Understanding the Types of Injuries Caused by Automobile Accidents

There are more than 228 million licensed drivers in the United States. The size of this number means that thousands of auto accidents happen every day, and unfortunately, it is likely that you or someone you know will be involved in one eventually. Perhaps the most frightening part about being in a car crash isn’t that you can damage your own vehicle or hit someone else’s — it’s that you, your passengers, and others involved can be seriously hurt. 

The following are a sampling of some of the most common injuries sustained by drivers and passengers during an automobile accident:


When your car slams into something, your body tenses up reflexively to protect you from harm. Unfortunately, this tension can be more harmful than helpful in car accidents because of the speed at which your body is traveling. One of the motor vehicle injuries often reported, yet sometimes misunderstood, is whiplash. While whiplash is defined as a neck-specific injury caused by rapid neck movement, it doesn’t just affect your neck. It can harm your whole body, leaving you with ringing ears, shoulder and arm pain, nerve damage, and a whole host of other problems.

Other Soft Tissue Injuries

Whiplash is one form of soft tissue injury, but it’s far from the only soft tissue injury inflicted on car accident victims. Just about any of your body’s soft tissues can be strained or sprained in an automobile accident. Soft tissue damage can range in severity from mild pain due to a sprained ankle to severe ligament and muscle damage. 

Head Trauma

Your head colliding with your dashboard, airbag, or steering wheel in a crash can be harmful and even fatal. However, you don’t have to hit your head at all to experience head trauma during an auto accident. A concussion is one kind of traumatic brain injury, or “TBI,” that happens when your brain impacts the inside of your skull, with or without a direct hit to your head. 

You might not be able to tell if you or a passenger has experienced head injuries or traumatic brain injuries right after an accident. Sometimes, symptoms appear more gradually. Some red flags to watch out for are dilated pupils, headaches, and sleeping problems.

Broken Bones

Broken bones are some of the most “noticeable” car accident injuries because they more often than not cause immediate pain. Broken arms or legs, for instance, are usually painful and difficult to ignore. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. Sometimes a smaller fracture may go unnoticed or be mistaken for a sprain. 

No matter the severity of a fracture, if it’s not treated appropriately and promptly, it has the potential to heal incorrectly, doing even more harm to your body over time and leaving you with lasting damage. Not to mention, broken bones can lead to…

Internal Injuries

Internal injuries are just what they sound like damage done to the inside of your body, such as your organs. One of the more frequent motor vehicle injuries that causes internal damage is broken ribs. This can happen when the steering wheel or airbag collides with your chest or stomach. The ribs broken in the process then end up puncturing or otherwise harming your organs. 

Even if it seems like you or your passengers have come out without a single scratch in a motor vehicle accident, it’s best to seek medical attention as soon as possible to make sure you are not suffering from internal bleeding. Internal bleeding is a serious health risk and should be treated as a critical emergency.

Spinal Injuries

Your spinal cord is one of the most important parts of your body, serving as your literal support system and enabling your basic motor functions. It’s also highly vulnerable; because it’s so long, it can be injured in many different places. While back or neck pain after a car accident can come from soft tissue damage such as a sprain, it might also be a sign you’re dealing with a more serious back or neck injury.

Impact on your spinal cord can cause conditions such as herniated discs and fractured vertebrae, among others. Back and neck injuries can cause a lifetime of chronic spinal pain, often requiring costly and painful surgeries. Because of this potential for lifelong damage, back and neck pain is not something to ignore, even if it comes on a few hours or days after you’ve been involved in an accident.

Lacerations or Puncture Wounds

A laceration or puncture wound is the medical term for a foreign body breaking and damaging your skin into the tissue layer. Many things inside and around your car and the road could cause you this kind of injury during an accident, especially if the accident takes place at high speed. 

If your motor vehicle injuries, or those sustained by a passenger, involve severe lacerations, seek medical attention immediately. Lacerations can cause extreme pain, and heavy bleeding, not to mention they’re susceptible to infection, which can be deadly.

Bruises and Abrasions

Because a car accident, more often than not, involves your body brushing against or colliding with another surface inside your car at high speeds, many people suffer bruises, scrapes, and cuts as a result of an auto accident which can inflict a great deal of pain and suffering, and minor scrapes or cuts could become infected.

Get The Help You Deserve

The conditions listed above are some of the most common injuries people suffer as a result of being involved in an auto accident. Whether you were involved in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, if you’re seeking compensation for motor vehicle injuries, we are available to help you. 

If your injuries resulted from another car driver’s negligence, the job of our team would be to prove it and get you the maximum award or settlement under the law. If you’ve been in an automobile or motorcycle accident in Schuylkill County, PA, or the surrounding areas, we’re just a phone call away. We also serve other parts of PA — our Reading car accident attorneys are just one call away. Don’t wait to take care of yourself or your loved ones. Contact us today.

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