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Common Injuries After an Auto Accident

the Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC March 24, 2023

Before being involved in an auto accident, many people do not realize the full extent of damage that can be done in a collision. However, it is important to be aware of the common injuries that can occur.  

If you were injured in a car accident in or around Atlanta, Georgia, Attorney Walter Gabriel can help you pursue compensation for your medical bills and other losses associated with your injury. Walter Gabriel helps injured victims fight for compensation to which they are entitled in Atlanta, Alexandria, Dunwoody, and surrounding areas.   

Factors That Cause or Exacerbate Injuries 

In order to better determine the extent of your injuries, it is important to understand the various factors that can cause or exacerbate injuries in car accidents:  

The Force of Impact  

The force of impact is one of the most common causes of injury in an auto accident. The force of impact is determined by two primary components: speed and weight. The higher the speed at which two cars collide, the greater the force of impact, which increases the risk of more serious injuries. Similarly, vehicles with more weight have a greater capacity for generating more force when they collide with another vehicle.   

Seat Belts  

Seat belts are designed to help protect you from sustaining serious injuries during an auto accident by restraining your body during the collision and preventing you from being thrown out of your seat. Unfortunately, if not worn correctly or if defective, seat belts can actually cause harm and may lead to additional injuries such as abdominal abrasions or nerve damage.  

Broken Glass  

Broken glass can also cause injury during an auto accident due to its sharp edges and jagged pieces that may easily cut or penetrate the skin on contact. If broken glass enters your eyes or other sensitive areas, it may result in permanent eye damage or other serious medical complications. 


Airbags are designed to deploy upon impact in order to cushion passengers from colliding with hard surfaces inside their vehicles such as steering wheels, dashboards, and windows, thereby reducing their risk of sustaining head trauma or other serious injuries during an auto accident. However, airbags are not infallible and may malfunction when deployed due to incorrect installation or faulty parts which could potentially lead to more serious injury instead of protection from it. 

Common Injuries After an Auto Accident 

A car accident can cause different types of injuries ranging from minor to severe and life-threatening. Some of the common injuries associated with auto accidents include but are not limited to: 

  • Whiplash. Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the head forcefully jerks forward or backward. The ligaments and muscles in the neck are stretched beyond the normal range of motion, which can cause severe pain and discomfort. According to Johns Hopkins University, whiplash can be diagnosed by performing an X-ray, computed tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  

  • Sprains and strains. A sprain is an injury to a ligament, which is a type of tissue that connects two bones together. A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon, which are tissues that connect muscles to bones. Both types of injuries can occur after an auto accident when the body is suddenly thrown around in the car.  

  • Bruises and contusions. Bruises and contusions are both types of soft tissue injuries. A bruise occurs when small blood vessels are damaged, causing blood to leak into the surrounding tissue. A contusion is a more serious type of injury that occurs when blood vessels are completely torn, causing internal bleeding.  

  • Back injuries. Back injuries are very common after an auto accident because the force of the impact can cause serious damage to the spine, muscles, and ligaments in the back. Common back injuries include herniated discs, fractures, and sprains/strains.  

  • Head injuries. Head injuries range from mild concussions to more serious traumatic brain injuries (TBI). It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of head injuries so that you can seek medical attention if necessary.  

  • Neck injuries. Neck injuries are very common after an auto accident because of the way the head is thrown around during a collision. The most common type of neck injury is whiplash, but other types of neck injuries can occur as well.  

  • Wrist and hand injuries. Wrist and hand injuries commonly occur after an auto accident when people try to brace themselves for impact with their hands. The sudden force can cause fractures, sprains/strains, and contusions.  

  • Broken bones. Broken bones are another common type of injury after an auto accident. The impact of a collision can cause serious damage to the bones in the body, especially if there is direct contact with another object such as the steering wheel or dashboard. 

If you have been involved in an accident, it is always best to err on the side of caution and get checked out by a doctor just to be safe, because not all of these common injuries may manifest symptoms immediately after the auto accident.  

Should I See a Doctor Immediately?  

Many people involved in auto accidents delay seeking medical attention after the accident. However, doing so is not a wise decision. If you have been involved in a car accident, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible for the following reasons: 

  1. There could be delayed symptoms. Following an auto accident, adrenaline and the body’s natural response of releasing hormones like endorphins can mask any physical pain or discomfort. This means that even if you do not feel any pain after an accident, there may still be serious injuries that should be addressed by a trained professional as soon as possible. Some common examples of these delayed symptoms include whiplash, neck and back pain, internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), headaches, concussions, dizziness, and numbness in the extremities.  

  1. Accurate medical assessment. Seeing a doctor immediately after an accident ensures that any potential injuries are quickly identified and treated before they become more serious problems down the road. A physician will be able to perform tests on your body to identify any areas where there might be damage or bruising not visible from the outside. Additionally, they can prescribe various medications such as anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants to help with your recovery process. Lastly, having a doctor evaluate your condition right away also provides concrete evidence of your injury in case you decide to pursue legal action at a later date.  

  1. Protecting your claim. If you choose to file an insurance claim following an auto accident and are seeking compensation for any medical expenses incurred due to the incident, having written documentation from a physician showing that you received medical treatment shortly after the accident will strengthen your case significantly in court or during settlement negotiations. Failing to seek prompt medical attention after an auto accident could hurt your chances of receiving compensation through an insurance claim because it could be seen as proof that you were not seriously injured by the incident or did not require treatment for any underlying conditions caused by it.  

Seeing a doctor immediately following an auto accident is essential for protecting yourself against unseen injuries and building evidence for potential insurance claims or legal action down the road. 

Protect Your Health After an Accident  

Being involved in an auto accident is always a traumatizing and stressful experience. However, it gets even worse when you have suffered an injury. By seeking medical attention after an accident, you can protect your health. But if you want to protect your legal rights, contact The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC. Schedule a free case evaluation with Walter Gabriel to discuss your situation.