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Case Types We Handle
Personal Injuries
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Truck Accidents
Motorcycle Accidents
Bicycle Accidents
Nursing Home Abuse
Wrongful Death
Slip and Fall Accidents
Daycare Injury & Abuse
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Case Types We Handle
Personal Injuries
Car Accidents
Truck Accidents
Motorcycle Accidents
Bicycle Accidents
Construction Accidents
Nursing Home Abuse
Wrongful Death
Slip and Fall Accidents
Daycare Injury & Abuse
Dangerous Drugs
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Most Common Car Accident Injuries [2024 Guide]

Written By:
Tor Hoerman
Tor Hoerman

Attorney Tor Hoerman, admitted to the Illinois State Bar Association since 1995 and The Missouri Bar since 2009, specializes nationally in mass tort litigations. Locally, Tor specializes in auto accidents and a wide variety of personal injury incidents occuring in Illinois and Missouri.

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and attorneys at TorHoerman Law and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced injury lawyer, Tor Hoerman, you can do so here.

TorHoerman Law does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

A Guide to the Most Common Car Accident Injuries

On this page, we’ll discuss the most common car accident injuries, how different types of injuries occur after car accidents, how a car accident injury lawyer can help seek compensation for serious injuries, and much more.

What Types of Injuries Do Car Accident Victims Often Deal With?

Car accident injuries affect thousands of motorists all over the country.

Injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents also take a hefty financial toll, incurring roughly $498.3 billion.

These injuries come in many types, ranging from soft tissue injuries like whiplash to arm and leg injuries.

Most Common Car Accident Injuries

Some of the most life-threatening injuries also include internal injuries, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injury (or TBI).

If you or a loved one has sustained any injuries from car crashes, you need to seek compensation from the negligent parties responsible.

You can’t do this alone.

To ensure the best possible outcome in your car accident claim, you’ll need help.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a car accident injury lawsuit today.

Our attorneys will be by your side, ensuring that you get fairly compensated for the car accident injuries you or your loved one have sustained.

Table of Contents

Common Car Accident Injuries

Several kinds of injuries can take place following a catastrophic car accident.

Different injuries you can expect after you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident includes:

  • Whiplash injury
  • Fractures or broken bones
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Head or brain injury
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Burns

Whiplash Injury

Whiplash is a soft tissue injury caused by the rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, commonly seen in rear-end collisions.

Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and difficulty moving the neck.

It’s important to seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms to avoid long-term complications.

Fractures or Broken Bones

High-impact collisions can result in fractures or broken bones in various parts of the body, such as the arms, legs, ribs, or pelvis.

Signs of bone fractures include pain, swelling, bruising, and limited mobility in the affected area.

Immediate medical evaluation is necessary to assess the extent of the injury and initiate proper treatment.

Soft Tissue Injuries

These injuries involve strains, sprains, and tears of muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Symptoms often include pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the injured area.

At their mildest, soft tissue injuries can be managed at home. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) can help alleviate symptoms.

You should still seek medical evaluation for proper diagnosis and management, especially if symptoms persist or worsen.

Head or Brain Injury

Car accidents can cause a range of head injuries, from concussions (mild traumatic brain injuries) to more severe traumatic brain injuries.

A head injury following a car accident isn’t always easy to spot.

Symptoms of head injuries can include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Memory problems
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Clear nasal discharge (can be a sign of a skull fracture)

If you notice any of the above, seek medical treatment as soon as you can.

Immediate medical attention can help manage symptoms before they deteriorate.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Severe trauma to the back or neck can cause spinal cord injuries, which may result in paralysis or loss of function below the site of injury.

The symptoms can vary based on the location and severity of the injury.

These may include loss of sensation, muscle weakness, or difficulty breathing.

Serious injuries like those involving the spinal cord require immediate medical treatment.

Internal Injuries

Blunt force trauma in car accidents can lead to significant internal injuries, such as internal bleeding, organ damage (e.g., liver or spleen injury), or a collapsed lung from chest injuries (pneumothorax).

These injuries may not always present immediate symptoms but can lead to serious complications if left untreated.

When symptoms do arise, they often include:

  • Abdominal pain (especially at the site of impact)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing (especially with impact injuries to the ribs or lungs)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Low blood pressure (due to shock from damaged blood vessels and internal bleeding)

Seeking immediate medical evaluation is crucial following a car accident involving blunt force trauma.

Diagnostic imaging studies like CT scans or ultrasounds are often necessary to accurately assess the extent of internal injuries.

