Types of Injuries Caused by Car Accidents


  • Car wrecks can lead to several injuries that vary in severity.
  • While some head and brain injuries are minor, others can lead to a lifetime of debilitation.
  • Severe neck and back injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, can cost victims as much as $1 million in the first year after an accident.
  • Chest and abdominal injuries are often life-threatening.
  • The impact of injuries caused by car accidents can impact a victim’s mental well-being as much as their physical condition.

Injuries caused by car accidents vary in severity and impact. These injuries can affect different body parts, from the head and brain to the limbs, and even psychological well-being. Here’s some information on the various types of injuries that occur, as well as their symptoms, treatments, and potential long-term effects.

The law firm of Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia has a staff of attorneys committed to delivering positive results to our clients. We’ll do all we can to help you get all the money you deserve if you’ve suffered an injury in a car wreck caused by someone else. Call (800) 320-HELP or contact us online for a free consultation.

Head and Brain Injuries

Head and brain injuries caused by car accidents can impact cognitive abilities, emotional well-being, and overall quality of life. The following is a look at three significant types of brain injuries and head injuries that can result from car accidents.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

One of the most severe injuries caused by car accidents is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). This condition occurs when a sudden jolt or impact to the head disrupts normal brain function.

The consequences of TBI can range from mild to severe. Mild TBI, often referred to as a concussion, may cause temporary symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and confusion. On the other hand, severe TBI can lead to long-lasting and debilitating effects, including memory loss, impaired cognitive function, and coma.


Concussions can have both immediate and long-term consequences. These injuries temporarily affect the brain and may cause headaches, dizziness, and memory problems.

While concussions are often considered “mild” brain injuries, it’s essential to take them seriously. Multiple concussions over time can lead to a condition known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which athletes and individuals suffering repeated head trauma often experience.

Skull Fractures

Severe impacts in car accidents can also lead to skull fractures, which pose significant risks to the brain. A skull fracture may result in brain damage, bleeding within the brain, or infections if not promptly addressed. This injury can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical care.

Depending on the location and severity of the skull fracture, surgery may be necessary to repair the damage and prevent further complications. Long-term effects of skull fractures can include cognitive impairment, seizures, or permanent disability.

Neck and Back Injuries

Significant neck and back injuries caused by car accidents cause pain, discomfort, and, in some cases, long-term disability. These include whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and herniated discs.


Whiplash occurs when the head and neck suddenly – and violently – whip back and forth. This strains and damages the neck’s muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Symptoms of whiplash may include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and difficulty moving the neck.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Car accidents can lead to spinal cord injuries, which can be particularly devastating. These injuries may result in paralysis, loss of motor function, and permanent disability.

Rehabilitation, including physical therapy and adaptive equipment, is often necessary to improve function and quality of life for those with spinal cord injuries. As with other car accident injuries, spinal cord damage treatment can be extremely costly. Victims may face $1 million or more in expenses in the first year alone.

Herniated Discs

Herniated discs occur when the spinal discs undergo pressure due to swelling of the soft tissues surrounding them. In many instances, victims not only suffer pain but also weakness and numbness. While some cases may improve with conservative treatments like physical therapy, more severe cases may require surgery to alleviate pressure on the nerves.

Chest and Abdominal Injuries

Chest and abdominal injuries resulting from an accident can be life-threatening. Rib fractures, internal injuries, and seat belt syndrome can have devastating consequences.

Rib Fractures and Internal Injuries

Forces from a car wreck can result in rib fractures and internal injuries. Rib fractures can be painful and, if not managed correctly, result in complications like punctured lungs.

Wrecks can also cause damage to vital organs in the chest, such as the heart and lungs. Internal injuries can lead to bleeding, infection, or impaired organ function, which can be life-threatening if not promptly addressed. Immediate medical attention is crucial to assess the extent of these injuries and initiate appropriate treatment.

