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What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident in Tennessee

May 4, 2023 

What to Expect Physically After a Car Accident in Tennessee

Motor vehicle accidents happen all too often in the great state of Tennessee and can be a traumatic experience, both physically and emotionally. You may leave the crash site feeling fine and relieved that you walked away with no injuries – only to develop significant symptoms hours, days, or even weeks after your accident. In the aftermath, it’s important to know what to expect physically after a car accident so you can manage your recovery.
In this blog, we’ll share the physical consequences of a car accident in Tennessee, highlighting immediate and delayed symptoms that may arise – resulting in delayed onset injuries. We’ll also discuss seeking medical treatment and when you might have a personal injury claim.

Tennessee Injury Attorneys is a car injury law firm passionate about helping you receive compensation for your injuries so you can focus on your recovery. If we take your case, you’ll receive personal attention from us. When it comes to personal injury, we treat you like family – because we genuinely care about you. Call us at (901) 902-7926 to schedule your FREE consultation with a Tennessee car accident lawyer

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The Immediate Aftermath

Adrenaline and Shock

In the moments after an accident, your body is likely to be flooded with adrenaline, which can temporarily mask pain and leave you feeling disoriented. Shock is a common response to a traumatic event, and it may take some time for the full extent of your injuries to become apparent.

Assessing the Situation

It’s important to assess your physical condition as soon as possible after an accident. If you can, move to a safe location and check for any visible injuries. Take note of any pain, discomfort, or limited mobility you experience.

Immediate Physical Symptoms and Injuries

In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, you may experience a range of physical symptoms due to the impact of the collision. Some of these symptoms and injuries may be immediately apparent and include the following: 

Pain and Discomfort

Even if you don’t have any visible injuries, you may still experience pain or discomfort in various parts of your body. This could be due to the force of the impact, or it could be an early indicator of an underlying injury that has not yet fully manifested.

Bruising and Swelling

Bruises and swelling can appear quickly after a car accident, especially in areas directly impacted by the collision. These symptoms may result from broken blood vessels or soft tissue damage.

Lacerations and Abrasions

Cuts and scrapes can occur during a car accident due to broken glass or contact with other objects. These injuries may be immediately noticeable and should be treated to prevent infection.

Numbness or Tingling

Numbness or tingling sensations may be experienced after a car accident, particularly in the extremities such as hands or feet. This could be a sign of nerve damage or compression and should be evaluated by a medical professional.

Difficulty Moving or Limited Range of Motion

If you have trouble moving certain body parts or experience a limited range of motion, this could indicate an injury to your muscles, ligaments, or bones. It’s essential to get a proper evaluation to determine the cause of this limitation.

Headaches or Dizziness

Headaches or dizziness following a car accident can result from a concussion or other head injury. These symptoms should be taken seriously and evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible.

Shortness of Breath or Chest Pain

Shortness of breath or chest pain could indicate an injury to your lungs, ribs, or heart. These symptoms require immediate medical attention, as they could be signs of a potentially life-threatening condition.

Delayed Physical Symptoms and Injuries

Delayed symptoms can appear hours, days, or even weeks after your accident. These delayed onset injuries will come into play if you decide to file a personal injury claim or must deal with insurance companies. Some common injuries with delayed symptoms include the following:


Whiplash is a common injury that occurs when the head is suddenly jerked forward and backward, causing damage to the muscles, ligaments, and nerves in the neck. 

Symptoms of whiplash may not appear for several hours or days after the accident and can include neck pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion.

Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

Mild traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, can sometimes go unnoticed in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. Symptoms of a concussion or TBI can include headaches, dizziness, confusion, memory problems, and mood changes. 

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and strains, can result from the impact of a car accident. These injuries may cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility, but symptoms might not appear until days or weeks after the accident.

Back and Spinal Injuries

Back pain or spinal injuries can also have delayed symptoms after a car accident. Injuries to the vertebrae, ligaments, or disks in the spinal column can cause pain, numbness, or tingling sensations that may not be immediately noticeable. 

