According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than three million people are injured each year in vehicle accidents across the country. 

After all, everyone in the country drives just about every day. 

Although driving does become routine and almost second nature since we do it so often, it is still hazardous. 

When you think about it, driving requires a great deal of skill and focus mixed with blind trust for the other drivers on the road.

We all drive around in multi-thousand-pound machines, at incredible speeds, within feet of each other.

So when someone is negligent or makes a grave mistake, it's no surprise that the results can be disastrous.

The injuries that result from a car accident are as varied as the accidents themselves, but some injuries are more common than others.

Some car accident injuries can heal within a matter of days without any medical treatment at all, while serious injuries could turn chronic and result in some level of physical disability.

Based on our experience here at Jefferson Spine and Injury dealing with car accident injuries, we have compiled a list of five common car accident injuries that we will examine below.

Table of Contents


1. Head Injuries

Head injuries in car accidents range from mild to severe, depending on the accident and where your head was at the time of the accident. 

Some head injuries are minor, but some are life-threatening and should never be taken lightly.

In a minor car accident, an impact with a side window or steering wheel can cause a superficial injury resulting in just a bump or bruise. 

But a severe collision can result in serious injuries like concussions or a traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic brain injuries resulting from auto accidents can have serious repercussions, such as:

  • Bruising, Swelling, or Bleeding of the Brain
  • Concussion
  • Skull Fractures
  • Penetrating Injury
  • Diffuse Axonal Injury
  • Recurring Traumatic Brain Injury

Head injuries like TBIs can be hard to diagnose at first. 

You might think you have a mild headache at first. 

So anytime you suspect you might have a head injury, you should seek immediate medical attention from a car crash doctor to rule out any potential problems.

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2. Back and Neck Injuries

Car crashes also cause back and neck injuries in the same way they cause head injuries.

When your vehicle suddenly decelerates or accelerates, it is brutal on the sensitive structures of your spine. 

Your spine and neck are designed to both be flexible and provide stability. 

And because of this flexibility, any sudden movement can cause your spine to move widely, often causing damage.

But the rigidity of the spine causes resistance to sudden movement.

That conflict then generates its own problems.

Common back and neck injuries after a car crash include:

  • Whiplash 
  • Cervical fracture
  • Neck or back strain
  • Herniated discs 
  • Fractured vertebrae 

Back and neck injuries can cause a lifetime of lingering pain or disability if they are left untreated.

These types of injuries can interfere with your ability to work and do other tasks.

A chiropractor will work to avoid any permanent disability, so you don't suffer from things like lost wages or opportunities due to your injuries.

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Lingering sot tissue injuries are common after car accidents

3. Soft Tissue Injuries

A soft tissue injury damages the body’s connective tissue.

Your connective tissues are your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. 

Soft tissue injuries are the most common type of injury after car accidents. 

Soft tissue injuries can take many forms, but one of the most common soft tissue injuries is whiplash.

Whiplash is an injury to the neck and upper back.

With whiplash, the muscles and ligaments of your neck and upper back are stretched due to the sudden movements imposed during the collision.

These same movements and forces can cause soft tissue injuries in several other areas of the body, including your back. 

Car accidents are notorious for causing mid-back and low-back muscle sprains.

They can also cause more serious back injuries because of the impact force against the spine.

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4. Spinal Cord Injuries

Speaking of back injuries, injuries to the spinal cord are among the most severe car accident injuries. 

Your spinal cord is critical in the movement of almost every body part. 

If you damage your spinal cord, it can cause significant loss of function, loss of sensation, and paralysis. It can be extremely disabling.

Spinal cord injuries happen when displaced pieces of bone, disc fragments, ligament bruises, or tears make contact with the spinal cord. 

When this occurs, it damages the nerve cells that transmit signals to and from the brain and body.  Severe spinal cord injuries often require surgery, assistive devices, and years of ongoing rehabilitation. 

In 2007, a Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine study reported that first-year spinal cord injury costs range from $218,504 to $741,425. 

Keep in mind that those figures are just for the first year. The yearly costs after that are also significant.

Even after receiving emergency medical attention for your spinal cord injury, it can leave you with years of taking medications, having surgeries, and attending rehabilitative therapy. 

And, if your spinal cord injury cannot be fully corrected, you will often end up a permanent disability.

These disabilities can keep you from working or performing your everyday activities. 

This can require extensive costs and have significant effects on your life and the lives of the people closest to you. 

After a severe spinal cord injury, many victims are left unable to provide financially for themselves and their families.

People in situations like this need to speak to an attorney to obtain the largest settlement possible. 

Luckily, many chiropractors can provide attorney referrals after your treatment.

Receiving adequate compensation after your spinal cord injury can help ensure your financial stability and access to medical care and treatment.

You may also receive coverage of your medical bills, lost wages and benefits, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent disability, physical pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and more. 

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5. Scrapes and Cuts

When it comes to car accidents, any loose objects inside your car immediately turn into projectiles being thrown about the car’s interior. 

Things like cell phones, coffee mugs, eyeglasses, purses, books, dash-mounted GPS systems can all turn into weapons during a collision.

If anything hits your body during the accident, they can easily cut your skin or cause other injuries. Fortunately, cuts scrapes are relatively minor and require little to no medical treatment. 

However, in more serious car accidents, these injuries can result in a loss of blood and require stitches.

If your airbag deploys in the collision, it can cause you to get cuts and scrapes on your face.

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You need to seek medical attention after a car accident

What to do if You’ve Been Injured in an Accident

Understanding common auto accident injuries like these will help you know the steps you need to take after an auto accident.

It also helps you to be aware of injury symptoms as they emerge so you can reach out for medical attention as soon as possible.

Are you wondering if you should seek chiropractic care after an auto accident?

You absolutely should. If you have been in an accident that resulted in any injury, the first step is to get a full medical evaluation from an auto accident chiropractor. 

Even if you feel fine, getting a proper diagnosis from a chiropractor will ensure that you get the care and treatment you need. 

Depending on your injuries, chiropractic treatment may be as simple as one or two visits, or you might require an extensive treatment plan to help you recover.

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Contact Jefferson Spine and Injury

There is no doubt that car accidents can be terrifying, especially if an injury is involved. 

But you don’t have to suffer from the pain forever. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, make sure you see a qualified car accident chiropractor.

At Jefferson Spine and Injury, our personal injury chiropractors have years of experiencing treating common injuries associated with auto accidents.

Contact us now to schedule your free consultation and learn more about how we can help assist your full recovery.

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Dr. Holcombe

Written by Dr. Holcombe