What Are the Most Common Car Accident Injuries?

A woman suffering from whiplash stepping out of her rear-ended vehicle.

With so many people on the road in California every day, car accidents are an extremely common occurrence. Luckily, some car accidents are not that severe and do not cause injury to anyone involved.

However, in California, almost 200,000 car accidents a year are serious enough to cause injury.

To help you understand what types of injuries you might expect — or be on the lookout for — after a car accident, we have compiled a list of the most likely injuries you’ll sustain in a car crash below.

Remember that the costs of your medical bills and other losses may be eligible for recovery through a liability claim against any at-fault drivers or other parties. Reach out to an experienced California car accident lawyer today if you have been hurt and want to understand your options. 

Our attorneys are available to speak with you during a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation, which you can schedule when you call (559) 878-4958 or contact us online.

What to Do When You Become a Car Accident Victim?

No matter the severity of your accident, if you have been involved in a car crash, you should see a medical professional as soon as possible.

Even if you believe that you have not been injured, some injuries can have a delayed onset of symptoms, and other injuries will only be able to be diagnosed by a doctor. Ensure your well-being by making it a priority to see a doctor after an accident.

Then, before you reach out to an insurance company about repaying your medical bills, first, strongly consider calling an experienced and reliable California car accident attorney team.

How an Attorney Helps After a Collision

Getting injured in a car accident can be a scary and confusing time. Not only do you have to navigate the medical system to try to ensure that you receive the care that you deserve, but you will also be dealing with the aftermath of the car accident.

From dealing with filing insurance paperwork to trying to track down the accident report to gathering other necessary evidence, it can all feel like a Herculean task.

Luckily, you do not have to take care of all of these things on your own. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident that caused an injury, reach out to an experienced Fresno auto accident lawyer.

An attorney from Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law will be with you every step of the way when dealing with the aftermath of your accident, and they can help you focus on recovering while knowing that someone is working to ensure the best outcome possible for you. 

Getting medical care should always be the first step, but then calling an experienced attorney can be the second.

While you will need to file a notice of a claim in a timely manner, the insurance representatives may encourage you to say or do things that are not in your best interests. Many insurers will inquire about your medical history when it is irrelevant to the recent injuries you have suffered. 

An attorney can not only consult with you, making the process easier, but they can also represent you during all steps of your claim. You remain informed and in control of the big strategic decisions, and your attorney can help you handle the rest.

What Are the Most Common Car Accident Injuries?

Though car accidents can cause almost any type of injury, there are several that are more likely to occur in a motor vehicle collision compared to another type of event. These injuries can range from minor to severe and may even require emergency surgery or an inpatient hospital stay.

In fact, the CDC estimates that Americans spend over a million days in the hospital each year due to crash injuries.

Though the severity of the injury may range, most injuries sustained in a car accident can be sorted into two types of injuries: impact injuries and penetrating injuries.

Impact injuries occur when parts of the body hit or impact another object in the car, such as seatbelts, dashboards, or steering wheels.

Meanwhile, penetrating injuries occur when some object enters, or penetrates, the body. These injuries could be caused by shards of glass from a broken window or as a result of loose objects moving around in the vehicle.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries tend to be some of the most common injuries that occur as a result of car accidents. They are likely to occur in both severe and minor accidents.

Soft tissue injuries are defined as injuries that cause trauma to the soft tissues of the body, such as the skin, muscles, tendons, or ligaments.

Whiplash is categorized as a soft tissue injury and is a very common injury that can occur in car accidents. However, other injuries, such as contusions, abrasions, avulsions, and lacerations, are also common soft tissue injuries. 

If you have been in a car accident and are concerned that you received soft tissue injuries, look out for:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Limited range of motion
  • “Popping” sound or sensation

Scrapes and Cuts

Scrapes occur when layers of skin are scraped or torn, while cuts are long, narrow incisions into the skin. Both commonly happen as a result of car crashes. Even if an injury like this seems minor, you should always go to receive a full medical evaluation soon after the crash.

Your outer injuries could indicate internal damage, such as fractures, sprains, or bruising of vital organs. Adrenaline often makes it difficult to focus on pain, so never assume you aren’t hurt enough to go to a doctor.

