The Most Common Car Accident Injuries Unveiled

More than 5 million car accidents occur each year in the U.S. — 45% result in serious injuries. Being aware of the potential motor vehicle accident-related injuries can help you recognize the symptoms early on so you can seek the right treatment and comply with the legal requirements for a personal injury claim.

Photo of a Damaged White Car

Whiplash Injuries

If another vehicle hits your car from behind, your head can suddenly jerk back and forth — this rapid snapping is known as whiplash. As it strains the muscles and ligaments in your neck, you might feel pain and stiffness immediately or a few days after the car accident.

Headaches, starting at the base of the skull, dizziness, and sometimes blurred vision or tiredness are also common symptoms of whiplash. While it might seem like a simple neck strain, whiplash can give you chronic neck injuries, a reduced range of motion, or persistent migraines.

Head and Brain Injuries

When your head is hit or shaken violently due to direct impact on parts of the car — like the steering wheel or window — or because of the rapid deceleration during a crash, you could sustain serious head injuries.

A head injury could be a concussion, a contusion, or something more serious, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) — which can result in long-term damage or death. About 50,000 people in the U.S. die annually from TBI-related cases, and 80,000 to 90,000 people suffer long-term disability due to TBI each year.

Depending on how mild or severe the car crash injury is, symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, confusion, blurred vision, nausea, problems with memory, concentration, or mood swings.

Back and Spinal Cord Injuries

There is a bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of your back and connects your brain to the rest of your body. This sensitive spot can be easily injured in car crashes because of the powerful impact, sudden and violent jerks, or penetration injuries (like being pierced by debris).

Herniated discs are common car accident injuries among victims. They happen when the cushion-like discs between your spinal bones (vertebrae) are damaged and pushed out. Additionally, the bones of the spine can crack or break, or your spinal cord can get damaged, resulting in partial or total loss of function in parts of your body.

Fractures and Broken Bones

In car or truck accidents, the following types of fractures are common:

  • Simple fractures: The bone breaks but does not pierce the skin.
  • Compound fractures: The broken bone breaks through the skin, increasing the risk of infection.
  • Hairline fractures: Small cracks in the bone, which can be hard to detect and still cause significant pain.
  • Compression fractures: These are serious and mainly damage the spine, where the bone is crushed.

You can get broken ribs from the force of seat belts or the steering wheel; your arms and legs can get crushed if you are bracing against impact; your facial bones can break upon hitting the dashboard, steering wheel, or windows. Hips and pelvis fractures are common in side-impact collisions or for older adults.

Soft Tissue Injuries (Internal and External)

Although less obvious than broken bones, internal injuries, and facial injuries, soft tissue injuries are no less serious. Since they damage your body’s tissues (muscles, ligaments, and tendons), you must get immediate medical attention. Otherwise, it can compromise your range of motion for good.

These are several ways you may sustain this common car accident injury:

  • Bruises (contusions): Caused by blunt force trauma, like chest injuries from hitting part of the car interior during a crash.
  • Strains: Injuries to muscles or tendons, from overstretching or overexertion during the accident.
  • Sprains: Injuries to ligaments, which are the tissues connecting bones, usually due to sudden twists or turns.

If you are experiencing any pain, swelling, or bruising anywhere, it could be a muscle injury or internal bleeding.

Get Legal Guidance for Your Personal Injury Case Today 

If you or your loved one have been injured in a car accident in Maryland, you may have the right to receive financial compensation for your physical injuries, pain and suffering, and income loss arising from the accident. At Parker, Pallett, Slezak & Russell, LLC, our team of car accident attorneys can hold the negligent parties liable for maximum damages to get you the financial compensation you deserve. Call us at (410) LAW-YERS or reach out to us online — all initial consultations for car accident victims are free.