Car Accident Injuries

Common Types of Car Accident Injury, and When to Call an Attorney

Even the most minor car accident can be traumatizing, interrupting your plans and unsettling your mind. A crash that causes an injury can do far more harm, costing time, money, and physical/mental well-being. The most serious car accident injuries are those that cause or contribute to death.

The legal minds at Pierce Skrabanek have compiled the following information on the most common crash injuries, and what to do after suffering a car accident injury to preserve your rights and access the support you need.

If you have immediate questions you need answered by professional legal counsel, call us today at (832) 690-7000—we’re ready to help you navigate this trying time in your life.

Table of Contents

A black man holds his head in pain after a car accident.

What Are the Most Common Car Accident Injuries?

A low-speed fender bender can cause injury just as much as a high-speed collision, though the severity of the injuries often differs drastically.

Here are some of the most common car accident injuries, minor and major:

Most Common Car Accident Injuries Infographic

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“What Are the Most Common Car Accident Injuries?”

Head Injuries

The Center for Disease Control notes that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI), and are frequently connected to TBI-related deaths. Lacerations to the face, a broken jawbone or nose, and eye damage are other types of head injuries that may occur during a crash.

Head-on, rear-end, and side-impact collisions are the leading cause of head injuries in motor vehicle accidents. Rollover crashes can also cause head injuries, as the skull may make contact with the upturned roof of a car.

What may seem like a minor bump to the head can still cause concussion or brain injuries. TBIs in particular can result in personality changes, severe headaches, and cognitive impairments that make it difficult to perform even simple tasks.

While bodies are usually belted into a car’s seat, the human head can be injured from contact with the steering wheel, windows, headrest, or other objects that may fly through the car on impact. Immediate and ongoing medical treatment may be vital to successful recovery from head trauma.

Head injuries can include:
– Concussion or other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
– Facial lacerations or eye injury
– Broken nose or jaw

Limb Damage

Multiple studies conducted by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have shown a large majority of injuries in front-end crashes are to the lower extremities, which include the hips, legs, knees, ankles, and feet. Older drivers and those with a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) tend to experience leg trauma most frequently during car accidents. Site swelling, pain, buckling, dislocation, and ruptures are many of the symptoms of lower extremity injuries.

The upper extremities are also at risk in side-impact crashes, including shoulders, elbows, and wrists. A driver’s fingers are especially vulnerable if they’re resting on the wheel, as they can be easily pinned, crushed, or amputated during a crash. Motorcycle accidents are even more likely to cause limb damage.

Extensive surgery is often necessary to repair injuries to limbs, especially when complex joints are damaged. Such injuries not only need immediate medical care, but could require long-term physical therapy to fully heal.

Limb damage can include:
– Joint dislocation and tendon/ligament tears
– Broken bones
– Crushing or amputation

Soft Tissue and Organ Injuries

Whiplash is probably the best known soft tissue injury sustained in a car crash, but soft tissue injuries can occur anywhere in the body where tissues connect your bones. Soft tissues encompass your muscles (including your heart), fat, nerves, blood vessels, tendons, and other fibrous and supportive tissues that cushion the working parts of your skeleton. Sprain, strains, contusions, tendonitis, and bursitis (inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion major joints) are all injuries that can result from a car accident.

Even more vital are your inner organs. Except for the brain, all of your major organs are located in your torso, including your liver, kidneys, stomach, reproductive organs, and lungs. Impact damage or impalement during a car or commercial truck accident can cause direct and obvious injuries. Significant damage to these organs could be fatal.

However, internal tears and bleeding aren’t always immediately apparent after an accident. They may go undetected for days before symptoms start. This is why it’s important to get professional medical care after an auto accident. Your road to recovery will go much faster if you immediately know the extent of all your injuries.

Soft tissue and organ damage can include:
– Sprains, strains, and tendonitis
– Tears or ruptures to connective tissues and organs
– Impalement injuries

Velocity Damage

Not all injuries during car accidents are due to impact, some are due to velocity, aka speed. Like whiplash, some injuries are caused by the force associated with fast speeds and sudden stopping. Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries can result if your brain is rapidly shifted during a crash.

Similarly, while seat belts can save people from the catastrophic damage of being thrown from a vehicle, they can also cause bruising, and may play a part in organ rupture during high-speed crashes.

Just because you cannot see an injury, or were not hit with or thrown against anything during a crash, does not mean you aren’t hurt. Any automobile collision brings the danger of speeds far higher than humans can propel themselves independently. Higher speeds mean greater forces at play that may cause unseen injuries.

Velocity damage can include:
– Sudden-stop injuries to the brain and neck
– Seat belt restraint injuries
– Unseen internal rupture

Back, Neck, and Spinal Cord Injuries

Neck and back injuries sustained in car crashes can be especially painful and debilitating.

The spine is divided into three regions: the cervical spine or neck, the thoracic or upper back, and the lumbar or lower back. While most injuries to the cervical spine are often lumped in the soft tissue/whiplash category, severe injuries to the cervical spine may result in death. Thoracic and lumbar spine injuries include herniated discs, complete disc slippage, muscle sprains, and tears that can cause pain and affect mobility. A back injury can render someone bedridden and unable to return to work for several weeks.

