7 Most Common Injuries From Car Accidents

car accident injuries to arms and legs

There are numerous injuries that can happen in a motor vehicle collision, but you are at a much higher risk for suffering one of these most common injuries from car accidents.


Each year, approximately two million Americans sustain injuries in motor vehicle collisions across the country, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). In Georgia, about 150,000 people sustain injuries resulting from car crashes, according to a 2017 annual report by Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.


Fact: As estimated by the CDC, Americans spend more than a million days in the hospital from car crash-related injuries annually.


Fact #2: Each year, car accident injuries total about $18 billion in lifetime medical costs, of which more than 75% occur within the first 18 months following the crash.


Some automobile accident injuries may resolve naturally or after a short medical treatment. Others, meanwhile, require costly medical procedures and surgeries. There are also those who never fully recover from their injury.


All of these factors have a tremendous impact on determining the amount of monetary compensation that the injured person needs. Our Marietta car accident attorney from The Graham Firm can evaluate your unique case and pursue compensation on your behalf.

So, what to expect physically after a car accident? Do your symptoms after a crash indicate that you have an injury, and, if so, are you entitled to compensation?


Most Common Injuries from Car Accidents

Injuries suffered by car drivers, passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians range from minor to catastrophic injuries to even fatal. Generally, injuries from getting hit by a car fall into two categories:

  • Impact injuries; and
  • Penetrating injuries.


Penetrating injuries result from objects that penetrate an individual’s body (e.g., shattered glass or any loose objects from a truck’s cargo). Impact injuries, on the other hand, occur when an individual’s body strikes part of the vehicle (e.g., hitting a safety restraint such as a seatbelt or airbag or any structure of the car such as its steering wheel, windshield, dashboard, etc.).


A car crash can lead to serious injury to any part of the body. However, certain injuries occur more often than others. The following are some of the most common car accident injuries.


1. Soft Tissue

Soft tissue injuries are the most widespread type of injury that affects victims of both minor and severe accidents.


Verywell defines soft tissue injuries as “trauma to any skin, muscle, tendon, or ligament in the body.” Whiplash, which is the stretching of head and neck ligaments and muscles, is the most prevalent injury among soft tissue injuries after a motor vehicle collision.


Other examples of soft tissue injuries include lacerations, avulsions, abrasions, contusions, and muscle sprains.

Symptoms to watch for:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Limited range of motion
  • The “popping” or “snapping” sound or feeling


2. Scrapes and Cuts

Scrapes or abrasions are “wounds in which layers of skin are scraped or torn,” while a cut is a long, narrow incision in the skin. These injuries are usually caused by objects inside the vehicle that can turn into flying hazards during a car crash. Broken glass, car parts, and even airbags can also cause scrapes and cuts.


Symptoms to watch for (if the scrape or cut is infected):  you should seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following:

  • More pain or swelling 24 and 48 hours after the crash
  • The scab has gotten bigger
  • Redness around the wound has gotten worse
  • Pus draining from the wound
  • Fever


3. Head Injuries

Trauma and damage to the head, especially the brain, are the most common fatal injuries in car accidents. Each day, an average of 155 Americans die from head and brain injuries, according to the CDC.


In minor crashes, a person can suffer bruises, scrapes, and lacerations when his or her head bangs against the windshield, steering wheel, side window, or another car part or object inside the vehicle.


In more severe accidents, the person can suffer closed head injuries, concussions, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and permanent brain damage.

Symptoms to watch for:

  • Bleeding
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Feeling sick
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Passing out
  • Feeling confused or distracted
  • Changes in behavior
  • Memory problems
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Blurred vision (see the full list of symptoms on Mayo Clinic)


4. Chest Injuries

Chest injuries are car accident injuries that require surgery more often than other types of injuries. This car crash injury can range from minor (bruises) to medium (contusions) to serious (broken ribs, damage to internal organs, collapsed lung, internal bleeding, etc.).

The driver is at a higher risk for chest injuries due to the small amount of space between his or her chest and the steering wheel. Seatbelts can also be responsible for chest injuries. The same can be said about airbags when they deploy.

Symptoms to watch for:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Bruising, swelling
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Redness
  • Rapid changes in heart rate
  • Coughing
  • Shallow or fast breathing
  • Crackling sound in the chest
  • Low blood pressure
  • Coughing up blood


common injuries from car accidents


5. Arm and Leg Injuries

Unnatural sudden direction changes in a car collision can result in the involuntary movement of the extremities, which can lead to injury.

Although bruises and scrapes to the arms and legs are the most common injuries to the extremities in car crashes, fractured bones and loss of a limb can be just as common.

Symptoms to watch for:

  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Limited range of motion
  • The snapping or popping sound
  • Deformity


6. Back Injuries

Back injuries, including spinal cord injuries, are also some of the most common car accident injuries. The human spine is not designed to sustain heavy impact, which is why the back is so susceptible to injury in motor vehicle crashes.

The worst thing about suffering a back injury in a car crash is that its symptoms may not show for days or even weeks.

Symptoms to watch for:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Paralysis
  • Inability to maintain normal posture


7. Internal Injuries

Internal injuries are one of the car accident injuries that require surgery. Damage to internal organs can be caused by flying debris or the human body hitting or being pressed against an object.


Internal bleeding can cause death if the injured person fails to seek immediate medical attention.

Symptoms to watch for:

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Swelling
  • Light-headedness
  • Deeply purple skin in the affected area
  • Headache
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures

Why You Need a Marietta Car Accident Attorney

In many cases, injuries resulting from car crashes are not immediately apparent or noticeable. Symptoms may not show for days or even weeks after a motor vehicle accident. That is why you need to seek medical attention regardless of how you feel after the crash.


If you suffered an injury, you might be eligible for recovery of damages caused by these common injuries from car accidents. Our Marietta car accident attorney from The Graham Firm can assist you in obtaining the maximum financial compensation to cover your economic and non-economic losses.


Our team of legal professionals will thoroughly evaluate all the facts and evidence surrounding your case, work with investigators to establish the other party’s fault, and cooperate with medical experts to document the extent of your injury to calculate past, current, and future medical expenses.


Contact The Graham Firm to schedule a free consultation about your case. Call at 404-526-9955 or complete this contact form to get started.



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