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6 common vehicle accident injuries and what to do about them

Lana Bandoim's picture

Thousands of car accidents happen every day, and both drivers and passengers can suffer extreme injuries. In some cases, the people involved in the crash can walk away without a scratch while others end up in the hospital in critical condition. It is estimated that the medical bills associated with car accidents are $277 billion per year, and the long-term impact of the crashes can be devastating.


It is unrealistic to think you can avoid all accidents or prevent them from happening to your loved ones. If you are involved in an accident and have injuries, then it is important to consult a doctor for specific advice about your condition. Other steps you can take include checking your insurance coverage, contacting a personal injury attorney to ensure you are getting the proper compensation and getting plenty of rest to help speed up the healing process.

Although you may not want to think about it, being informed before an accident happens is the key to managing your health. The types of injuries will vary from person to person and depend on the type of crash, speed and other factors. However, there are some injuries that are more common than others in car accidents.

1. Soft tissue injuries

Soft tissue refers to the body’s ligaments, muscles and tendons. Typically, the resulting injury from a car accident is a sprain or torn soft tissue. It is the most common type of physical damage when it comes to car accidents because the impact causes these tissues to jerk and tear.

2. Scrapes, cuts and bruises

From flying glass to jagged metal, it is not surprising that cuts, scrapes and bruises can appear all over your body after a crash. Some cuts will be small and superficial while others will require stitches and medical attention to heal.

3. Head wounds

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Head injuries are some of the most serious car wreck injuries, and they are far too common. They typically occur when the force of impact causes drivers and passengers to smack their heads against the steering wheel, dashboard or window. The impact can cause traumatic brain injuries, lacerations resulting in an excessive loss of blood, lasting cognitive problems, concussions, hearing loss, vision problems and skull fractures.

4. Neck and back issues

Whiplash is probably the most well-known injury after a car accident. It is caused by the sudden movement of the neck muscle as it hyperextends. This causes serious neck muscle and ligament damage. Neck pain and swelling are regular symptoms, but people may also suffer temporary paralysis or strained vocal cords.

5. Chest injuries

It is common for a patient to suffer chest injuries from the seat belt or air bag. These protective devices can save your life, but they may also cause broken ribs, collapsed lungs or internal bleeding. In other cases, the trauma of the accident can cause those with heart issues to have what is known as a “traumatic cardiac arrest.” The patient suffers a heart attack because of the accident. Those with known heart conditions should immediately seek help from a doctor after an accident.

6. Limb damage

The same forces that cause whiplash, head injuries and soft tissue damage can also affect your arms and legs. They can flail around when the car hits something, or they can be thrown hard against doors, windows, seats and dashboards. Breaks and sprains can occur during the crash. However, bruising and contusions are more common.

This list has some of the most common issues you may face after a car accident, but there are many other health problems you may encounter following a wreck. It is important to stay aware and to arm yourself with knowledge, so you can have a fast recovery after an accident.