Early intervention is key to promptly diagnosing and treating these injuries, which can help prevent complications and support recovery.


In rare cases of vehicle fires or explosions during accidents, occupants may sustain burn injuries of varying severity.

Burn injuries can range from minor to life-threatening and often require specialized medical treatment.

Symptoms of burn injuries include pain, redness, blistering, and charred skin.

It’s crucial to seek immediate emergency medical assistance for prompt burn care and management.

Quick intervention is essential to prevent infection, manage pain, and facilitate healing.

If you or someone else experiences burn injuries in a car accident involving fire or explosion, do not hesitate to seek emergency medical help to receive the necessary treatment and care.

The Catastrophic and Lasting Impact of Car Crash Injuries

Beyond physical discomfort, your injuries can impact your life in several ways.

Some of the long-term effects can include:

  • Physical pain and reduced mobility
  • Emotional and psychological injuries or trauma
  • Financial burdens
  • Long-term medical care and rehabilitation
  • Disability

Physical Pain and Reduced Mobility

Car accident injuries often cause significant pain and may limit your ability to perform daily activities.

Chronic pain or mobility issues can affect your quality of life and require ongoing medical treatment or rehabilitation.

Emotional and Psychological Injuries or Trauma

The emotional impact of car accident injuries can be substantial, leading to anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or other mental health challenges.

The subjective nature of these injuries means that it will be challenging to calculate emotional damages.

This is why you need experienced car accident attorneys who can factor your pain and suffering into your settlement calculation.

Financial Burdens

Medical expenses, lost wages due to inability to work, and other financial burdens can arise from car accident injuries.

These losses can be significant. For this reason, you must seek fair compensation through legal avenues to alleviate some of these financial stresses.

Long-Term Medical Care and Rehabilitation

Some car accident injuries may require extensive or long-term medical care, including surgeries, physical therapy, or ongoing treatments.

After surgery, there are two likely outcomes.

One is a lengthy recovery process that takes you out of work.

The other is partial recovery and having to live life with a degree of disability or disfigurement.


Some injuries like severe back injuries can be debilitating.

These injuries can lead to disability, permanently affecting your quality of life and your capacity to work.

Different Accidents and Injury Patterns

Injuries resulting from car accidents can vary based on the patterns of collisions.

A head injury is likely to be the result of a high-speed collision whereas a sideswipe collision victim is likely to sustain arm and leg injuries.

Different collisions and the types of injuries they’re likely to cause includes:

  • Rear-end collisions
  • head-on collisions
  • T-bone accidents or side impact accidents
  • Rollover accidents
  • Angular collisions

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are among the most common car accidents in the country, alongside head-on collisions and sideswipe crashes.

These types of collisions happen whenever a vehicle is struck from behind.

Because of inertia, drivers and passengers inside the hit vehicle are suddenly thrown forward.

This leads to neck injuries like whiplash.

Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that occurs due to the sudden and forceful back-and-forth motion of the neck.

The sudden movements of the neck cause strain on the muscles and ligaments.

Head-On Collisions

These collisions involve the front ends of two vehicles crashing into each other and can lead to severe injuries.

Severe injuries can include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Facial injuries (due to impact with the steering wheel)
  • Fractures (especially in the arms and legs as occupants brace for impact)
  • Penetrating injuries due to the high impact force transmitted through the vehicles

T-Bone Accidents or Side Impact Accidents

These accidents occur when the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle, forming a “T” shape.

Occupants on the impacted side of the vehicle can sustain injuries like broken bones, head trauma (from hitting the window or door), and internal organ damage from the impact.

Rollover Accidents

In rollover accidents, vehicles overturn onto their sides or roofs.

These accidents can cause various injuries, including head trauma (from impact or being struck by objects within the vehicle), spinal cord injuries (from abrupt movements and compression), and fractures due to the vehicle’s structural deformation.

Angular Collisions

These collisions occur at an angle, where the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle.

Angular collisions can result in a combination of injury patterns seen in both head-on and side-impact collisions, depending on the angle and speed of impact.

Injuries may include fractures, head trauma, and internal injuries, varying based on the direction and force of impact.

Broken ribs, soft tissue injuries, and knee injuries result from these kinds of crashes.

Wrongful Death Claims After Car Accidents

Devastating as they are, car crash injuries aren’t the worst things that can happen following a car accident.

Vehicle accidents lead to wrongful deaths.

A wrongful death occurs when a person dies as a result of another party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions.

If a driver’s actions lead to a fatal collision, you as a surviving family member may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim.

