You may be wondering how a personal injury attorney could answer the question of how long pain lasts after a car accident. While I'm not a doctor, I can answer based on my experience witnessing hundreds of car accident victims over my career as a Spartanburg car accident lawyer.

Your Pain Is Unique

In my experience, how long pain lasts after a car accident depends on the injury and the person. The truth about pain is it affects different people in different ways. The most intense pain I hear about regularly involves broken bones and spinal injuries, like cervical or lumbar disc herniations. I've seen many folks with spinal injuries suffer lifelong consequences of intense pain and disability. I've seen others enjoy a great surgical recovery, pretty much moving back into everyday life without a hitch. 

Even minor injuries affect people differently. I've seen cases where whiplash cleared up in two days, but I’ve seen others where it spiraled into months of physical therapy and even spinal epidural injections. And sometimes, what seems to be a minor injury hides a far more severe one that ends up with a referral to a specialist. I've seen it with many spinal injuries, torn knee ligaments, and damaged shoulders. I've helped a motorcycle crash victim who thought he just had a badly banged-up shoulder. He ended up with a shoulder replacement!

Some Injuries Get Worse Before They Get Better

That's why it's critical never to assume you're okay because it seems like you're not hurt that badly. That can change over time. This is especially true right after the car accident. Your adrenaline will be flowing, which masks pain. If you’re hurt worse than you think, you'll suffer way more than you should by not going to the doctor immediately. 

The moral of the story is, don't risk missing a severe injury, even if you don't think you're hurt that bad after a car accident. Go to the doctor. 

Questions about your South Carolina car accident case? Get your questions answered in a free, no-pressure strategy session with a Spartanburg, SC, car accident attorney. Call the toll-free number at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form

What to Tell the Doctor About Pain After a Car Accident

The doctor is a vital witness in almost every South Carolina car accident case.  The most important thing you could ever do with the doctor is to be honest and thorough about your symptoms. Never exaggerate. That will kill your case. 

Here's the simplest way I've found to be honest and thorough about your pain to a doctor. Tell the doctor:

  • Where it hurts
  • When it hurts
  • What it feels like
  • What you do for relief
  • What it makes harder or impossible

Don't Risk Derailing Your Car Accident Case by Getting Taken Advantage of by the Insurance Adjuster

Insurance company claims representatives, called adjusters, are paid to minimize your pain and make you think you're overreacting. Think twice before dealing with them without legal advice

Let me debunk their favorite myth: injury severity and pain are NOT always tied to the amount of crash damage to the cars. I've seen awful crashes rendering the vehicles mangled masses of metal, leaving me wondering how anyone survived, and my potential client has only slight injuries. Contrary to what you might think about car accident attorneys, this one is happy to give folks like that some free advice and tell them they can settle their case on their own, using our FREE BOOK on South Carolina car crash cases and materials from our website.

On the other hand, I've seen relatively slight damage done to a car that results in awful injuries. I represented an active 31-year-old mother who got rear-ended on the interstate with very little property damage. But her injury was horrific: a massive disc herniation requiring an operation involving the implantation of an artificial disc, plus a torturous recovery and a tooth loosened from the impact requiring surgical extraction.  

Contrary to what the insurance company will make you think, you are in total control of your medical care and how long it takes to resolve your injuries. But understand this: your case has a legal deadline. You can lose your right to a settlement if the statute of limitations expires before you take formal legal action.

Until you know exactly how hurt you are, you don't have to tell the adjuster anything about the extent of your injuries. Speaking too soon can hurt your claim. I had a client who spoke to the adjuster too soon after a crash, telling her he felt okay. A few weeks later, he was on an operating room table for spinal surgery. It took some doing for me to dig him out of that statement, but I was able to get a proper settlement.

Treat your case like your body: preserve it. Get legal advice even if you don't want to. I know you don't want to talk to a lawyer any more than you want to go to the doctor, maybe even less. But sometimes, you just need professional help with a problem you can't fix on your own. It's always best to get advice from an experienced car accident attorney before your problem spirals out of control. Making huge mistakes on the front end of your case without a lawyer can ruin your one chance to get your case right. You may even cheat yourself out of a more significant settlement by overlooking a settlement from your own policy.

Don't let that happen to you. If you've got any questions about a Spartanburg car accident or motorcycle accident anywhere in the upstate area, call toll-free at  888-230-1841. I promise your first phone call or meeting with us will be a FREE, no-pressure strategy session, and we work to make it easy. But don't just take my word for it; check out what real clients say about what it's like to work with us in reviews I don't write, edit, or pay for, and contact us today to discuss your car accident claim.

Rob Usry
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Rob is a Spartanburg personal injury lawyer. Rob also practices as a workers' compensation attorney.