What Are the Most Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents?

Car accidents can cause a lot of damage to vehicles as well as injuries to occupants of those vehicles. Millions of Americans are injured in car accidents each year, some of whom wind up with permanent disabilities.

The severity of car accident injuries varies significantly, but most fall into one of two categories: impact injuries and penetrating injuries. Read on to find out about the most common types of each.

Dental Injuries

It’s very common for impact injuries to include damage to the teeth, gums, or jaws, even in seemingly minor accidents. If you have dental injuries from your car accident, it may be possible to obtain compensation.

Common types of dental injuries caused by accidents include:

  • Chipped teeth
  • Fractured teeth
  • Dislodged teeth
  • Avulsed teeth
  • Root fractures

It’s a good idea to see a dentist as soon as possible after seeking other forms of medical care.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries also tend to be impact injuries. The most common example is whiplash, which affects the muscles and ligaments found in the neck and upper back.

Damage to the mid-back, lower back, and other areas may also occur as a result of either impact force against the spine or sudden, whiplash-type movements.

Scrapes and Cuts

Scrapes and cuts typically occur when loose objects inside the car become projectiles.

Common sources of these penetrative injuries include unsecured cell phones, eyeglasses, purses, coffee mugs, and books, but anything left unsecured inside the car can wind up causing injuries during an accident.

Most scrapes and cuts require little to no medical care, although stitches may be required for deep cuts.

Head Injuries

Head injuries range from minor to life-threatening. Impact injuries to the head may occur if an occupant’s head hits the side window or a driver’s head hits the steering wheel.

Severe head impacts may result in bruising and tearing of essential tissues in the brain, which can be fatal. Most head injuries result in concussions, but severe impacts often lead to permanent brain damage or even death.

Chest Injuries

Chest injuries are also quite common during car crashes. Drivers usually experience them upon impact with the steering wheel, while seatbelts and dashboards are more common causes of impact and penetrative chest injuries in passengers.

Either way, the injuries can range from painful bruises and minor broken ribs to severe punctures and internal injuries. Accident victims should always seek medical attention for chest injuries.

Arm and Leg Injuries

Arm and leg injuries vary depending on the type and severity of the car crash. Front and rear-end collisions tend to cause knee damage as passengers’ legs hit the dashboards or seats. Side impacts usually cause injuries as arms and legs get thrown against doors.

These injuries can include bruises, scrapes, sprains, and broken bones.

What to Do About Car Accident Injuries

Anyone who has been involved in a car crash should seek medical attention as quickly as possible, but not all injuries show up right away. Some serious injuries take days or weeks to start producing symptoms, and issues like internal bleeding can be deadly if not treated quickly.

If the accident is serious, EMTs should arrive on the scene to check everyone for severe injuries. Minor accidents don’t generally require on-site medical care, but victims should still head to the hospital if they’re concerned about severe, life- or limb-threatening injuries.

For minor injuries, urgent care clinics are a better fit.