The 9 Most Common Injuries during an Auto Accident

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than three million people are injured each year in vehicle accidents across the country. The different injuries resulting from a car accident can be as varied as the individual circumstances of each collision, but there are some types of injuries that are more common than others. Some car accident injuries may resolve within a matter of days without any medical treatment at all. More serious injuries might become permanent and result in some level of physical disability.  Auto accidents can happen at any time to anyone and it is not prejudice against old or young rich or poor. Anyone can be affected and it can happen in the blink of an eye. These auto accident injuries suffered can often be categorized as a catastrophic injury. We see many auto accident cases each year and these are some of the most common auto accident injuries our clients have experienced:


1. Brain and Head Injuries

One of the most common and debilitating injuries that an auto accident can inflict is a traumatic brain injury of some kind. Symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe, depending on the extent of damage to the brain and the area effected.  The problems with head and brain injuries is there may be no visible sign of injury- bruising or swelling or cuts- but the brain can still be affected. Head-on collisions are the most common cause of head and brain injuries but they can happen during roll-overs or any other auto accident.

2. Neck Injuries

Another common form of injury from a car accident is neck injuries. The most common type of neck injury is known as whiplash but you may also have severe neck strain, pulled muscles, or more serious injuries like cervical dislocation and disc injury. Injuries to the neck are often felt right away though the true extent and severity of the damage is not usually known until diagnosis and treatments are given after the accident or time have passed before the individual seeks medical care.


3. Chest Injuries

Depending on the type of accident and other factors, a common and potentially deadly injury is chest related injuries.  These are caused by severe force being applied to the chest or other injuries being sustain to that area of the body. Cracked ribs, broken sternum, fractured collar bones, punctured lungs, and heart damage can occur during severe impact auto accidents.


4. Spinal Cord Injuries

The damage to the spinal cord is caused when fragments of bone, pieces of the disc material, or ligaments in the spine end up getting bruised or torn and when these elements press into spinal cord tissue. This in turn destroys axons, the part of our nerve cells that carry signals up and down the spinal cord between the brain and the rest of the body.  Even swelling from minor injuries can put pressure on the spinal cord and cause damage in some form. Damage to the spinal cord often results in pain, numbness, weakness, mobility issues, and in severe cases can lead to complete or partial paralysis.


5. Back Injuries

The lower back is often to most damaged and abused area of the back when it comes to auto accidents- these can result in a rage of back injuries, including sprains and strains, herniated discs, pulled muscles, and fractured vertebrae. These injuries can cause pain and limit your mobility. In most cases people are unaware they have a back injury until later, sometimes days after the accident when they wake up with severe back pain, numbness, weakness, or loss of mobility. Unfortunately, back injury can cause long lasting pain and discomfort is one of the injuries that can change the quality of a person’s life forever.


6. Facial Injuries

In a car accident, the face is one of the most exposed areas of the body and many people will sustain some sort of facial injury, caused by the steering wheel, dashboard, control panel, airbag, shattered glass, windshield, side window, car seats, and items stored in the vehicle. These injuries range in severity from scrapes and bruises, to laceration and fractures- they can even be so severe as to cause permanent scarring or lead to broken jaws, missing teeth, broken noses, and fractured skulls. Any injury to the head or face needs to be treated right away by a medical professional.


7. Internal Injuries

The impact of a motor vehicle accident can cause internal injuries including, injuries to bowels, lungs, heart, kidneys, appendix, the spleen, liver, or aorta. Fractured ribs are also quite common, which often aggravated internal injuries.  Internal injuries are life threatening and should be treated by a medical professional immediately- there is no option to self-treat and they are among the most serious injuries a person can sustain in an auto accident.


8. Extremity Injuries

In severe auto accidents, the extremities can be severely injured. Hands and feet tend to be exposed and in areas of the vehicle that receive the most damage. Feet and legs can be crushed by compression of the front of the vehicle. Hands and arms can be injured by the steering column and dashboard as they compress from the impact. In severe cases, this can lead to permanent disfigurement or loss of limbs through amputation-either form the accident itself or as a means of saving the person’s life in the aftermath of the accident.


9. Psychological Injuries

Motor vehicle accidents that result in severe injuries and even loss of life will often result in drivers and passengers suffering mental and psychological issues. These can include short or long-term memory suppression, emotional distress, posttraumatic stress disorder, nightmares, persistent anxiety and depression, and other issues commonly attributed to traumatic experiences and great personal pain and suffering.  These psychological injuries can affect every facet of a person’s life and have long-lasting effects. Therapies and psychological counseling can do a world of good to help the individual recover mentally as their body recovers physically.


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