Muscle pain after a car accident – how long will it last?

According to statistics, road crashes are the leading cause of death in America for people aged 1-54. Not to mention, there are 4.4 million individuals who require medical attention due to serious injuries caused by car accidents. Muscle injuries should be treated. It’s also vital to be able to distinguish muscle soreness from a serious injury especially if you are suffering from muscle pains after a collision.

How Long Should You Be Sore After a Vehicular Accident?

Normally, most people would feel sore for up to 6 weeks after a car crash. However, this timeframe is just an estimate since there’s no time limit for how long muscle pain will last after the trauma of a vehicular accident.

Here are some factors that will determine the amount of time you’ll experience muscle soreness:

  • Speed and severity of the collision
  • Any preexisting injuries
  • Whether you were wearing the seat belt
  • Your position inside the car
  • The size of both cars involved in the accident
  • The official diagnosis from the medical professional

The Common Causes for Muscle Pain/ Soreness

Did you know that there are more than 900 ligaments, 600 muscles, and 4,000 tendons in a human body? This means that we have a lot of soft tissues and any of them can sustain car crash injuries.

Overstretching and tearing (also known as muscle strain) during a collision is the most common cause of muscle pain and soreness. The sudden impact of a car crash can cause your muscle fibers to tear, causing inflammation and swelling at the injury site. This inflammation then irritates those sensitive nerves surrounding the muscle fibers, causing tingling, burning, and pain. Do note that inflammation can take several days to develop and it may take 24-48 hours for muscle injury symptoms to appear.

Could it possibly be a more serious injury?

It’s difficult to tell what’s causing the muscle pain after a collision without proper medical attention. Your body creates inflammation at the injured site, and the localized muscle pain can mask a more severe injury. For example, what feels like a torn muscle in your belly could be abdominal pain caused by an internal injury.

If you suffer from severe whiplash symptoms, then you are more likely to suffer a facet joint injury in addition to muscle pain. These facet joints connect the spinal bones and can even trigger back pain and headaches when damaged. Localized muscle pain can indicate a herniated disc, which can cause numbness, a pinched nerve, and even shooting pain in the legs, hips, and knees.

What to Do If You Feel Sore After a Car Crash

Soreness is typical after the trauma of a vehicular accident. Yet, muscle fatigue and aches should never just be attributed to the average stress of a car crash. Should you experience sore muscles after a crash, then you must seek proper diagnosis and treatment.

Can You Sue for Muscle Pain Caused by a Car Accident?

Yes, you can. A personal injury claim can give you compensation for your pain and suffering, along with the financial losses caused by the injury. You may file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver not only for the medical bills but also for future medical expenses and lost wages from time spent not working.

If you need help after a car accident or other vehicle collision has caused you injuries, please call our office today for the help you need. 304-594-1800.


Jeff Robinette professional headshot - West Virginia personal injury attorney
( West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney )

Jeffery Robinette was admitted to practice law in 1991 and is licensed in all levels of state and federal trial courts in West Virginia. Mr. Robinette is also licensed in all state and federal appeals courts in West Virginia and the United States Supreme Court. As a National Board Certified Trial Attorney who has handled hundreds of motor vehicle, injury, and construction defect claims and a leading author on insurance claims settlement issues and difficulties in West Virginia, Jeff Robinette is uniquely qualified to represent your best interest.