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St. Louis Car Accident Injury Types [2024 Guide]

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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.

What Are the Different Types of Car Accident Injuries?

On this page, we’ll discuss various St. Louis car accident injury types, medical treatment for injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents, how St. Louis car accident victims can seek compensation for their serious injuries, and much more.

Common Car Accident Injuries Explained by Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers

Car accidents are a common issue across the country, leading to various injuries and damages.

In St. Louis, Missouri, like other places, busy city streets see a range of accidents, from minor to severe.

The city’s legal system provides support for those affected by these incidents, helping them navigate the consequences and recovery process.

Understanding the dynamics of car accidents in the area helps in developing strategies to protect drivers, passengers, and pedestrians from potential harm.

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In St. Louis, hit-and-run accidents are prevalent.

According to a local news report, almost 40% of drivers involved in car accidents flee the scene.

If you were involved in one, our TorHoerman legal team can help you seek justice and compensation for your damages.

Contact us now for your free consultation.

You can also use our chatbot to get a free case qualification.

Table of Contents

Different Types of Car Accident Injuries

Accident injuries are often classified according to severity, area of the body affected, or both.

The injuries can fit into one or more classifications.

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These classifications include severity and area of body affected.

By Severity

Car accident injuries vary widely in severity, ranging from minor scrapes and bruises to severe, life-altering conditions such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord damage.

The severity classification helps in determining the necessary medical response and rehabilitation process, influencing both immediate care and long-term recovery plans.

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The severity of an accident injury can be divided into three subcategories:

  • Mild Injuries: Mild injuries typically don’t require extensive medical intervention and often heal with time. Whiplash, bruises, and contusions are great examples of this category. These injuries are often sustained in rear-ending accidents.
  • Non-Fatal Injuries: These injuries are more severe than mild injuries but do not result in death. Some good examples of non-fatal injuries are fractures and concussions. Head-on and rear-end collisions are the usual causes of these injuries.
  • Fatal Injuries: This classification of injuries is the most severe and often leads to death. Internal organ damage and traumatic brain injury are the best examples of fatal car accident injuries. Head-on, high-speed side-impact, and rollover crashes are the major causes of these injuries.

By Area of Body Affected

Car accidents can also be classified according to the affected body part or organ system.

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Some common subcategories of car accident injuries by affected body part include:

  • Arm and Leg Injuries: One of the most common injuries in car accidents is broken bones, specifically those in the arms and legs. Common causes of these injuries include impact against the window or doors during a collision.
  • Back Injuries: The impact of a car accident can cause lower back injuries, which may lead to lifelong chronic pain. Severe back injuries can also cause temporary or permanent paralysis.
  • Chest Injuries: The chest area is vulnerable to injuries in front-end collisions, especially when the driver or passenger’s body comes into contact with the dashboard.
  • Facial Injuries: Broken nose, jaw, or cheekbones are a common result of car accidents. The airbag’s force can also cause eye injuries and cuts on the face.
  • Head and Brain Injuries: Head injuries can cause concussions, brain damage, and even death. Wearing a seatbelt and helmet can significantly reduce the risk of these injuries.
  • Internal Injuries: Internal bleeding, organ damage, and other internal injuries are not always visible but can be life-threatening if left untreated. Penetrating injuries from broken glass or projectiles can also cause severe internal damage.
  • Knee Injuries: Knees are often injured in car accidents, especially when the impact on the dashboard is significant.
  • Neck Injuries: Whiplash is a common neck injury resulting from rear-end collisions. It causes damage to soft tissues and can lead to long-term pain and discomfort.
  • Shoulder Injuries: Shoulder injuries are often caused by the seatbelt’s force or from bracing during a collision.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Sprain, strain, and bruising are common soft tissue injuries that can result from car accidents.

Different Car Accident Injuries

A motor vehicle accident is a traumatic event that can cause various injuries, some of which may be fatal or permanently debilitating.

Seeking immediate medical attention and taking proper care is essential in reducing the severity of these injuries.

Consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help car accident victims understand their legal options and seek fair compensation for their injuries.

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Some common injuries an individual can sustain in a car accident include:

  • Whiplash
  • Concussions
  • Broken Bones
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
  • Internal Bleeding
  • Organ Damage

Whiplash

Whiplash is a common injury in many car accidents.

This injury occurs when the neck is abruptly jerked forward and backward, often seen in rear-end collisions.

Some symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches, especially at the base of the skull
  • Decreased range of motion in the neck
  • Tenderness or pain in the shoulders, upper back, or arms
  • Dizziness, vertigo, or fatigue

Whiplash can have long-term effects, such as chronic neck pain, stiffness, and reduced neck mobility.

These long-term effects can detrimentally affect the life of the suffering victim.

Concussions

Concussions are traumatic brain injuries caused by a sudden blow or jolt to the head.

This injury commonly occurs in car accidents when the head impacts the steering wheel, windshield, or side window.

Concussion symptoms can include:

  • Headache or pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or feeling dazed
  • Blurred vision or ringing in the ears
  • Memory problems or difficulty concentrating

Post-concussion syndrome is often characterized by persistent symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and cognitive difficulties.

