Common Types of Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents can cause a range of injuries, some of which may have lasting impacts on people’s health, wellbeing and overall quality of life. In general, car accident injuries can be classified as:

  • Impact injuries, which result from the body impacting the inside of a vehicle during a collision
  • Penetrating injuries, which occur when some object breaks through the skin.

An Overview of Common Auto Accident Injuries

recovery next exit sign
The following are among the most common types of injuries generally sustained by people hurt in auto accidents:

  • Whiplash and other neck injuries – Car accidents are the single most common cause of whiplash, and data has shown that at least half of all car accidents in the U.S. result in whiplash or other neck injuries. Although whiplash and other neck injuries can be treatable, they do commonly cause chronic pain issues for auto accident victims.
  • Head and brain injuries – Motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the U.S.1 With head injuries and TBIs, the impacts can be profoundly devastating, as they can affect people’s abilities to communicate, move around and live independently. What can be just as frustrating is the fact that these types of car accident injuries can take days to months to diagnose (especially when it comes to determining how severe the injuries are).
  • Spinal cord and back injuries – These car accident injuries can cause irreversible damage to victims, potentially resulting in paralysis and/or a permanent loss of mobility. Slipped discs, vertebrae dislocations and even severed spinal cords are among the more common types of back and spinal cord injuries that can result from auto wrecks.
  • Bone fractures – Although bone fractures may respond better to medical treatments than brain and/or spinal cord injuries, they can still result in long-term pain issues, as well as prevent people from being able to work for some period of time. In the worst cases, bone fractures caused by car accidents can lead to permanent impairments and/or may require one or more surgeries (or other costly medical interventions).
  • Soft tissue injuries – These can include bruising, muscle tears, nerve damage and other injuries. When car accidents cause soft tissues injuries, the impacts of these injuries tend to be more severe when they affect the soft tissues of the neck and back.