Emotional and Psychological Trauma

Car accidents can also have a delayed impact on your emotional and psychological well-being. Anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder can develop in the days, weeks, or even months following an accident causing physical symptoms. 

Seeking Medical Treatment

When to Seek Medical Help

It’s imperative to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a car accident, even if you don’t feel immediate pain or discomfort. Many injuries may not present symptoms immediately after your car accident, and early intervention can prevent long-term complications.

Types of Medical Professionals to Consult

Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may need to consult various medical professionals to ensure proper treatment and recovery. Some specialists to consider include:

  • Primary Care Physician (PCP): Your PCP should be your first point of contact, as they can assess your overall health and refer you to appropriate specialists if necessary
  • Orthopedic Specialist: If you have sustained bone, joint, or muscle injuries, an orthopedic specialist can help diagnose and treat these issues
  • Chiropractor: For those experiencing back or neck pain, a chiropractor can provide adjustments and recommend exercises to alleviate discomfort and improve alignment
  • Neurologist: If you have symptoms related to nerve damage or a traumatic brain injury, a neurologist can provide a comprehensive evaluation and develop a treatment plan
  • Physical Therapist: To regain strength, mobility, and function after an accident, a physical therapist can create a personalized exercise program to aid recovery.

The Importance of Follow-Up Care

After an initial assessment, follow-up care is essential for a successful recovery. This may include additional appointments with your medical professionals, physical therapy, medication, or ongoing medical appointments to monitor your progress and ensure your injuries heal properly.

Handling Legal and Insurance Challenges After a Car Accident

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as you suspect you may have delayed onset injuries to discuss your options and begin the process of filing a personal injury claim.

In Tennessee, you have one year from the date of the accident to file your claim. If you discover delayed onset injuries after the accident, act quickly to ensure you don’t miss this deadline. 

Dealing with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies can be skeptical of delayed onset injuries, making receiving the compensation you’re entitled to more challenging. They have every incentive to delay or reduce your claim, so if they can use a delay in symptoms to call your injury into question, they will.
This is why it’s important to provide thorough documentation of your injuries, medical treatment, and accident evidence to support your claim. 

Working with a Tennessee Car Accident Lawyer

Hiring a personal injury lawyer can be invaluable in navigating the legal and insurance issues that arise with delayed onset injuries. A lawyer can help you:

  • Evaluate your case and determine the potential value of your claim
  • Gather evidence to support your claim, including medical records and accident documentation
  • Handle communication with insurance adjusters and negotiate on your behalf
  • Calculate damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering
  • Represent you in court, if necessary
  • Ensure timely filing of your personal injury claim within the one-year statute of limitations

Delayed onset injuries can complicate the aftermath of a car accident in Tennessee, making it more challenging to receive compensation. By seeking medical attention promptly, monitoring your symptoms, and working with a personal injury lawyer, you can protect your rights and secure the compensation you need to recover.

Tennessee Injury Attorneys: Your Voice – Your Advocate – Always by Your Side!

Don’t let delayed symptoms from a car accident impact your ability to secure compensation and obtain proper medical care. If you’ve been in a car accident in Tennessee and are experiencing delayed physical symptoms impacting your life, reach out to the experienced team at Tennessee Injury Attorneys today.
At Tennessee Injury Attorneys, you’re not just a case to us. We treat you like family when it comes to personal injury cases – because we genuinely care about you. When you meet with us, we’ll assess your situation, guide you through the legal process, and fight for the compensation you’re entitled to receive for your injuries.
Call us now at (901) 902-7926 to schedule your FREE consultation with a dedicated Tennessee car accident lawyer
Your Voice – Your Advocate – Always by Your Side!

Copyright © 2023. Tennessee Injury Attorneys. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Tennessee Injury Attorneys
1840 Pyramid Place, Suite 321
Memphis, TN 38132
(901) 902-7926

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