take Longer Than Normal to Heal?

A negligent driver is legally obligated to pay for all the damage that he or she causes. This means that, even if your pain and suffering is greater than another person’s might have been in the same accident, you are still entitled to compensation for your unique suffering. This is known as the “eggshell plaintiff” rule. But injury victims can impair their legal rights if they make their own injuries worse. If, for example, you did not follow through on a recommended treatment or went back to work before your doctor advised it, you could aggravate your injuries. The defendant is not obligated to pay for the pain and suffering that you caused yourself.


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Jeffcoat Injury and Car Accident Lawyers

1333 Main St #510,
Columbia, SC 29201

(803) 373-1668

Jeffcoat Injury and Car Accident Lawyers

5465 Sunset Blvd Suite B,
Lexington, SC 29072

(803) 373-1302

Jeffcoat Injury and Car Accident Lawyers

161 Elliott St SE Suite B,
Orangeburg, SC 29115

(803) 373-7593

Jeffcoat Injury and Car Accident Lawyers

749-2 University Village Dr,
Blythewood, SC 29016

(803) 592-6553

! NOTICE ! No Legal Advice Intended. This website includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal issues or problems.

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