Behind the Wheel: A Look at Common Car Accident Injuries

Car extrication

Car accidents are traumatic for a variety of reasons, but the injuries they can yield are right at the top of the list. From minor cuts and bruises to traumatic brain injuries, the most common car accident injuries vary in scope and severity — but any harm caused by an auto accident should be taken seriously. We’ve compiled a list of notable injuries that many car crash victims present with, as well as answered some vital legal questions about how to cope with your trauma. 

Texas car accident statistics

Car accidents are a frighteningly common occurence in Texas, with many incidents resulting in serious injury or even death. The Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Facts Calendar revealed some damning statistics about the safety of our roads, with the 2021 report stating the following: 

  • 1 person was killed every 1 hour 57 minutes
  • 1 person was injured every 2 minutes 12 seconds
  • 1 reportable crash occurred every 57 seconds

With this many serious car accident injuries happening, it’s important to know the major risk areas for your body if you have been involved in a crash. 

What types of car accidents cause the most injuries?

There are several types of car accidents that can cause significant injuries, but some of the most common ones include:

Rear-end collisions: When one vehicle hits another from behind, it can cause whiplash, neck and back injuries, and even traumatic brain injuries if the impact is severe enough.

Head-on collisions: When two vehicles collide head-on, the force of the impact can cause serious injuries, including broken bones, internal bleeding and spinal cord injuries.

T-bone or side-impact collisions: When a car is hit from the side, the occupants are particularly vulnerable to injury because they have less protection from the impact. These types of accidents can result in serious injuries to the head, neck, chest and abdomen.

Rollover accidents: When a car flips over onto its roof or side, the occupants can be thrown around inside the vehicle, leading to serious injuries such as head trauma, spinal cord injuries and broken bones.

Pedestrian accidents: When a car hits a pedestrian, the injuries can be catastrophic or even fatal. Pedestrians have no protection from the impact and can suffer severe injuries to the head, neck and other parts of the body.

It’s important to remember that any type of car accident has the potential to cause injuries. If you’ve been involved in an accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible to assess any possible harm that has been caused. 

The most common injuries from car accidents in Texas

What injuries can you get from getting hit by a car? There are many different ways you can be harmed in an auto accident, ranging from mild to extremely severe. If you’re wondering what happens to your body after a car accident, we go through some of the most common car accident injuries below. 

Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) caused by car accidents are unfortunately common and can be extremely serious. TBIs occur when the brain is jolted or slammed against the skull, leading to damage and potentially long-lasting effects. In car accidents, TBIs can occur when a person’s head hits a hard surface, such as the steering wheel or dashboard, or when the brain is shaken inside the skull due to the force of the impact. The severity of a TBI can vary widely, from a mild concussion to a severe brain injury that can cause permanent damage or even death.

Spinal cord injuries

Spinal cord injuries (SCI) are a common result of car accidents, particularly those that involve high speeds or severe impact. The spinal cord is a delicate and vital component of the central nervous system, and any damage to it can result in a range of physical and neurological impairments. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, individuals with SCI caused by car accidents may experience partial or complete paralysis, loss of sensation, difficulty breathing and other long-term health consequences.

Facial injuries

Facial injuries caused by car accidents can range from minor cuts and bruises to more severe injuries such as broken bones, lacerations and even disfigurement. The most common types of facial injuries include fractures to the nose, cheekbones and jaw, as well as injuries to the eyes and mouth. These injuries can have long-lasting physical and psychological effects, and may require extensive medical treatment, including surgery and rehabilitation.

Broken, fractured or bruised bones

Broken or fractured bones, as well as painful internal bruising around the bones, is often reported after serious auto accidents. These injuries can occur due to the force of the impact, especially in high-speed collisions. Common types of fractures resulting from car accidents include broken legs, arms, collarbones and ribs, and they can vary in severity depending on the individual circumstances of the crash. Treatment may involve immobilization, surgery and physical therapy, and recovery time can vary from a few weeks to several months.

Dislocated joints

Dislocated joints can be a common injury caused by car accidents, particularly in the shoulders, hips and knees. A dislocated joint occurs when the bones in a joint are forced out of their normal positions, causing pain, swelling and immobility. Treatment may involve immobilization, pain management and physical therapy, and in severe cases, surgery may be needed to repair the joint.


