Common Car Accident Injuries And Their Symptoms

woman injured after a NY car accident

The New York City car accident lawyer of Finz & Finz, P.C. fight tirelessly to get our clients the maximum compensation they deserve for their injuries. We help our clients pay for medical bills, lost income, and other expenses. If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident in New York, we want to help you get your life back on track following this traumatic event. Call now at 855-TOP-FIRM for a free and confidential consultation.

Some of the most common car accident injuries include:


Whiplash is an injury to the neck that is typically caused by the sudden back-and-forth motion from a car crash. Whiplash can lead to pain and problems with concentration and memory. It can also disrupt sleep.

Symptoms to watch for with whiplash:

  • Neck pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Shoulder pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Dizziness
  • Pain or numbness in the arm or hand
  • Ringing in your ears

These symptoms may go away on their own with rest. However, you must see a doctor if your neck pain lasts for longer than a week. Watch for the following more severe symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Severe pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Paralysis
  • Pain immediately after injury
  • Unexplained weight loss

Chest Injuries

Chest injuries can be serious, potentially involving broken ribs or internal organ injuries. Motorists typically suffer chest injuries because of their position behind the steering wheel, which allows little freedom of movement before the chest collides with it.

Symptoms to watch for with chest injuries:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Bruising, swelling
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Redness
  • Rapid changes in heart rate
  • Coughing
  • Shallow or fast breathing
  • A crackling sound in the chest
  • Low blood pressure
  • Coughing up blood

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

When great force is applied to the skull, the brain can be injured, resulting in trauma that may be permanent and life-changing for the victim in the car accident, this is known as a brain injury. TBIs do not always reveal themselves at the time of the car accident. It could even be days later, which is why you must monitor any changes in thought patterns or behavior and report the symptoms to your doctor. TBIs range in severity from mild to severe. Moderate to severe TBIs usually require immediate medical attention.

Traumatic Brain Injury symptoms may include:

  • Raised, swollen area or bruise
  • A cut in the scalp
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to noise and light
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Problems with balance
  • Problems with memory or concentration
  • Deep laceration in the scalp
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty walking
  • Weakness in one area of the body
  • Seizures
  • Sweating
  • Behavior changes, such as anxiety and irritability
  • One pupil is larger than the other

Sprains and Strains

Sprains involve injured ligaments, which are the soft tissues that connect two bones or cartilages. Torn ligaments can occur in the back, wrists, ankles, and other areas of the body that are struck or contorted due to the impact of a crash. A serious sprain may leave you unable to work for weeks or months.

Symptoms of sprains to watch for:

  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty moving your joint

Strains involve muscles and tendons that are torn or stretched in a car accident. Tendons connect muscle to bone. The force of a collision may cause you to be suddenly twisted or pulled, which can lead to tears in the muscles of the back, legs, and other areas.

Symptoms of strains to watch for:

  • Pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty moving your muscle

Broken Bones

The impact of a car crash can cause your body to strike parts of the vehicle, putting your bones under stress that they cannot withstand. Your arm could get pinned between your body and the door, causing the bone to break. The speed at which your seatbelt stops could fracture multiple ribs. While fractures are rarely permanent, some may need surgery to set the bone and place hardware to help your bones heal. You may need a month few months of rest to fully recover.

Symptoms to watch for:

  • Bruising over a bone
  • Swelling
  • Deformity of an arm or leg
  • Pain in the injured area
  • Pain that worsens when you move it or apply pressure
  • An inability to bear weight on the affected body part
  • Loss of function in the injured area
  • Bone protruding from the skin


Victims of serious car accidents are susceptible to burn injury from both fires and contact with hot parts of the car. Third-degree burns cause deep tissue damage and could require years of costly medical treatment.

Symptoms to watch for after a burn injury:

  • A blister that exceeds two inches
  • A blister that oozes
  • Redness and pain lasting for a few hours
  • Burned skin is charred or white
  • Pain that gets worse instead of improving
  • Face, hands, feet, or genitals are burned
  • The burn was caused by a hot substance or chemical
  • The burn was caused by an explosion or electricity
  • The burn becomes infected, and you notice more swelling, redness, discharge, or a bad smell

Contact a New York Car Accident Attorney

If you have been seriously hurt in a New York car accident, seeking compensation with a lawsuit can be confusing and intimidating. The New York car accident attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. can help. As a personal injury law firm with nearly four decades of experience, we have the skills and resources to devote to your case.

The New York City injury attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. can conduct an in-depth investigation of the accident, protect your rights, and make sure you don’t say anything to the insurance company that could potentially compromise your claim. For a free and confidential consultation, call now at 855-TOP-FIRM.

  • About the Author
  • Latest Posts

Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.