What are the Usual Injuries After a car Accident?

man getting first air to injured woman after car accident on road

According to NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), over three million Americans are injured in auto accidents every year. The injuries resulting from an accident are as varied as the circumstances of these events, but some injuries are quite common.

Some injuries heal within days, with no medical treatment, while others result in permanent disability. The team at can protect your interests and help you get the funding needed to recover after an auto accident. The severity and type of injuries suffered by passengers and drivers depend on factors such as:

  • Seat belt usage
  • Where the vehicle was hit (front, side, or rear)
  • The occupants’ positions in their seats
  • The speed with which the crash occurred
  • Whether the vehicle had airbags

There are two categories of auto accident injuries: penetrating injuries and impact injuries. An impact injury is caused when a person’s body hits the interior of the vehicle, while a penetrating injury typically comes in the form of a scrape or cut caused by shattering glass and flying projectiles. 

Soft Tissue Injuries

A soft tissue injury is any damage to connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments. These injuries are some of the most common, and they can take numerous forms. For instance, a whiplash injury to the upper back and neck is a type of soft tissue injury. Here, the ligaments and muscles are stretched after a sudden, sharp movement during a collision. Auto accidents can cause serious back and neck injuries because of the force of the impact on the spine.

Cuts and Scrapes

In an auto accident, loose objects inside vehicles can become dangerous projectiles. A deploying airbag can also cause serious damage. Cell phones, coffee cups, purses, books, and more can cause serious injuries if they hit a person’s body. While most cuts and scrapes are minor, serious injuries can result in blood loss and the need for stitches.

Head Injuries

Accident-related head injuries can take several forms, with some being more severe than others. A vehicle’s unexpected stop may cause occupants’ heads to move unnaturally and sharply, leading to muscle strains and head injuries. Impact with a steering wheel or side window can cause bruises, scrapes, and lacerations, as well as closed head injuries. Minor closed head injuries often lead to concussions, while severe impacts may cause brain damage.

Chest Injuries

Car accidents often cause chest injuries such as contusions and broken ribs, as well as internal harm. Drivers often fare worse because they’re sitting behind the wheel, which allows little movement. Even if a person’s body doesn’t hit the dashboard or wheel, it will still exert a great deal of force against the shoulder belt, which may lead to significant bruising.

Injuries to the Extremities

The forces that throw occupants’ heads about in auto accidents act on their arms and legs. If a vehicle is hit in the side, the extremities may be thrown against the seats, dashboard, or other interior parts. Depending on the circumstances of the collision, injuries may be as minor as scrapes and bruises, or as severe as sprains and fractures.

Seek Medical Help, Then Get Legal Advice

Remember that some auto accident injuries aren’t readily apparent. In some cases, these injuries may take days or even weeks to appear. If you’re in an auto accident, it’s best to seek treatment, even for minor discomfort and early symptoms of an injury. After you’ve seen a doctor, consider calling a personal injury lawyer such as Dennis Hernandez, who has plenty of experience in this area and can offer support and advice. An attorney can work with an at-fault party’s insurance company, negotiate a settlement on your behalf, and protect your legal rights during an accident claim.

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