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Common Injuries From Car Accidents in Florida

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Posted on April 15, 2024

The mechanics of a car accident mean that a victim could suffer injury to virtually any part of the body in a crash. However, certain types of injuries are more commonly reported in car accident cases than others. If you or a loved one sustained an injury of any type in a motor vehicle collision in Tampa, contact the Tampa personal injury attorneys at Vanguard Attorneys for a free consultation. We can help you seek fair financial compensation for your medical bills and other losses.

Florida Car Accident Facts and Statistics

Automobile accidents are one of the most common reasons for emergency department visits in Florida each year. According to data from Florida Highway Safety, at least 252,169 people sustained injuries in traffic accidents in 2022 alone. For almost 16,000 of these victims, the injuries were incapacitating. In addition, 3,320 accidents were fatal, resulting in a total of 3,553 lives lost.

Every car accident actually involves three collisions:

  1. Vehicle collision: the halt of the forward motion of the motor vehicle when it collides with another car or fixed object.
  2. Human collision: the halt of the forward motion of a vehicle occupant’s body when it comes into contact with an object inside of the vehicle.
  3. Internal collision: the halt of the forward motion of an organ against another organ or the skeletal frame of the body.

The human and internal collisions are where victims sustain injuries in a car accident. Some of these injuries may be immediately apparent, with symptoms such as pain, bleeding or bruising. Others, however, may have delayed or hidden symptoms that are not noticeable until hours or even days later. This is why it is essential for all car accident victims to seek medical care immediately.


Whiplash is a common neck injury caused by automobile accidents. It is named for the rapid back-and-forth jerking or “whipping” motion the head and neck undergo from the forces of a crash, especially in rear-end collisions. This rapid movement can stretch, tear, and damage the muscles, ligaments, and disks of the neck.

Whiplash can have symptoms such as neck pain and stiffness, loss of mobility in the neck, persistent headaches, pain or tenderness in the upper back and shoulders, dizziness, and blurred vision. Most cases of whiplash resolve with minor treatments such as over-the-counter pain relievers and physical therapy. In serious cases, however, whiplash may require more intensive medical care.

Back and Spine Injuries

The forces exerted upon a car accident victim could injure various areas of the back and spinal cord. This includes the vertebrae, the rubbery cushions (disks) located between the vertebrae, back tendons and ligaments, and surrounding nerves. Common types of back injuries from car accidents include:

  • Herniated or slipped disks
  • Ruptured disks
  • Vertebral fractures
  • Nerve damage
  • Spinal contusions
  • Severed spine
  • Paraplegia or quadriplegia

Back injuries can result in chronic pain, weakness or numbness in the affected area. The effects of a spinal cord injury can also extend beyond the back, into the trunk, arms and legs. Severe spinal cord injuries can result in permanent paralysis, or the loss of function and feeling below the point of injury. Paralysis is often irreversible, although some amount of function may be restored with treatments.

Bone Fractures

If a car crash exerts too much force against a bone, the bone can fracture, crack, or break under the pressure. Broken bones can be painful and debilitating, and may cause a permanent loss of function in the affected area. Common locations for broken bones in a car accident include the legs, feet, arms, hands, ribs, collarbone, nose and jaw. In some cases, a broken bone could cause additional complications, such as a broken rib puncturing a lung.

Head and Brain Injuries

A car accident victim could suffer a skull fracture, concussion, or serious traumatic brain injury if his or her head gets hit in the crash. Injuries involving the brain can have serious consequences. Common symptoms of a brain injury include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Cognitive trouble
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Changes in mood or personality
  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping

In the most severe cases, a brain injury can cause permanent brain damage, seizures or epilepsy, coma, or death. A victim with a brain injury may need ongoing therapies and rehabilitation to manage symptoms.

Lacerations and Scarring

Cuts, scrapes and more severe lacerations can occur in car accidents due to contact with sharp pieces of metal or broken glass. Shrapnel and debris may also fly through the air in a car accident, causing skin and tissue damage.

Deep lacerations can result in permanent scarring or disfigurement, which can lead to emotional distress for the victim. Major abrasions such as road rash and traumatic tattooing may also occur in motorcycle accidents and bicycle accidents.

Burn Injuries

Another type of car accident injury that could lead to disfiguring scars is a burn injury. If a motor vehicle catches on fire in a crash, occupants could suffer third-degree burns – especially if they are trapped in the vehicle. Burn injuries can cause significant and permanent tissue damage, which can come with complications such as nerve damage, thermoregulation disorders, scar tissue contractures and a high risk of infection.

Internal Injuries

If an object strikes or penetrates a victim’s midsection in a car accident, or if the force of the collision sends the victim’s body forward too hard into the seat belt, he or she could suffer internal injuries. This includes:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage or failure
  • A collapsed lung
  • Other chest or abdominal trauma

The kidney, liver, spleen, heart, brain, and other organs are all at risk of potential harm in a car accident. Serious internal injuries can cause permanent damage to important bodily functions. Organ failure can also result in death.


One type of catastrophic car accident injury, meaning an injury that will have a significant or permanent effect on the victim, is an amputation. This is the loss of a limb, extremity, or digit in a traumatic accident. If a vehicle rolls over and a victim’s leg or arm gets trapped beneath the car, for example, it may get severed. In other cases, a doctor may need to surgically remove a limb that is too crushed or damaged to save.

The injuries you suffer in a car accident could change your life forever. If you or a loved one has been injured in a recent car accident in Florida, Vanguard Attorneys can help. Contact our car accident lawyers in Tampa today for a free consultation.