Whiplash is among the most common injuries that victims report after being in a car wreck. It happens when the neck is suddenly and forcefully jolted back and forth, causing strain or sprain to the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the neck. Symptoms of whiplash can range from mild to severe and may include neck pain, stiffness, headaches and difficulty moving the neck. It’s important to seek medical attention if you experience whiplash symptoms after a car accident, as early treatment can help alleviate pain and prevent long-term complications.

Sprains and strains

Sprains and strains are a much-reported injury caused by auto accidents. A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched or torn, while a strain happens when a muscle or tendon is stretched or torn. These injuries can occur in various parts of the body, including the neck, back and extremities, and can range from mild to severe depending on the force of the impact.


When a person’s body collides with the interior of the car, such as the dashboard or steering wheel, it can cause bleeding underneath the skin, leading to bruises. The severity of the bruises can vary depending on the force of the impact, with more serious accidents often resulting in larger and more painful bruises.

Organ damage

The impact of a collision can cause the body to move suddenly, leading to injuries such as bruising, lacerations and fractures to organs like the liver, kidneys and spleen. Additionally, blunt force trauma to the chest can cause lung contusions or even punctured lungs.

Post-traumatic stress

Not all car accident injuries are physical — being in an auto wreck can have a serious toll on your mental health. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be caused by car accidents, particularly if they were severe or life-threatening. People with car accident-related PTSD may experience flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety when reminded of the accident. They may also avoid driving or riding in cars altogether, which can significantly impact their daily life.

FAQs about car accident injuries

Trauma after a car accident can manifest in various ways, and the symptoms may vary from person to person. Some common symptoms of trauma after a car accident may include:

Physical symptoms: These may include headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, muscle tension and pain in various parts of the body.

Emotional symptoms: These may include anxiety, fear, depression, irritability, anger, mood swings and difficulty concentrating or sleeping.

Flashbacks and nightmares: These may involve reliving the accident or parts of it, even when the person is awake.

Avoidance behaviors: This may involve avoiding certain places or activities that remind the person of the accident, or avoiding talking about it.

Hypervigilance: This may involve being overly alert, jumpy or easily startled.

Social withdrawal: This may involve withdrawing from social situations or avoiding spending time with friends and family.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident and is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. Trauma can have a significant impact on a person's life, and early intervention can help to reduce the risk of long-term consequences.

Delayed onset injuries can be one of the scariest parts of being in a car accident. Injuries sustained in a car accident can appear immediately, within a few hours or even several days after the initial incident. When you experience symptoms can depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the accident, the type of injury and your existing physical condition.

Things like broken bones, lacerations and contusions are usually obvious immediately after the accident. However, some soft tissue injuries like whiplash may take several hours or even a few days to become apparent. This is because the symptoms of whiplash and other soft tissue injuries may be masked by the initial shock and adrenaline rush of the accident.

In some cases, auto accident victims may not experience any symptoms or pain until several days after the crash. It's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident, even if you feel fine, to ensure that any potential injuries are diagnosed and treated promptly.

The answer to this question can vary depending on a few factors, such as the location of the accident, the severity of the injuries sustained and the insurance coverage of the parties involved.


In many cases, if you are injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver's negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical expenses and other damages through that driver's insurance company. This is typically done through a personal injury claim or lawsuit.


If you have your own auto insurance policy, you may also be covered for medical expenses under the personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments (MedPay) coverage, depending on the state where the accident occurred.


If you were at fault for the accident, your own insurance policy may cover your medical expenses through your liability coverage.

It's important to note that each situation is unique, and the best way to determine who pays for medical treatment after a car accident is to consult with a personal injury attorney or your insurance company.

Find the best car accident injury lawyers in Texas

As you can see, auto accident injuries are as common as they are distressing. If you’ve been the victim of a car accident and sustained harm of any kind, you deserve someone to fight for you and help you through the recovery process. The team at Angel Reyes & Associates and Associates has been dealing with road accident lawsuits for decades, gathering the most up-to-date and thorough knowledge of complex Texas road laws. Our specialist car accident lawyers have a five-star success rate securing maximum compensation for victims of auto accidents all over Texas. Contact us today for a free quote and advice on the next steps on your journey for justice.

If you have been injured in a car accident, you need an experienced car accident lawyer specialist to protect your rights against insurance companies dedicated to minimizing your claim and compensation!

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