injuries from a car accident

What Injuries Can you Get from a Car Accident?

Although California has some of the most progressive traffic laws in the nation, no state can escape the impact of car accidents. More than 3,000 people are killed and 260,000 are injured in car accidents every year in California.

Car accident injuries bring mental images of things like broken bones and whiplash. There are also many other types of car crash injuries you can suffer in an accident, including life-changing brain damage, limb loss, psychological trauma, and more.

What Injuries Can You Get From a Car Accident in California?

Any part of your body can be injured in a traffic accident, ranging from minor to severe injuries. Below are some of the most common and devastating car accident injuries we see in California. 

Ankle, foot, and knee injuries

Lower extremity injuries are common in car accidents because the legs are typically extended out in front of the body while sitting in a vehicle, making them vulnerable to impacts. Lower limb injuries tend to be disabling because they prevent walking normally. You may have many months of healing and physical therapy time from a leg injury.

Back injuries

Although your back provides strong structure and support for your body, it can’t take too much traumatic impact from a car accident. Back injuries can come with delayed symptoms you might not notice until well after the accident, so see a doctor right away for a full examination.

Brain injuries

Did you know car accidents are among the top causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)? The CDC reports motor vehicle crashes are the third-most-common cause of TBIs after falls and firearms-related incidents. A brain injury includes anything from a mild concussion to severe and life-altering brain damage that impacts the body’s systems, cognition, and motor function.

Broken bones

Fractures come in many forms but they all need immediate medical attention. A bone that doesn’t heal correctly after a car accident can lead to mobility issues, infections, and other negative health outcomes.


Although fewer than 1% of car accidents involve fires, post-collision fuel-fed fires are responsible for 60% of road deaths according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If you survive a vehicle fire, you could be left with severe burns that need specialized treatment and extensive healing time.

Emotional injuries

An emotional injury occurs when someone has mental or psychological damage from a car accident. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that of all people who have negative mental health outcomes from car accidents, 32% develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 17% experience depression, and 5% have anxiety.

Facial injuries

Facial fractures involve broken bones in the face, which can be quite difficult to treat and heal completely. You may have temporary or permanent facial disfiguration as a result of your accident. Even if you don’t have broken facial bones, you may have deep lacerations and scars that alter your appearance.

Hand injuries

A hand injury could prevent you from working, driving, and living the life you had before the accident. Hand injuries require special treatment from hand clinics and orthopedic doctors.

Internal injuries

Organ damage, soft tissue injuries, and other internal injuries can be invisible to the naked eye but horrific for the victims who experience them. You may need surgery and extensive ongoing treatment to deal with the full impact of these injuries.

Limb loss

Amputation occurs when there is no hope of saving a damaged limb. Among all types of car accident injuries, limb loss is proven to be one of the most psychologically devastating injuries you can suffer. 

Paralysis, paraplegia, and quadriplegia

Approximately 18,000 people become paralyzed every year and auto accidents are the leading cause of paralyzing spinal cord injuries. These injuries are extremely challenging for victims and sometimes come with multi-million dollar costs of ongoing care and treatment

Road rash

Road rash occurs when your skin drags along the ground, becoming cut and bruised. It’s particularly common among injured pedestrians and motorcyclists knocked off their bikes because their bodies are exposed to the rough pavement.


Even if you don’t suffer most of the other injuries on this list, you could have severe scarring that impacts your mobility and appearance. Like any other injury, scarring is eligible for injury compensation.

Shoulder injuries

The shoulders often bear the brunt of the impact of a car accident. When the crash occurs, the driver unconsciously braces themselves against the steering wheel and their locked shoulders take painful damage.

Spinal injuries

Among the worst outcomes of car accidents are spinal cord injuries. This type of injury puts you at risk of being paralyzed with damage to the vital connection between your brain and body. A spinal injury needs treatment from a neurosurgeon and/or orthopedic doctor and only a small fraction of spinal injuries ever completely heal.


Neck injuries, including whiplash, are some of the most common outcomes of car accidents. While most whiplash patients heal within a few weeks with proper treatment, some suffer chronic and disabling whiplash that lasts for years or a lifetime.

Auto Accident Injuries? We Can Help.

Here at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we help our clients with injuries from car accidents pursue compensation via the personal injury claims process. We care about helping you recover from your injuries on every front, including financially, emotionally, career-wise, and interpersonally in your relationships with your loved ones. 

Recovery calls for full and fair compensation. Our decades of combined experience can help you pursue and secure the high-value award you deserve. Please call our legal team today at 877-380-8852 and request a free case evaluation about your auto accident injuries.

Accident Client

If you’re someone who is considering an attorney for a personal accident, I highly recommend Sally Morin and her professional staff of attorneys. If you would like to know more details, feel free to contact me via Yelp and I would be happy to share more details. While I use Yelp quite often, I rarely post reviews… unless I’m truly blown away by great service (or angry with horrible service). If there were a sixth star, I would certainly give it to Rebecca and Sally!

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We Handle Your Personal Injury Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After an accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many types of traffic injury claims. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details.

We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a
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It is essential to know your rights after a traffic accident so you can protect yourself and the value of your claim.
This guide will help you:

  • 1Know what to do when dealing with insurance claims, police reports and lawyers.
  • 2Avoid making mistakes that undermine the value of your claim
  • 3Put yourself in a position to get the best settlement possible