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9 Possible Injuries After a Car Accident

Car Accident Injury

Whether involved in a major collision or minor fender bender, a car accident could result in painful injuries that impact your life for years or a lifetime. According to a recent report, around three million people are injured yearly in vehicle accidents. While these car accident injuries differ from crash to crash and person to person, some car accident injuries are pretty standard. In this article, we explore nine common injuries after a car accident.

1. Back and Spinal Cord Injuries

The sudden impact from an object within the vehicle or another car can jar your body, significantly damaging your back and spinal cord. Depending on the severity of the injury and where the damage has occurred (the neck or spinal column), you could experience the following spinal and back injury symptoms:

  • Tingling or weakness in the legs
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Limited range of motion in your spine 
  • Back pain
  • Bleeding or swelling around the spine

With that being said, sometimes back and spine injuries are not apparent immediately. For this reason, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to rule out the condition after an accident. This enables you to prevent long-term impacts like irreversible mobility loss, chronic back pain, permanent bowel and bladder control loss, and respiration and circulation problems.

2. Whiplash

Whiplash is one of the most common vehicle accidents and occurs during a rear-end collision or when high-speeding vehicles crash. It occurs when your head and neck are jerked violently back and forth, snapping your neck. This often damages the neck’s tendons, ligaments, muscles, facet joints, and discs.  Severe whiplash injuries could also damage your ear’s inner structure, resulting in hearing loss. Below are the common signs and symptoms of whiplash:

  • Fatigue or dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Stiffness or neck pain
  • Limited neck motion
  • Straining to hear a sound

Seek medical help to prevent long-term whiplash impacts like chronic, waning, and waxing neck pain, severe headaches, and discomfort around your arms or shoulders. You could also contact HearCanada if you experience an inability to hear sound after a car accident for a hearing test, assessment, and treatment.

3. Fractures

In case of a high-speed crash, front or side collision, a passenger is thrown from the car due to an impact, or a vehicle collides with a motorcycle, pedestrian, or bicycle, one could sustain fractures in the legs and arms, among other forms of bone fractures. You could experience the following symptoms depending on where the bone fracture is:

  • Limited mobility
  • Tenderness and swelling in the affected area
  • Severe pain and bruising

Be sure to seek medical attention immediately if you experience the above symptoms. If a bone fracture is left untreated, you could be vulnerable to tissue and nerve damage, permanent mobility issues, and chronic pain.

4. Scarring

Suppose you are involved in a car accident where a fire starts, glass shatters, chemicals spill, or an impact with a side window, windshield, dash, steering wheel, car seat, or airbag. In that case, you could experience disfigurement and scarring. Burns and lacerations to the torso and face often result in deep scarring. 

Facial scarring and disfigurement can be a source of low self-esteem, leading to discomfort in work, among other aspects of life. If the scarring damages your muscles and nerves, it could affect your motor control functions. Schedule an appointment with a plastic surgeon or a  burn physician to treat severe scarring and disfigurement following a vehicle accident.

5. Traumatic Brain Injuries

If you hit your head on the car seat, windows, or the side and front airbags during a car accident, you could experience a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). While traumatic brain injuries are some of the most severe car accident injuries, they do not show up immediately.

For this reason, you should contact a medical provider for early diagnosis and treatment. This helps you prevent long-term TBI impacts like the inability to live independently or the impact on your ability to coordinate movement, speak, and perceive. Here are common signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Impaired perception
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Coordination and balancing problems
  • Migraines or headaches

6. Cuts and Scrapes

When a car loses control and starts to roll over, any loose objects inside become projectiles thrown about the vehicle’s interior. Such objects include books, eyeglasses, coffee mugs, dash-mounted GPS, purses, and cell phones, to mention a few. Suppose these objects hit you; they could cut your skin, among other injuries. Hitting front or side airbags during a collision could also cause scrapes and cuts. 

Cuts and scrapes are often minor and do not require urgent medical attention. However, do not hesitate to contact your physician for severe injuries that necessitate stitching. 

7. Knee Trauma

Your knees could strike the car’s dashboard during a collision, causing pain to your kneecap and ligaments. This could necessitate surgery, crutches, or braces to correct the damage and rebuild the knee.

8. Internal Bleeding

Internal bleeding is one of the most life-threatening car accident injuries. Unfortunately, it is difficult to detect internal injuries, and one has to visit a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. If left untreated, even for a short period, internal bleeding often results in losing vital organs and limbs. In severe cases, internal bleeding could even lead to death. 

9. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Car accidents do not solely result in physical injuries. They also cause mental and emotional injuries that could last for years or a lifetime. PTSD from a car accident is especially severe when you experience permanent injuries that compromise the quality of your life, career, and ability to live independently. Below are the signs and symptoms of PTSD after a car accident:

  • Isolation
  • Anguish
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Constant nightmares about the car accident
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Avoidance behavior. You may not want to drive or board a car again.

Be sure to give yourself time to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally after an accident. You could also talk to a mental health professional specializing in grief and trauma to cope with PTSD.


You could be involved in a car accident, no matter how careful you are. If you or a loved one sustain injuries like whiplash, fractures, back and spinal cord injuries, scarring, TBI, PTSD, or knee trauma, seek medical attention for proper treatment. You should also contact a car accident attorney to help you seek compensation and justice.