Recourse for Surviving Families

Wrongful death claims allow surviving family members to seek compensation for various losses.

These losses include funeral expenses, medical bills related to the final injury or illness, lost financial support from the deceased, and the emotional pain and suffering caused by the loss of a loved one.

The Importance of Seeking Legal Support

Navigating a wrongful death claim requires legal expertise and sensitivity.

A compassionate attorney can assist you in gathering evidence, identifying liable parties, and pursuing justice through the legal system.

What an Attorney Can Do for Your Car Accident Claim

If you’re pursuing legal action for the injuries you’ve sustained, you need an experienced car accident attorney.

An attorney can maximize your chances of a successful car accident claim in the following ways:

  • Investigation and evidence gathering
  • Understanding medical evidence
  • Calculating damages
  • Negotiating with insurance companies
  • Pursuing litigation if necessary
  • Protecting your legal rights

Investigation and Evidence Gathering

A car accident lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the accident, gathering crucial evidence such as witness statements, police reports, and accident scene photos.

This evidence is essential for building a strong case.

Understanding Medical Evidence

Experienced lawyers understand medical terminology and can work closely with healthcare providers to gather and interpret medical evidence related to your injuries.

This helps in accurately assessing the extent of damages and the impact on your life.

Calculating Damages

Determining the full extent of damages resulting from car accident injuries requires expertise.

A lawyer can assess medical bills, lost wages, future medical expenses, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering to ensure fair compensation.

Negotiating With Insurance Companies

Dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company can be complex and intimidating.

A skilled car accident lawyer knows how to negotiate effectively with insurance adjusters to secure the maximum compensation possible for your injuries and losses.

Pursuing Litigation if Necessary

In cases where insurance settlements are insufficient or disputed, a car accident lawyer can represent you in court.

These experts have the litigation experience to advocate for your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve through legal proceedings.

Protecting Your Legal Rights

Legal proceedings involving car accidents have specific deadlines and legal requirements.

A lawyer ensures that your rights are protected throughout the process, guiding you through each step and advocating on your behalf.

Compensation for Your Injuries? We're Here for You

Car accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries that can burden you physically, emotionally, and financially.

This is why you need to hold at-fault drivers liable for your injuries and seek compensation.

You shouldn’t seek compensation alone.

With our attorneys by your side, you can receive a fair settlement that compensates you not just for your financial losses but for any trauma you’ve experienced as a result of your accident.

If you’ve sustained extensive injuries or lost someone dear to you in a car accident, you may be eligible for a car accident claim.

Find out if you’re eligible today. Contact us at TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a claim instantly.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the most frequent injuries sustained in car accidents?

    Car accidents often result in a range of injuries, from minor bruises to life-threatening conditions.

    Some of the most common include soft tissue injuries like whiplash, which affects the neck and back due to the sudden force exerted during a crash.

    Spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are severe outcomes that can lead to long-term disability.

    Other typical injuries include broken ribs, facial injuries from airbags, and limb injuries like fractures in arms and legs.

  • How can a car accident injury lawyer assist victims in obtaining compensation?

    Spinal cord injuries sustained in car accidents can be particularly severe, often leading to partial or complete paralysis.

    These injuries occur when damage to the spinal cord disrupts communication between the brain and parts of the body.

    Victims may experience loss of movement and sensation below the injury site, requiring immediate and ongoing medical treatment to manage complications and maximize recovery.

  • What steps should victims take immediately after experiencing a car accident injury?

    If you suffer a head injury in a car accident, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention, even if the injury seems minor.

    Symptoms of serious brain injuries, such as concussions or TBIs, might not appear immediately.

    Medical professionals can perform diagnostic imaging tests to assess the injury and determine the proper course of treatment.

    Delaying treatment can lead to worsening symptoms and long-term damage.

  • Can car accident injuries lead to long-term health issues?

    Car accident injuries can have significant long-term health impacts, especially in cases of severe injuries like TBIs or spinal cord damage.

    These injuries can lead to chronic pain, cognitive impairments, and other disabilities that might require long-term care and rehabilitation.

    The psychological impact, such as PTSD from the traumatic event, can also affect a person’s ability to return to normal life and activities.

  • How are car accident injury claims evaluated by insurance companies?

    Immediate medical treatment is crucial for car accident injuries to prevent complications and begin the recovery process as soon as possible.

    For injuries like internal bleeding or brain trauma, quick intervention can be life-saving.

    Early treatment also establishes a documented link between the accident and the injuries, which is vital for any insurance claims or legal actions related to the accident.

Written By:
Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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