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  • Writer's pictureDMG Injury Law

What are the most common injuries in a car accident?

The Most Common Car Accident Injuries include:

- Whiplash and Neck Injuries

- Back Injuries

- Brain Injuries

- Chest and Rib Injuries

Car accidents are violent and almost always unexpected. Sudden and violent impacts on your body can cause serious injuries. When you are in a car accident and you are not prepared for a sudden and violent impact, the injuries resulting from that car accident can be even worse. When you expect an impact, your body will tense up, your muscles will contract, and you will instinctually brace against the impact. But you can’t prepare for an impact that you don’t know is coming. This is why car accidents are so dangerous.

Further, car accident injuries may not always be immediately apparent after the accident because of the adrenaline that is running through your body after the accident. For this reason, many car accident injuries are only felt the hours or days later after you’ve had a chance to relax. Therefore, after an accident, you should take certain measures to ensure you address any possible injuries as soon as possible. You should call your doctor and see your doctor as soon as possible following the accident, even if you experience no obvious car crash symptoms. A full check-up and evaluation can help a doctor find injuries before symptoms are visible or apparent. Be on the lookout for any symptoms or injuries in the days and weeks after your accident. Below are details of injuries that we have found are most common in a car accident along with ways to help you recover.

Whiplash and Neck Injuries

Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs when your head moves quickly backward and forward. This violent motion of the head can injure the bones, disks, and muscles in your neck. Although many see whiplash as a minor or insignificant injury, The Law Office of Daniel M. Gonzales, PLLC knows that whiplash is a very painful and possibly debilitating injury that must be treated fully and seriously.

Whiplash neck injury symptoms can include stiffness and pain in the neck, loss of motion in the neck, and headaches that mostly begin at the base of the skull. Further, one may experience tenderness in the shoulders, upper back, and arms. Other symptoms may include fatigue or dizziness.

Rear-end car accidents are a common cause for a whiplash injury. During an accident your head is thrown backward and then forward forcefully and rapidly. This can cause injury to the bones in the spine also known as vertebrates, the discs between the vertebrates, ligaments, muscles and tissues of the neck as well as nerves.

Most whiplash injuries are treatable within a few weeks following medication and exercise recommended by your doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist. However, severe whiplash may require months of treatment and possibly invasive procedures including injections or even surgery.

Back Injuries

Back injuries include a wide range of injuries. The spine is divided and referred to generally by three different sections; Cervical (neck), Thoracic (mid-back), and Lumbar (lower-back). We covered neck injuries above. Although possible, thoracic back injuries are rare in car accidents. So, when we refer to back injuries, we are generally referring to low back injuries or injuries to the lumbar region of the spine.

Car crashes often cause back injuries. Minor to severe crashes can lead to pain in the back. Injuries in the lumbar region of the spine can be especially devastating because the nerves associated with this area travel down the legs. Therefore, a low back injury can cause pain throughout the lower body.

Treatment depends on severity. Some back pain is treatable and may go away within 1 to 4 weeks. Treatments at home can relieve minor injuries caused by the back. Other treatments include physiotherapy, manipulative therapy, or surgery. The course of treatment depends on the location, the type, and the severity of the injury.

Head Injuries

Car accidents are a leading cause of head injuries. Head injuries can occur when a vehicle stops abruptly upon impact. Head injuries commonly occur in high-speed car accidents. A common head injury is a concussion that is a closed head injury that occurs in the brain when shaken back and forth in the skull.

Mild traumatic brain injuries usually require no treatment other than rest and over-the-counter pain relievers to treat a headache. However, a person with a mild traumatic brain injury usually needs to be monitored closely at home for any persistent, worsening or new symptoms. He or she may also have follow-up doctor appointments. The doctor will indicate when a return to work, school or recreational activities is appropriate. It's best to limit physical or thinking (cognitive) activities that make things worse until your doctor advises that it's OK. Most people return to normal routines gradually. Look out for these symptoms: headaches, nausea or vomiting, fatigue or drowsiness, problems with speech, difficulty sleeping, sleeping more than usual, dizziness or loss of balance.

Head injuries also include moderate and severe traumatic brain injuries. If you have lost consciousness more than a couple of seconds, you likely have a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury and you need to take your injury seriously. Contact your doctor immediately or go to the closest emergency room. Look out for convulsions or seizures, dilated pupils, clear fluids draining from nose or ears, and loss of coordination.

Chest & Rib Injuries

Broken ribs are a common injury that occurs when one of the bones in your rib cage breaks or cracks. This injury can be caused when the driver collides with a steering wheel or when a passenger collides with a dash as well as the sheer force of the seatbelt against the chest during the impact. A common cause is chest trauma from motor vehicle accidents. Many broken ribs are merely cracked. Broken ribs can often heal on their own within six weeks. For pain relief one must restrict activities and ice the area regularly. Therapy is often prescribed to help breathe more efficiently so that one doesn’t develop pneumonia.

What are some different types of car accidents?

The type of injury often depends on the type of accident.

Rear-end collision

When one car strikes another car from the rear. Rear end collisions are often less devastating than head on collisions and side impact accidents. The reason being that people who are in the front of the car are further from the impact. These collisions often occur at low speeds, such as at traffic lights or stop signs, as well as congested highways. Whiplash is the most common injury from a rear and collision. The violent sudden movement of the neck and head out and causes soft tissue damage.

Head on collisions

When two cars driving in opposite directions crash into each other. Head on collisions can be devastating for both the parties involved. they can be caused by a driver driving on the wrong side of the road, drunk driving, distracted driving, raven break failure. Head on collision can result in physical trauma including broken bones, internal injuries, burns, and lacerations. In serious cases these collisions can result in victims being thrown from the car.


A rollover occurs when a vehicle is out of control and proceeds to turn on its side and begins to roll. Common causes to rollover accidents are due to impaired or distracted drivers. Rollovers often cause broken bones, lacerations, bruising, soft tissue injury, and torn ligaments or pulled muscles and tendons.

Side Impact

A side impact accident (also referred to a T-bone accident) often happens when a vehicle is hit on its side. These collisions can happen when the front of one vehicle collides with a side of another. Side impact collisions can result in head injuries, ear injuries, neck injuries, back and rib injuries. These injuries are often the result from the impact of the airbags and broken glass.

Car accident injury/death statistics

There’s an average number of 6 million car accidents in the US every year. More than 90 people die in car accidents every day. 2 million drivers in accidents experience permanent injuries every year. 40% of car accidents that result in death are due to Alcohol, 30% because you’re speeding, and 33% because of reckless driving. 4.6 seconds is often how long a driver looks at their phone while in the car, this is equivalent to driving 55 miles per hour covering the length of a football field in that same amount of time.

Car Accident Injury Prevention Methods

To prevent any car accidents and the injuries that may result there are several things that can be implemented. One of the simplest tasks that one can do to prevent a serious injury is making a habit of wearing a seatbelt, checking mirrors, and driving the speed limit. Many car accidents are caused by distracted drivers. To prevent the distractions people must not use phones while driving. Other solutions include being observant, not driving under the influence, and taking a break when fatigued.

If You've Been Injured, Contact Us Today

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