Seat Belt Syndrome

Researchers estimate seat belts saved more than 374,000 lives from 1975-2017. While wearing a seatbelt is essential for safety, it can sometimes cause what’s known as “seat belt syndrome.” This injury occurs when the seatbelt restrains the body during a collision, leading to abdominal bruising, internal bleeding, and damage to the intestines.

Limb Injuries

Limb injuries are also common consequences of car accidents, ranging from minor to severe. These injuries can profoundly affect a victim’s quality of life. Examples include the following:

Fractures and Breaks

Fractures and breaks in the arms, legs, hands, or feet can vary in severity. Simple fractures may heal with immobilization and rest. However, more complex fractures require surgery, pins, or rods for stabilization. Recovery can involve physical therapy and rehabilitation to regain full function in the affected limb.

Types of Injuries Caused by Car Accidents - WHG

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries, such as strains, sprains, and contusions, lead to pain, swelling, and reduced mobility. While soft tissue injuries are typically not life-threatening, they can be quite painful and may require physical therapy and other treatments for a complete recovery. In some cases, these injuries can lead to chronic pain or long-term discomfort.

Psychological Injuries

Car accidents can take a toll not only on the body but also on a victim’s mental health. The psychological impact of car accidents can be severe, leading to conditioncommon causes of car accidentss like PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Individuals with PTSD may experience flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and emotional distress related to the accident. PTSD can interfere with daily life, work, and relationships. It’s essential to seek psychological support and treatment for PTSD, as it can improve with therapy and support.

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression often require therapy and, in some cases, medication to manage. Anxiety and depression can affect a person’s overall well-being and may interfere with their ability to function normally in various aspects of life.

Learn more: Car vs. Truck Accident Lawsuits: 4 Key Differences

The Severity and Impact of Car Accident Injuries

Understanding the difference between minor and major injuries is crucial, as is recognizing the potential for chronic pain and long-term disability.

Minor vs. Major Injuries

Minor injuries may include sprains, minor cuts, or bruises. These injuries may require medical attention but generally don’t lead to long-term complications. In contrast, major injuries encompass more severe conditions like fractures, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal injuries.

Major injuries can result in significant medical expenses, long-term rehabilitation, and lasting effects on a person’s life.

Chronic Pain and Disability

Conditions like chronic pain, chronic headaches, or lingering neurological deficits can impact an individual’s daily life and ability to work. Legal action may also be necessary to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney to Recover Damages for Your Injuries

Please don’t hesitate to speak with an experienced Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia car accident attorney. We’ll take care of the legal complexities so you can focus on your recovery. When you turn to us, you can rest assured we won’t stop until we help you obtain maximum compensation.

Call (800) 320-HELP or use our online form for a free case review.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long after a car accident can injuries appear?

Injuries from a car accident can manifest hours or even days after the collision. It’s essential to monitor your condition and seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms, even if they appear days later. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to a successful recovery.

Back to Index

Should I see a doctor after a car accident?

Yes, it’s crucial to seek medical attention after a car accident, even if you don’t think your injury is severe. Some injuries may have delayed symptoms, and a medical evaluation can ensure you receive prompt care. Documenting your injuries with a healthcare professional will be essential for insurance claims or legal actions.

Back to Index

How much compensation can I receive for my injury?

The amount of compensation for your car accident injury can vary widely and depends on several factors, including the severity of your injury, medical expenses, lost wages, and the circumstances of the accident. An experienced car accident attorney can help you assess your case and determine the potential compensation you may be entitled to.

Back to Index

No Win, No Fee Commitment

Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia is committed to helping you rebuild your life after a hardship. We are not just your legal team—we are your allies, your partners, and your advocates. We will do everything we can to handle your case with compassion and care, and to get you the results you need!

“And for every fight we take on, know this…we are doing everything we can to make sure we win!”

— Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia

Werner, Hoffman, Greg
Adam Werner Author Box Headshot

About the Author

Adam Werner is a partner and practicing attorney at WHG. He specializes in personal injury cases, workers’ compensation claims, and veteran disability benefits. He routinely writes about personal injury and workers comp topics for the Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia blog

Schedule A Free Consultation

Se Habla Espanol