Common Injuries After a Car Crash

According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT), in the United States alone, more than 37,000 people die in road crashes each year. Meanwhile, an additional 2.35 million are injured or disabled. The injuries you can get from a car crash vary depending on the type of collision – a rear-end impact may result in wounds that are vastly different from that of a head-on hit. Still, though, there are injuries that occur more often than others.

Scrapes and Cuts

In a car crash, the broken glass, as well as loose items inside the car, become projectiles that can result in cuts and scrapes. The most minor of these injuries don’t require medical treatment, but the more serious ones can result in major blood loss and may even call for stitches. If they aren’t taken care of properly, scrapes and cuts could get infected and become worse.


Whiplash is a neck injury that is caused by a sudden jerking movement of the head backwards, forwards, or sideways. When you have whiplash, your neck’s soft tissues become stretched and damaged. Some symptoms of whiplash include the following:

  • difficulty moving your head
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • muscle spasms
  • neck pain and tenderness
  • neck stiffness
  • pain in the shoulders and arms
  • pins and needles feeling in arms and hands

It can take several hours for symptoms to develop. Whiplash will usually get better on its own, but it is best that you go to a doctor for basic treatment.  You can also go to a chiropractor after your car accident to help ease the pain.

Broken Bones

Broken arms, ribs, legs, shoulders, knees, and even hips are common in auto accidents. A car accident puts undue amounts of force and stress on your body. It may be more than your bones can withstand, and so you suffer a painful bone fracture. If the force is great enough, your bones may even shatter.

Internal Bleeding

Suffering from internal bleeding after a car accident is as common as getting cuts and scrapes. However, internal bleeding is more dangerous than a cut, especially if it wasn’t treated immediately after the crash. It is a serious injury that deserves immediate medical attention. Some symptoms of internal bleeding are:

  • a large area of purple skin, caused by the blood bleeding into the soft tissues and skin
  • abdominal pain if the liver and/or the spleen are bleeding
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • light-headedness
  • seizures and loss of consciousness from internal bleeding in the brain

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Not all injuries from a car crash are physical. Your mental health may suffer, too. Research has estimated that 9% of auto accident survivors develop PTSD symptoms. PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental illness that is triggered by a traumatic event, such as a car crash. Some symptoms include nightmares, severe anxiety, and flashbacks, among others. While most people who go through traumatic events have difficulty coping with the aftermath, they can get better with self-care and time. However, if the symptoms are interfering with your daily living, then you might have PTSD.

Getting Help

Girl with an injured leg on the road

After a car crash, it is vital that you get medical attention immediately. Some injuries aren’t readily apparent after an auto accident; however, don’t wait for them to get worse before you get help. If you’re involved in a car accident, it is best that you get treatment for even the tiniest cuts and scrapes.

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