However, perhaps the most devastating consequence of a car accident is permanent paralysis or loss of sensation. Because the spine and central nervous system are intrinsically connected, nerve damage is common in spinal cord injury.

Complete or partial paraplegia, resulting in loss of mobility and requiring the use of a wheelchair or other assisted devices, is common in spinal cord injuries from car crashes. The total lifetime care costs of spinal cord damage can be well beyond what the average family can manage.

Back, neck, and spinal cord injuries can include:
– Fatal cervical spine injury
– Herniated discs
– Paralysis (partial or complete, temporary or permanent)

A young woman with long pink fingernails grasps her neck after a car accident injury.

These injuries are some of the most frequent that occur to drivers and passengers involved in car accidents.

However, pedestrians can suffer profound injuries due to automobile impacts as well. Contact Pierce Skrabanek for help with any manner of vehicular accident, including motorcycle, truck, and pedestrian cases.

How Can a Car Accident Injury Settlement Help You?

Surviving a car wreck not only affects the body, it can also have a negative impact on the mind. Car and truck accidents can cause psychological injuries such as anxiety, depression, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When all of the damages are considered, car accident injuries aren’t just painful, they’re costly.

Here is what a car accident injury settlement could help cover:

  • Medical bills for treatment, and any ongoing charges for therapy sessions
  • Lost wages, missed days of work, and loss of advancement opportunities
  • Property damage costs and the often long-term expenses that can accumulate after a car accident (like appointments missed because your vehicle is no longer reliable)
  • Pain and suffering, real consequences that an experienced vehicle accident injury attorney can translate into economic numbers for the court
  • Punitive damages charged to negligent parties as punishment, funds which may then be awarded to you
  • Wrongful death expenses that must be handled by surviving loved ones after a fatal car accident

After a car accident, many people feel overwhelmed with unfair responsibility. In many instances, regardless of fault, you are still left to seek care, pay for it, schedule repairs, pay for those too, and rearrange your life to find alternate transportation. You also have to deal with insurance paperwork, all while healing from injury and trauma, and possibly caring for someone else who was injured in the crash, like a child.

A car accident injury lawyer can help shoulder many of these burdens. Contact Pierce Skrabanek today for help communicating or negotiating with insurance companies, gathering evidence from the crash, and accessing financial resources for medical and property bills. Let us handle the paperwork while you heal in peace.

After a car accident injury, call Pierce Skrabanek at (832) 690-7000 — we’ll handle the paperwork while you focus on healing.

Testimonials for Pierce Skrabanek

Our reputation at Pierce Skrabanek is built on our successful verdicts and settlements, and on the honest feedback from our clients. Here are some of their testimonials:

I was hit by a commercial vehicle and I hired Mr. Pierce. He took care of me and my brother the entire time. He got us a good settlement and would refer him to anyone.

– David

My experience with Mr. Skrabanek was honestly far better than all expectations that we had. He took care of us like we were family, making sure me and my wife always felt like a priority, and walked us through all of the concerns that we had. If you are looking for a professional who truly cares for his clients you can stop the search. You won’t be disappointed.

– Daryl M.

My attorney, Michael, did an amazing job with my case. He’s a straight shooter and has a vast knowledge of the law combined with an extensive amount of experience, making him a fantastic attorney. I fully recommend this firm. Thank you Pierce Skrabenek!

– Victoria S.


A young professional black woman with a cast on her arm calls a car accident injury attorney.

Contact Pierce Skrabanek, Car Accident Injury Attorneys

Even the most minor car accident comes with costs to your time, finances, and physical and mental well-being. The more serious the injuries, the more those costs compound, leaving victims of accidents feeling overwhelmed and underwater when they should be resting and recovering.

Before you accept what an insurance company thinks your injury is worth, contact Pierce Skrabanek today at (832) 690-7000, or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment. Often those initial offers do not take into account your lost wages, or the total cost of recovery should your injury be life-altering or require long-term medical care.

Pierce Skrabanek has the resources to gather all the necessary evidence to present a strong case, and negotiate with all parties involved so that your true needs are addressed. Empower our experienced car accident attorneys to advocate on your behalf.

Car Accident Injury FAQs

Some of the most frequent injuries resulting from car accidents include:

  • Head injuries like concussion or other forms of TBI
  • Limb damage to joints and bones
  • Soft tissue and organ injuries including tears and ruptures
  • Velocity damage from high speeds and sudden stopping
  • Back, neck, and spinal cord injuries from slipped discs to paralysis

A settlement or verdict in a car accident lawsuit can help cover:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages
  • Wrongful death expenses

Examples of our successful verdicts and settlements in car accident and spinal cord injury cases include:

  • A $117 million recovery for a catastrophic injury to a young mother who was injured when an ambulance transporting her was involved in a serious car accident. It is the largest single personal injury verdict in Louisiana history, with Mike Pierce as one of the lead attorneys.
  • A $2 million settlement for an automobile accident plaintiff, an amount that was roughly five times the defendant’s highest pretrial settlement offer.
  • A $1.8 Million verdict in a spinal injury case to account for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, and other personal costs to our client.

The car accident injury lawyers at Pierce Skrabanek can be reached by calling (832) 690-7000, or by filling out our online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation. We have a proven win record in representing car, truck, motorcycle, and pedestrian vehicular accident cases. We will spare no effort in fighting for the best possible outcome for your future.