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Common Car Crash Injuries and Causes


Each year, thousands of people get hurt in California car crashes. In fact, the most recent available California Highway Patrol data shows 193,564 collisions injured more than 270,000 people statewide in 2017. These are some of the most common car crash injuries and their causes.

General classifications

Experts generally classify car crash injuries as impact injuries or penetrating injuries. The former occur when someone’s head, trunk, joints or limbs come into contact with part of the car. They typically include bumps, bruises or fractures. The latter occur when a foreign object penetrates the victim’s body, and include puncture wounds, scrapes, cuts and internal damage.

Soft tissue injuries and whiplash

Soft tissue injuries are those involving muscles, ligaments and tendons in various parts of the body. Soft tissue injuries sustained in car accidents usually affect the tendons, muscles and ligaments in the neck, or lower or middle back. Whiplash is a common term for soft tissue injuries when the neck is affected.

Head injuries

Motor vehicle accidents can also cause minor to serious head injuries. These include bumps, bruises, concussions, scrapes, cuts, and deeper lacerations. Traumatic brain injuries sometimes occur when the tremendous force of a car accident causes an occupant’s head to hit the air bag, window or steering wheel. Significant head injuries can also happen when flying debris from the accident strikes a driver or passenger.

Chest injuries

Drivers are most at risk for chest injuries, such as broken ribs, in motor vehicle accidents. That is because there isn’t very much room between the driver’s seat and steering wheel – or the airbag for that matter. Even if the driver’s body doesn’t hit either object, the seatbelt can cause significant bruising.

Injuries involving the upper and lower extremities

Drivers and passengers are all at risk for injuries to their arms and legs, especially in so-called “T-bone” accidents. These are accidents where one vehicle strikes another one from the side. In these accidents, your upper and lower extremities are more likely to take the brunt of the collision. Front seat passengers may also get hurt if their knees or legs hit the dashboard. Injuries range from cuts and scrapes to bruises and broken bones.

Contributing factors

Several factors contribute to the type and severity of injuries experienced by car crash victims. These include:

  • The speed at which the accident happened
  • The type of collision (head-on, rear end or “T-bone”)
  • Whether the occupants were facing straight ahead, or whether their bodies were twisted when the accident happened
  • Whether the occupant(s) was/were wearing seat belts

If you or someone you love is struggling to recover from any sort of injury sustained in a motor vehicle accident, it is important that you get sound legal advice. At the Law Office of Parag L. Amin, P.C., we have a proven track record of helping clients get the compensation they deserve. Contact us to arrange a free initial consultation, today.


PLEASE NOTE: This is not a representation, warranty, or guarantee of a future result or outcome. Every case is different just like every one of our clients.