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What are Common Auto Accident Injuries?

Common Auto Injuries

Car accidents are scary. They can leave victims with serious injuries and a ton of worries about paying for medical treatment related to injuries from the accident, car repair bills, and many other accident-related expenses. Because their injuries keep them from going to work, most people will have no way to pay those bills, either. It can be a troubling time.

Due to his decades of experience as a car accident attorney in Dothan, Aaron Gartlan understands the unique challenges that people face when they suffer different types of injuries. Here, we provide an overview of the most common car accident injuries among the clients that we assist at Gartlan Injury Law:


Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that people suffer in car accidents, particularly rear-end collisions. The injury occurs when the neck moves back and forth in rapid succession while the body remains still. Symptoms include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and pain that spreads to the arms. Long-term complications are also associated with whiplash, including injuries to the discs and bones in the spine.

Broken Ribs and Other Fractures

Ribs become broken in a car accident when a person’s chest hits the steering wheel, or the airbag hits the person’s chest with great force. Broken ribs are especially dangerous as they can easily puncture a lung, causing a person even greater injury. Ribs, unfortunately, are not the only bones broken in car accidents. When the impact of a crash is severe, a person can sustain many different types of broken bones.

Knee Trauma

The most common knee injury after a car accident is a posterior cruciate ligament injury. It is also known as “dashboard knee.” This injury affects the ligament connecting the shinbone to the thighbone. It occurs when the knee hits the steering wheel or the dashboard. Other knee injuries can occur during an accident, too, including an anterior ligament injury or a medial collateral ligament injury. All knee injuries are painful and take significant time to recover from.

Cuts and Lacerations

Cuts and lacerations are common in car crashes due to the exposure to broken glass and exposed metal after the impact. Accident victims are most likely to sustain this injury after a head-on collision, rollover accident or other serious crash. Cuts and lacerations must be treated right away and then monitored to avoid infection, which can greatly complicate the injury.

Scarring and Disfigurement

After an injury, fibrous tissue forms around the injured area, which can lead to scarring. When an injury is serious, it can cause a person to become disfigured in any area of their body. Scarring and disfigurement can cause a person a great deal of embarrassment as they go through life, and the injuries may be permanent. Accident victims suffering from these injuries often find they can no longer fully enjoy activities that they once did due to their emotional distress.


Burns are some of the most serious injuries a person can suffer in a car accident. Burns can occur when the crash results in a fire or explosion, which typically results from leaking fuel from a vehicle. Although it’s rare for this to happen in a car accident, when it does, the resulting burns and scars from them usually remain with a person their entire life. Many accident victims suffer from burn-related complications such as infections.

Back/Disc InjuryMan talking to lawyer after an auto accident.

Bulging discs, protruding discs and herniated discs are extremely common injuries after a car accident. These injuries occur when the discs in the spine slip out of their position or rupture. During an accident, the bones in the spine can also fracture, or other areas of the back can become injured. Back and disc injuries are notoriously painful and take a long time to recover from. Sometimes, accident victims suffer from chronic pain for the rest of their life.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur during car accidents when the victim’s head hits the steering wheel or any other part of the car. These injuries include concussions, contusions, bleeding and more. There is no such thing as a minor brain injury. In many cases, these injuries don’t show any symptoms. This is one reason why it is so important accident victims seek medical treatment after a crash. A doctor will know how to examine you and order appropriate tests to check you for a TBI.

Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries are often considered catastrophic. They can leave a person immobile, particularly if the person suffers from any type of paralysis after a crash. These injuries also remain with accident victims throughout their entire life and drastically change the way they live. In addition to the cost of treating these injuries, crash victims often find that they cannot work. The financial impact on a family can be devastating.

Internal Bleeding/Organ Damage

Internal bleeding can be life-threatening – particularly when it occurs in or near the lungs, or when damage occurs to the abdomen area. Excessive bleeding may cause a person to go into shock. Internal bleeding and organ damage are not always noticeable right away. This is another reason why it is so important to seek medical treatment after any car accident.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Car accidents are frightening. Fear often remains with accident victims for a long time after a crash occurs. Victims may experience post-traumatic stress disorder and be unable to drive or even get into a vehicle for some time afterward. They may also experience nightmares, depression, and anxiety.

Get Help from an Experienced Dothan Auto Accident Injury Attorney

A car accident attorney going over a case

If you have been injured in a car accident and sustained any of these injuries, you should speak with an experienced Dothan auto accident attorney without delay. Aaron Gartlan and our team at Gartlan Injury Law have dedicated ourselves to helping accident victims to claim the compensation they are entitled to receive after a crash. We know what it takes to hold insurance companies and at-fault drivers accountable. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you in a free review of your case.

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