Every year, more than three million people in the U.S. are injured in car accidents. These injuries can range from mild to severe, with some causing permanent disability. Even mild injuries can take weeks or months to recover from. While you can suffer from a wide range of car accident injuries, some are more common than others.
The 8 Most Common Car Accident Injuries
1. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Traumatic Brain Injuries, or TBIs, are a common, serious car accident injury. According to the CDC, about 1.7 million people suffer TBIs each year, and many are caused by car accidents.
TBIs are caused by a collision that violently shakes the brain against the skull. They may be mild, moderate or severe and can result in anything from a few hours of disorientation to lifelong disabilities.
The most common TBI symptoms include:
- Blurred or double vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Memory loss
TBIs are not always easy to diagnose immediately, so victims should seek medical attention immediately following a collision.
2. Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
Back and spinal cord injuries are another very common but serious car accident injury. Any collision that puts pressure on the spinal cord or back can result in these injuries.
Back and spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis, numbness, or extreme pain and discomfort. For back injuries, the pain may radiate through the lower body and may include numbness in the legs. In many cases, spinal cord injuries result in permanent disability and can be life-changing.
Back and spinal cord injuries can be very serious, so victims should seek medical attention immediately following a collision.
3. Broken Bones
Broken bones are one of the most common car accident injuries. This is particularly true for people who are not wearing a seat belt or are thrown from their vehicle during a collision.
The most common broken bones include fractures of the arm, leg, foot, and pelvis. Fractures can result in extreme pain, swelling, and limited movement. Many broken bones will require surgery to repair.
Recovery can take several weeks or months. The victim may be forced to stay home from work during recovery or may be very limited in their ability to work.
4. Internal Injuries
Internal injuries can be caused by a severe car accident. These types of injuries can be caused by a collision that forces the organs to shift or twist in the body.
Internal injuries can be very serious and include ruptured organs, bleeding, and bruising of the tissue. These injuries may not be easy to diagnose and can cause victims to experience:
- Abdominal pain
Internal injuries can be fatal if they aren’t treated immediately, so victims should seek medical attention immediately.
5. Facial Injuries and Scars
A car accident can cause many types of facial injuries and scars. Often, these injuries are caused by broken glass or flying debris.
The most common facial injuries include cuts, scrapes, scratches and bruises.
Facial injuries may also cause disfigurement if the face hits the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield. These injuries may cause victims to lose their teeth or suffer from a broken jaw.
Whiplash is a type of neck injury that can result from a sudden jolt or quick movement of the head. Whiplash injuries are common in rear-end collisions and are often caused by the seat belt.
Whiplash can cause extreme pain, discomfort, and limited movement of the neck. In many cases, these injuries are serious.
7. Lacerations and Bruises
Car accidents can cause many types of lacerations and bruises. These injuries are often caused by broken glass, flying debris, or even seat belts.
Lacerations and bruises can result in extreme pain, swelling, and bleeding. In some cases, they can be very serious and may require stitches and possibly a skin graft.
8. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can occur after a traumatic event. The symptoms of PTSD may not appear immediately after the event but can appear days, weeks, or even months later.
Some symptoms of PTSD include:
PTSD can be treated with therapy or medication, but victims should seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent further trauma.
Common Causes of Car Accident Injuries
Car Accident Injuries Require Immediate Medical Attention
It’s important to get medical attention as soon as possible if you’re injured in a car accident. Even if you don’t think you are injured, it’s still a good idea to see a doctor. Some injuries, including the ones listed above, may not appear until several hours or days after an accident.
Even minor injuries can have a major impact on your life. You may have to miss work, and medical bills can be costly. A car accident lawyer can help. If your injuries were caused by another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering.