5 Common Car Accident Injuries and How to Respond to Them

Car accidents can produce injuries ranging from mild to severe. Here are the five most common car accident injuries and how to respond to them. 

1. Whiplash

Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when your neck is suddenly forced in one direction. For example, the impact of a rear-end car accident can cause a victim’s neck to slam forward and then back into the headrest, creating whiplash. 

Whiplash can range from mild to severe. This injury commonly causes head and neck pain that victims can treat with over-the-counter painkillers. Most cases of whiplash subside on their own within a few weeks or months, while more severe cases can remain for several years. 

If your whiplash has not improved after a few weeks, you can talk to your doctor about different treatment options. 

2. Broken Bones

Broken bones also commonly occur in car accidents. Often, car accidents cause victims to forcefully strike their limbs on the car interior, leading to a fracture. 

The most commonly broken bones in car accidents include:

  • Cranium
  • Clavicle
  • Arm bones
  • Spinal vertebrae
  • Facial bones

Broken bones require medical treatment. You should immediately seek medical treatment if you think you’ve suffered a fractured or broken bone. 

3. Bruising

Most car accident victims walk away with at least a few bruises. Bruises form when the small blood vessels beneath the skin burst, typically due to harsh impact. While bruises are most common on the arms and legs, they can appear throughout the body after car accidents. 

Most bruises heal on their own. You can help your bruises heal faster by:

  • Elevating the bruised area
  • Applying ice packs to the bruise
  • Compressing the bruise with an elastic bandage

You may need to seek medical treatment if your bruising does not disappear in two weeks. 

4. Lacerations and Abrasions

Lacerations are deep cuts to the skin, while abrasions are injuries that break the skin’s surface layers. These injuries often occur in car accidents that involve broken glass, such as from the windshield or windows. 

You may need medical attention for your lacerations and abrasions if:

  • They do not stop actively bleeding within ten minutes
  • They are more than a half-inch long
  • They have debris in them

5. Psychological Injuries

Car accidents can also lead to mental trauma that causes psychological problems. For example, many car accident victims experience post-traumatic stress disorder, in which they have severe anxiety, flashbacks to the crash, and nightmares about the incident.

However, you may also experience symptoms of depression after a car accident. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may notice a loss of enjoyment in life or feelings of prolonged sadness. 

Car accidents can also produce anxiety, in which drivers no longer feel comfortable operating their vehicles. 

When to Hire a Car Accident Attorney 

Knowing common car accident injuries and how to respond can help you directly following your accident. However, if you have experienced any significant injuries, you may also benefit from hiring a car accident attorney. 

An experienced attorney can assist you in numerous ways following your accident. Specifically, they can:

  • Walk you through the insurance claims process
  • Help you gather evidence to support your claim
  • Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
  • Represent you in court, if necessary
  • Provide legal advice
  • Help you secure adequate compensation 

At Haines Law, P.C., we can provide reliable legal assistance to help you following your car accident. Now that you know common car accident injuries and how to respond, contact our team today at 281-361-3191 to schedule a free consultation. 

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