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Most Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

Car accident injuries can leave victims with physical damage that lasts for years or even a lifetime. When these injuries occur, getting medical care as soon as possible can be crucial to preventing more health problems. And it may even be essential to saving victims’ lives.

At Dormer Harpring, our lawyers understand how profoundly devastating car accident injuries can be. That is why we are here to protect and support survivors by providing them with personal, compassionate service as we help them get onto the path to financial recovery for their personal injuries.

Injured in a car accident in Thornton? We can help

Top 5 Most Common Types of Car Accident Injuries


This is one of the most common types of auto accident injuries. Whiplash occurs when the head is quickly jerked forward and then backwards, snapping the neck as a whip would be cracked. In general, whiplash can damage the ligaments, tendons, facet joints, discs, and/or muscles in the neck. It’s associated with the following:

  • Symptoms – These usually set in within 24 hours of a car accident. Whiplash symptoms generally include:
    • Neck pain and/or stiffness
    • Intensifying neck pain with movement
    • Limited range of motion in the neck
    • Headaches
    • Dizziness and/or fatigue.
  • Risk factors – Whiplash is more likely to be sustained in a traffic collision when:
    • Rear-end collisions occur.
    • Crashes involve vehicles traveling at higher speeds.
    • Vehicle occupants’ heads are further away from head rests when the crash happens (leaving more room for the head to be snapped backwards).
  • Potential long-term impacts
    • Chronic/persisting, waxing and waning neck pain
    • Pain that radiates through the shoulders and/or arms
    • Severe headaches

Back and Spinal Cord Injuries

These can include anything from back strains or sprains to disc slips and spinal fractures. Back and spinal cord injuries caused by car crashes are associated with the following:

  • Symptoms – Back and spinal injury symptoms will vary according to where the injury occurred (on the spinal column/neck) and how severe that injury was. Some of the more common symptoms of these types of car accident injuries include but are not limited to:
    • Back pain
    • Weakness and/or tingling in the legs
    • Limited mobility and/or range of motion in the spine
    • Loss of bladder and/or bowel control.
  • Risk factors – Auto accidents tend cause back and/or spinal cord injuries when:
    • Rollover accidents occur.
    • Vehicle occupants are thrown from vehicles.
    • High-speed collisions occur.
    • A car or truck collides with a pedestrian, bicycle, or motorcycle.
  • Potential long-term impacts
    • Chronic and/or severe back pain
    • Irreversible loss of mobility
    • Permanent loss of bladder and/or bowel control
    • Circulation and/or respiration problems.

Head and/or Brain Injuries

Car accidents are the number three cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the U.S. The head and brain injuries caused by car accidents can range from being minor to severe and are usually associated with the following:

  • Symptoms – The point and force of the impact (from the car accident) can affect how serious the resulting head and brain injuries are. Typically, the symptoms associated with these types of vehicle accident injuries include:
    • Cognitive symptoms, such as memory and concentration problems, difficulty speaking, perception impairments, etc.
    • Behavioral symptoms, like mood swings, anxiety, increased irritability, etc.
    • Physical symptoms, such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, balancing and coordination problems, headaches, etc.
  • Risk factors – Head or brain injuries are most likely to be suffered in car accidents when:
    • Rollovers, head-on collisions, and other serious crashes occur.
    • Occupants are thrown from vehicles during the wreck.
    • Cars crash with larger, heavier vehicles, like commercial trucks.
    • A car or truck collides with a pedestrian, bicycle, or motorcycle.
  • Potential long-term impacts
    • Permanent impacts to people’s ability to perceive, speak, and/or coordinate movements
    • Inability to live independently, possibly for the rest of victims’ lives.

Bone Fractures

Broken arms, broken legs, and other types of bone fractures are another common type of auto accident injury. Generally, these injuries are associated with the following:

  • Symptoms – Bone fracture symptoms, which can vary according to where the fracture is, tend to include:
    • Severe pain and bruising
    • Limited mobility
    • Swelling and/or tenderness in the affected area
  • Risk factors – Bone fractures are more likely to result from car accidents when:
    • Side-  and/or front-impact collisions occur.
    • High-speed crashes take place.
    • Occupants are thrown from vehicles as a result of the crash.
    • A car or truck collides with a pedestrian, bicycle, or motorcycle.
  • Potential long-term impacts
    • Permanent mobility limitations
    • Chronic pain
    • Nerve and tissue damage

Psychological Injuries and Impacts

Unique to each victim’s experience, the psychological impacts associated with car accidents can last for years or possibly a lifetime. In general, the mental damage caused by car accidents tends to be more severe when survivors are left with permanent physical injuries, which may affect their career, their quality of life, and/or their ability to live independently.

Contact our Colorado Car Accident Lawyers for Help

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the Denver car accident lawyers at Dormer Harpring for honest answers about your recovery options. You can call us at (303) 747-4404 or email us via the contact form on this page. Our attorneys provide exceptional representation to people throughout Denver County, Adams County, Boulder County, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County, and the state of Colorado.

At Dormer Harpring, we’re committed to representing people from all walks of life, and we know not everyone can afford to pay hourly legal fees up-front. With that in mind, we never charge for a consultation, and we offer contingent fee contracts, meaning we charge our legal fees based only on the amount we recover.