This condition could significantly impact the victim’s quality of life because of marked cognitive impairment.

Broken Bones

Broken bones, or fractures, can occur in various parts of the body during a car accident due to the force of impact.

A heavy blow to the chest could cause broken ribs, which, in turn, can puncture the lungs and damage internal organs.

Some symptoms of untreated fracture post-accident can include:

  • Pain, swelling, and bruising around the injured area
  • Visible deformity or misalignment of the limb or joint
  • Inability to bear weight or use the injured limb
  • Limited range of motion
  • Numbness or tingling in the affected area

Delayed healing or complications such as infection or nerve damage could manifest in fractures.

Victims could also suffer from chronic pain or stiffness in the affected limb or joint.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can result from severe trauma to the spinal cord during a car accident.

This catastrophic injury could lead to partial or complete loss of motor function and sensation below the injury site.

Symptoms observable in spinal cord injuries can include:

  • Paralysis or weakness in the limbs
  • Loss of sensation or numbness below the injury
  • Difficulty breathing or coughing
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Spasms or exaggerated reflexes

Spinal cord injuries could cause permanent paralysis or a long-term disability.

Victims could lose their independence and might require assisted care for the rest of their lives.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

TBIs are severe brain injuries caused by a sudden impact or penetrating injury to the head.

This traumatic injury often leads to temporary or permanent neurological deficits.

Some recognized symptoms of TBIs can include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe headache or migraine
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Slurred speech or difficulty speaking
  • Weakness or numbness in the extremities

Difficulty coordinating movements or walking is also observed as a long-term consequence of TBIs.

Some victims might also present sudden changes in behavior or mood, such as agitation, irritability, or depression.

Sensory disturbances, including vision or hearing loss, are also attributed to TBIs.

Internal Bleeding

Internal bleeding occurs when blood vessels are damaged or ruptured inside the body, often due to blunt force trauma in a car accident.

Some penetrating injuries could also cause undetected internal bleeding.

Some symptoms of internal bleeding can include:

  • Swelling or distension of the abdomen
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Rapid heartbeat or low blood pressure
  • Pale skin or cold, clammy skin
  • Blood in the urine or stool

Hypovolemic shock, a life-threatening condition caused by severe blood loss, is a known long-term side effect of internal bleeding.

Organ damage or failure, mainly if the bleeding is not promptly diagnosed and treated, could also manifest.

Internal bleeding also increases the risk of infection and other related complications.

Organ Damage

Organ damage can occur in various organs, such as the liver, spleen, or kidneys, due to the force of impact in a car accident.

Organ rupture or laceration could lead to internal bleeding, which must be promptly diagnosed and treated.

Some symptoms of organ damage include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the affected area
  • Abdominal swelling or distension
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Changes in bowel habits or difficulty passing stool

If left untreated, organ damage could cause long-term complications, including chronic pain, organ failure, or infections.

In severe cases, victims might require surgery to repair the damaged organ or remove it entirely.

Common Types of Car Accidents

Various types of car accidents can occur on the road, each with its unique circumstances and consequences.

Understanding these different types of incidents can help drivers take preventive measures to reduce their risk of accidents.

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Different types of car accidents can include:

  • Rear-End Collisions
  • Head-On Collisions
  • Side-Impact Crashes
  • Rollovers

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions occur when one vehicle strikes the back of another car.

These accidents are common when one vehicle fails to stop or slow down in time, such as at traffic lights, stop signs, or in heavy traffic.

Injuries, such as whiplash, soft tissue injury, and facial injury, are often seen in these accidents.

The speed of the vehicles often influences the severity of injuries in rear-end collisions.

Higher speeds can increase the impact force, leading to more severe injuries.

Proper seat belt usage and well-positioned head restraints can mitigate the risk of whiplash.

Head-on Collisions

Head-on collisions occur when the front ends of two vehicles collide with each other while traveling in opposite directions.

These accidents often happen on undivided highways, rural roads, or when one vehicle crosses the centerline into oncoming traffic.

Head-on car crashes are known to cause traumatic brain injury, head injury, and chest injury.

These accidents tend to result in severe injuries due to the combined speed of the vehicles involved and the force of the impact.

The lack of time to decelerate or brace for impact increases the risk of serious injuries.

Side-Impact Crashes

Side-impact crashes, or T-bone or broadside collisions, occur when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another.

These accidents happen at intersections when one vehicle fails to yield the right-of-way or runs a red light.

Head and brain injuries and thoracic injuries are common in side-impact crashes.

The severity of injuries in side-impact crashes depends on various factors, including the point of impact, vehicle size, and speed.

Occupants on the side of the vehicle are particularly vulnerable to severe injuries due to the limited protection that the door and window offer.

On the other hand, the driver and front passenger have the added protection of airbags, seatbelts, and the engine block in front-end collisions.

Rollovers

Rollover accidents occur when a vehicle tips onto its side or roof, often after swerving or colliding with another car or obstacle.

