What are the Most Common Types of Car Accident Injuries?

Injuries that commonly lead to lawsuits

By Kimberly Lekman, Esq. | Last updated on July 18, 2022

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports millions of injured traffic accident victims in the United States every year.

Auto accidents can occur in any location and under countless circumstances. So car accident injuries can result in any part of the body. The nature and severity of each of these injuries are unique. But certain car accident injuries are more common than others. The following overview will help you become familiar with the most frequently reported types of car accident injuries.

If you or a loved one has sustained an injury from a car crash, you should seek medical treatment right away. Proper medical care can help to prevent your injuries from progressing. Further, your medical records will provide evidence of your injuries. If you file a legal claim for your car accident, you may need this evidence.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue damage includes any injury to muscle, ligaments, or tendons. Whiplash, sprains, scrapes, and bruises all fall into this category. Soft tissue injuries are some of the most frequently occurring car accident injuries. Although it might sound inconsequential, soft tissue damage can cause acute discomfort and progressively worsen. Numbness, stiffness, and pain are symptoms that might show up immediately. Other symptoms such as headaches and decreased range of motion may only show up days or months after the injury.

Head and Neck Injuries

Even though newer cars have airbags and other safety standards, head injuries still occur in many car accidents. Head injuries are among the most severe car collision injuries, especially when traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs. Although you may recover quickly from a mild concussion, more severe brain injuries can cause lasting cognitive issues.

One of the most well-known types of car accident injuries is known as whiplash. Whiplash is an injury to neck muscles and ligaments caused by rapid back-and-forth neck movements. It’s called whiplash because the snapping motion of the neck resembles the cracking of a whip. Whiplash injuries occur most frequently in rear-end collisions. Although whiplash is a common injury, individuals recover from it very differently. Some people fully recover from whiplash within a few weeks of gentle exercise and pain medication. However, other people may suffer the lasting consequences of whiplash for years. Chronic neck pain may require ongoing physical therapy and medical care.

Back and Chest Injuries

Unfortunately, the impact of a high-speed car crash can cause spinal cord injuries. This type of injury can be devastating when it causes paralysis or partial paralysis. In less severe cases, back injuries can cause nerve damage, back pain, and decreased sensation to the extremities.

Like back injuries, chest injuries also vary in severity. When a driver’s body suffers an impact with the steering wheel, it can cause rib fractures, lung damage, or other broken bones. The preceding injuries can also result when a seatbelt engages and stops a passenger or driver’s forward motion. Further, seat belt injuries often take the form of internal injuries or pelvic damage. If you feel any soreness or pain after a car accident, it’s wise to seek medical attention immediately. Prompt treatment can help prevent the progression of internal organ damage or internal bleeding.

Other Common Car Accident Injuries

Unfortunately, the list of car crash injuries does not end with the above summary. Although they are less common, car accident victims often sustain the following injuries too.

  • Fractures: Motorcyclists often suffer more severe injuries than car drivers. Because motorcyclists do not have the protective cage an automobile offers, they can be thrown from their vehicle and onto the road. Therefore, motorcycle riders commonly sustain broken bones and ligament damage in accidents.
  • Arm and leg injuries: When a car sustains a T-bone collision or other side-impact crash, it may cause injuries to the arms and legs on that side of the vehicle. Arm and leg injuries can be particularly painful. They include knee injuries like torn cartilage, ankle sprains, broken wrists, and more.
  • Road rash: Road rash is a frequently occurring injury for motorcyclists. Road rash occurs when an accident victim is dragged along a road and suffers skin abrasions. The severity of these abrasions depends on how far the individual skidded along the road and what they were wearing at the time. Any exposed skin will likely suffer abrasions or lacerations because it might have had direct contact with the road.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder: Involvement in a motor vehicle accident can be a traumatizing experience. This trauma does not go away quickly for some car accident victims. It can then develop into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With this disorder, car accident victims may become unable to perform their regular daily tasks. They may also relive the accident when certain triggering events occur. If you believe you or a loved one might have PTSD, it would be wise to seek counseling.

Why Contact a Car Accident Attorney?

If you or a loved one has suffered a car accident injury, it would be wise to contact an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled car accident lawyer can provide a case evaluation to let you know how much your car accident claim might be worth. With your car accident lawyer’s help, you can seek reimbursement for your medical expenses, lost earnings, and property damage. Suppose your accident involved serious injuries, substantial property damage, or other complications. In that case, a personal injury attorney experienced in traffic accidents can help to sort through the details, file the necessary legal paperwork, and track important deadlines.

While you care for your loved ones and receive the medical care you need, your attorney can also collect evidence to demonstrate fault in your accident. Further, their law firm staff can request your medical records and other evidence to support your claim.

Personal injury attorneys usually provide these case evaluations during a free consultation. So, you have nothing to lose by scheduling a first meeting with an auto accident attorney. You should use this consultation to ask the attorney about their experience with car crash claims. It’s wise to choose an attorney with ample experience in this specialized field. Further, you should select an attorney who you like and trust.

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