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Common catastrophic car accident injuries

Car accidents may result in a wide range of injuries. Some can be particularly severe, leading to long-term consequences.

Common catastrophic injuries that occur in auto accidents impact physical health, emotional well-being and financial stability.

Traumatic brain injuries

TBIs are among the most severe consequences of car accidents. They occur when a significant head impact damages the brain.

TBIs vary in severity from concussions to more severe impairment. They may result in long-term cognitive, emotional and physical challenges.

Spinal cord injuries

The sudden, forceful impact of an auto accident can damage or even sever the spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries can have life-altering effects, limiting the ability to move and function. Depending on the location and severity, spinal cord damage can lead to paralysis or loss of sensation below the affected area.

Multiple broken bones

Car accidents can subject the body to immense force, sometimes fracturing multiple bones. These injuries can be painful and may require surgeries, rehabilitation and long-term physical therapy.

Internal organ damage

Collisions can cause internal bleeding and other forms of organ damage. Injuries to the liver, spleen, kidneys and other organs can be life-threatening. They need immediate medical attention.


Traumatic injuries may lead to amputation of a limb. Losing a limb can have profound physical and psychological effects. This injury affects an individual’s ability to perform daily tasks and engage in activities they once enjoyed.

Severe burns

Car accidents involving fires or explosions can cause severe burns, resulting in significant pain, scarring, and long-term physical and emotional challenges. Burn injuries often require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.

Crush injuries

Drivers or passengers may sustain crush injuries, the compression of body parts between objects. Severe damage to muscles, nerves and blood vessels requires immediate medical attention and often results in long-term complications.

The National Safety Council reports that 5.4 auto accident injuries required medical attention in 2021. With awareness about the potentially catastrophic consequences of car accidents, individuals and communities can create safer roads for everyone.