Vehicles with a high center of gravity, such as SUVs and trucks, are more prone to rollovers.

Rollover accidents are often associated with severe injuries due to the multiple impacts and forces the occupants experience as the vehicle rolls over.

Ejection from the vehicle significantly increases the risk of fatal or life-threatening injuries.

Vehicle design features such as roll bars and reinforced roofs can help mitigate the severity of injuries in rollover accidents.

Not all vehicles have these safety features, making it essential for drivers and passengers to wear seat belts at all times.

Taking Legal Action After a Car Accident in St. Louis

Understanding the legal aspects of car accident injuries is crucial for victims to protect their rights and seek appropriate compensation.

It’s essential to know that Missouri follows a “fault” system regarding car accidents, meaning the party at fault for the accident is responsible for covering the resulting damages.

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If you’re hurt in a car accident in St. Louis, here are steps you should take to seek compensation for your injuries:

  • Seek Medical Treatment: Your priority after a car accident is to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being. Seek emergency medical treatment for any injuries, no matter how minor they may seem.
  • Document the Accident: Collect evidence from the scene, including photographs of the vehicles, skid marks, traffic signs, and any visible injuries. Obtain contact information from witnesses and exchange insurance information with the other parties involved.
  • Report the Accident: In Missouri, you must report any car accident that results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $500 to the local police or highway patrol. Be honest and accurate in your statements to law enforcement.
  • Notify Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurance company about the accident immediately. Provide them with the necessary information and cooperate with their investigation.
  • Consult With an Attorney: Consider seeking legal advice from an experienced car accident attorney. An attorney can guide you through the legal process and help you pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.

How an Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Attorney Can Help

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, especially when facing injuries, medical bills, and insurance claims.

An experienced St. Louis car accident attorney can provide invaluable assistance throughout the legal process.

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An experienced attorney can help you in many ways, including:

  • Meticulous Investigation: An attorney will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the accident, gathering evidence to determine liability and strengthen your case.
  • Insurance Claims Negotiation: Your attorney will handle communication with insurance companies for you. They will negotiate fair settlements for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
  • Legal Representation: If necessary, your attorney can represent you in court, advocating for your rights and pursuing maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
  • Expertise and Guidance: With their knowledge of Missouri’s laws and legal procedures, a car accident attorney can provide expert guidance tailored to your case, helping you make informed decisions at every step.

TorHoerman Law: Speak With Our Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Today

Car collisions are notorious for their devastating injuries and fatalities.

Seeking immediate medical attention is critical if you’re involved in a car collision in St. Louis, even if you feel fine.

This prompt action can help protect your health and strengthen your legal case.

If you want to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages, having an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer is crucial.

At TorHoerman Law, we have a team of skilled attorneys who can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the justice you deserve.

Speak with our experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer today for a free consultation.

You can also use our chatbot for a free and instant case qualification.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What common injuries occur in St. Louis car accidents?

    In St. Louis car accidents, common injuries range from minor to severe.

    These injuries can include:

    • Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries
    • Broken bones, especially ribs and limbs
    • Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions
    • Spinal cord injuries, potentially leading to paralysis
    • Internal injuries, such as internal bleeding or organ damage
    • Facial injuries, from lacerations to fractures

    Other frequent injuries are chest injuries from hitting the steering wheel, arm and leg injuries from the crash force, and facial injuries due to broken glass or airbag deployment.

  • How does accident severity affect injury types?

    The severity of a car accident significantly impacts the types of injuries sustained.

    Minor collisions might result in soft tissue injuries, whiplash, or minor cuts and bruises.

    High-speed or severe accidents can lead to more critical injuries like spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding, and broken bones.

    The force of the impact, the angle of the collision, and whether occupants are wearing seatbelts all influence the nature and severity of injuries.

  • What are typical treatments for car accident injuries?

    Treatment for car accident injuries varies based on the injury’s severity and nature.

    Soft tissue injuries may require physical therapy and pain management, while more severe injuries like broken bones or internal damage might need surgical intervention and long-term rehabilitation.

    Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries often necessitate specialized, comprehensive medical care.

    Immediate medical attention after a car accident is crucial to diagnose and treat injuries effectively and prevent complications.

  • How do St. Louis car accident victims claim compensation?

    Car accident victims in St. Louis can claim compensation by filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit against the party at fault.

    This process typically involves gathering evidence of the accident and injuries, documenting medical treatment and expenses, and proving the other party’s negligence or wrongful action.

    An experienced car accident attorney can help navigate the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for justice.

  • What is the role of injury lawyers in St. Louis car accidents?

    Injury lawyers play a critical role in St. Louis car accidents by providing legal representation to the injured parties.

    They help in investigating the accident, collecting evidence, and establishing liability.

    Lawyers also assist in negotiating with insurance companies and, if necessary, representing the victim in court to ensure they receive adequate compensation for their injuries, medical treatment, and any other damages or losses resulting from the accident.

    Their expertise is invaluable in navigating the complex legal and insurance landscapes to advocate for the victim’s best interests.

Written By:
Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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