Common Types of Personal Injuries Resulting from Car Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 2.5 million people suffered injuries in car crashes in 2021. Some injuries are so severe that they have devastating consequences for victims and their families. In this blog, we highlight some of the most common types of personal injuries resulting from car accidents and offer some guidance on how to recover compensation for them.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Perhaps the most dangerous of all injuries is an injury to the head. More specifically, any damage to the brain can be serious. There are different types of traumatic brain injuries — concussion, contusion, penetrating injury, and diffuse axonal injury.

The most common symptoms of mild head injuries include headaches, nausea, blurred vision, or mild confusion. However, if you have severe headaches, slurred speech, or memory loss, it could be the result of major head trauma. A doctor will have to diagnose the injury before starting any treatment. The most common treatment for TBIs is rest and rehabilitation; however, surgery might be required in more severe cases.

Internal Injuries

Internal injuries are not visible. These types of injuries can cause damage to the kidneys, liver, and other organs of the body. While symptoms of pain are common with internal injuries, in some cases, there might be no symptoms. This is why it’s important to get a medical evaluation after a car crash. Any internal bleeding or damage can be dangerous and needs to be diagnosed as soon as possible.

Wearing a seat belt protects against injuries in a car accident. In some cases, wearing a seat belt incorrectly can cause internal injuries as the entire weight of the body is being restrained by the seat belt.

Broken Bones and Fractures

A direct impact on the bone can result in fractures and broken bones. The most common areas for broken bones and fractures in a car accident include the wrist, ankle, arm, and legs.  However, any bone can be damaged depending on the force and angle of the impact.

The most common symptoms of broken bones and fractures are pain, swelling, inability to move the area, or difficulty putting weight on the area. In some cases, the victim will hear a snap or crack when the injury happens. An x-ray may be needed to diagnose a broken bone or fracture. The doctor might immobilize the area to allow the bone to heal. In some cases, surgery might be required to hold the bone together for proper healing. After the surgery, physical therapy may be required to restore the complete function of the injured area.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries refer to injuries caused to the tendons, ligaments, or muscles. Examples of soft tissue injuries include sprains, strains, bursitis, and contusions.

The most common symptoms of soft tissue injuries include soreness, discoloration, limited range of motion, and swelling. The severity of the soft tissue injury determines how long it will take to heal. Some of the most severe soft tissue injuries may require surgery. For minor soft tissue injuries, just resting the injured area may be enough. A doctor may prescribe certain anti-inflammatory medication to minimize symptoms of pain, swelling, and soreness.

Whiplash is a common injury to the muscles of the neck. It is caused by the forceful and abrupt movement of the head as a result of the car crash. It is typical for whiplash symptoms to remain undetected for a few hours or days after the accident.


Burns in car accidents can range from first-degree to third-degree, with the latter being the most severe. The heat from any electrical or mechanical components of the vehicle or explosion can cause burning. Fatality rates are highest with fourth-degree burns, but these are more common in catastrophic accidents. While a high percentage of burn victims survive, they can suffer from health conditions or complications such as respiratory problems, infections, fluid loss, or sepsis.

Limb Loss and Amputation

In catastrophic car accidents, amputations might be necessary to prevent the spread of infection or health complications. Car accidents are a leading cause of limb loss and amputation. The victim’s hands, feet, fingers, toes, or entire limbs can be amputated. After the amputation, the most common course of action is to use a prosthesis.

Mental Trauma and Emotional Distress

While mental health conditions might not draw the same urgency in the treatment or care in the aftermath of the accident, the impact of such conditions in the long term can be severe. Car accident victims can suffer from anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, fear of driving or being in a vehicle, and other conditions. Therapy and medication might be required to help treat the most severe mental trauma and emotional distress.

How to Recover Compensation for Personal Injuries

To protect your rights as a car accident victim, it’s important for you to consult an experienced Palatine car accident lawyer. They can guide you on the best legal route to recover fair and full compensation for your injuries. If you can prove that the other driver’s recklessness, negligence, or wrongdoing caused your injuries, you have a strong case to recover compensation.

Evidence that can help your case includes eyewitness statements, photos of the crash site, police reports of the accident, surveillance footage, and medical records. You must file your personal injury claim within the applicable statute of limitations; otherwise, your case could be dismissed.

If you suffered long-term injuries due to the accident, the lawyer can help you determine the economic and noneconomic cost of such an injury. It is common for accident victims to underestimate the cost of long-term care for injuries suffered in a car accident. Along with all the medical care you may need, you also have to factor in loss of earning capacity, lost wages, cost to modify your home or vehicle to accommodate the injury, and other expenses. Once you settle the case, you won’t be able to get more compensation. Therefore, working with an experienced attorney is essential.

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