Further, while minor cuts and scrapes can usually be treated at home, it is important to have a medical professional help you properly treat wounds to reduce the risk of infection. Then, look out for the following signs in case the wound develops an infection later:

  • Redness around the wound
  • Increase in size of the scab
  • Increase in pain or swelling
  • Pus in the wound
  • Fever

If you notice any of these symptoms, report to a medical professional as quickly as possible. 

Head Injuries

Head injuries are the leading cause of fatal injuries in car accidents. According to the CDC, over 150 Americans die every day due to head trauma.

Mild head injuries might include scrapes, bruises, or lacerations. These injuries are usually impact injuries and are caused by the head banging into other objects in the car, such as airbags, steering wheels, or the side window.

However, head trauma can quickly become serious and result in something called a TBI or traumatic brain injury. These injuries can cause concussions, brain damage, or sometimes even death.

If you hit your head in a car accident, you should seek medical help as soon as possible, even if you don’t think it caused a serious injury.

Signs of a serious head injury include:

  • Bleeding
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Feelings of confusion
  • Loss of balance
  • Memory issues
  • Speaking difficulty
  • Blurred vision

Chest Injuries

These are the car accident injuries that are the most likely to require surgery to treat. Chest injuries can cause anything from bruises (mildest injury) to more serious issues, such as broken ribs, punctured lungs, internal bleeding, and damage to internal organs.

In car accidents, drivers are more likely to experience these injuries due to the close proximity of the driver to the steering wheel. Seatbelts and airbags can also cause chest injuries. 

Signs of chest injuries are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Redness
  • Rapid heart rate changes
  • Coughing blood
  • Shallow breathing
  • Crackling sounds in the chest

Arm and Leg Injuries

When you are involved in a vehicle accident, the impact can cause your extremities to move in ways that they normally do not. This can result in anything from minor bumps and scrapes to more serious injuries, such as fractures and even injuries that can result in loss of limbs. 

If you have been in a car accident, you should monitor your arms and legs for signs of:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Significant bruising
  • Numbness
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Joints at odd angles or the appearance of fluid accumulation near them

If you are concerned about any of these symptoms after a car accident, please seek medical help as soon as you are able.

Catching an injury earlier rather than later gives you a better chance at a full recovery, and your treatment documentation also helps to prove that the injury occurred as a result of the accident.

Back Injuries

Back injuries are also common in car accidents, as they usually involve heavy impact forces placed along the torso, even when the victim was wearing a seat belt. Our spines are strong, but they are not made to withstand serious trauma.

Back injuries can be especially tricky, as it may take hours or even days for the symptoms to begin showing.

Watch for:

  • Pain
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Stiffness
  • Spasms
  • Paralysis

Internal Injuries

Internal injuries are some of the most serious injuries that a person can sustain as a result of a car crash. Internal injuries can happen because of an impact or penetration, and they often require surgery to repair the damage.

If you believe that you have any internal damage at all, it is imperative that you seek medical attention immediately, as these damages can possibly lead to death if left untreated. 

Look out for these symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Seizures
  • Severe Headache
  • Deep Purple Bruising
  • Passing Out

What Should I Do if I Become a Car Accident Victim?

If you or a loved one are injured as a result of a car accident, the most important thing you can do is seek medical care. Not only could medical care save your life, but it will also help you catch injuries that may take hours or days to present themselves.

Additionally, seeing a doctor immediately after a car accident helps to establish that the injuries you obtained happened as a result of the accident and not because of a different situation. 

Once you have gotten the medical care you need, the next step is to call an experienced California car accident attorney.

An experienced car accident attorney will immediately start building your case — gathering important paperwork, interviewing witnesses, and representing you in conversations with insurance companies. 

Our attorneys want to help you and will fight to give you the best chance at receiving the compensation you need in order to recover from the accident and move on with your life.

The compassionate car accident attorneys at Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law are here for you. Call us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

During your consultation, we will listen to the details of your case and create a personalized legal plan designed to give you the best chance at receiving the compensation you deserve. 

To schedule your confidential consultation, please call us at  (559) 878-4958 or fill out our online contact form.