8 Most Common Injuries After Car Accidents in Australia

Understand the most common car accident injuries in Australia. Know your risks and legal compensation rights when injured in a collision on QLD roads.
A man pointing at a sign warning about car accident injuries

Being in a car accident can be a traumatic and painful experience. Even minor fender benders can leave you with injuries that nag you for weeks or months afterwards.

In Australia, many car crashes occur daily, causing minor injuries and property damage. However, collisions sometimes cause severe and catastrophic injuries, requiring extensive medical care, medical expenses, and lifestyle adjustments.

Fortunately, knowing the most prevalent car accident injuries helps you take preventative measures and make informed decisions if you are hurt. When you see what’s possible and understand what to do, you can take appropriate action, reducing the chance of long-lasting damage.

Let’s dive in and explore the eight most common car accident injuries every driver should know and why getting a car accident lawyer will be one of your best decisions.

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Types of Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries

Even with the security features of modern cars, the speed and force of a traffic accident are too great for the human body to handle. During a collision, the head, neck, and spine are frequently at risk of harm. Hence, common car accident injuries in Australia feature the following:

#1 – Whiplash

A photo of a younng woman holding her neck after experiencing whiplah pain from a motor vehicle accident

Whiplash is a common neck injury that typically results from the abrupt jerking motion of the head. It is often experienced during car accidents and is a frequent cause of personal injury claims. According to the BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders Journal, the annual incidence of whiplash injuries is 106 per 100,000 and accounts for 75% of all survivable car accidents.

This type of car accident injury often occurs in rear-end collisions when the car behind you slams into the back of your motor vehicle, jerking your head forward. Or it can happen when you hit something in front (as in head-on collisions) or have to push your brakes abnormally hard, swinging your head and neck back and forth.

This sudden stop strains your neck muscles and tendons, leading to symptoms like neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and occasional blurred vision. Notably, following the accident, these symptoms may not become apparent until a few days, or sometimes even longer.

Seek Medical Attention for Accident Injuries

While whiplash injuries often heal over time, some injured people might experience prolonged discomfort, chronic pain, or restricted neck movements.

Therefore, it’s so important to promptly seek medical care after motor accidents, even if you have no physical symptoms. Consider also that car accident injuries are not only physical. You can also suffer psychological damage and emotional trauma like PTSD, depression and anxiety. Furthermore, automobile accidents frequently cause harm, regardless of whether you are a participant or a witness.

If the doctor or medical specialist finds a problem, you may be due personal injury compensation for any future setbacks caused by the whiplash injury. Common law damages can include time off work, medical bills, and emotional and mental trauma and help cover the financial impact of your recovery.

More about claiming for whiplash after a car crash >

#2 – Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

A man holding his head experiencing a TBI, a common motor vehicle accident injury

People involved in a car accident frequently receive a blow or jolt to the head. This impact often results in some degree of concussion, known as a milder form of a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. Symptoms of severe injuries like this range from headaches and dizziness to memory issues and confusion.

More severe TBIs and related head injuries can have profound effects, such as unconsciousness, seizures, confusion, and slurred speech. Importantly, like with whiplash, symptoms might not appear immediately after the incident but may unfold in the following days or weeks.

That’s why, once again, early intervention plays a crucial role in mitigating the impact of TBIs and improving long-term recovery prospects. 

If you’re involved in a car accident, regardless of symptoms, seek medical treatment to look you over and ensure you’re okay. The problem with TBIs is that you can easily convince yourself that you feel fine.

#3 – Bone Fractures

An x-ray showing a shoulder fracture requiring emergency medical treatment after a car crash

A more serious injury you may experience when involved in a more severe car crash is a bone fracture. They can vary from minor hairline fractures to ‘open’ or ‘compound’ breaks.

However, this damage can cause significant physical pain and emotional distress, impacting your life substantially and immediately through suffering and potential inability to work, and long-term, via medical bills for ongoing treatment and rehabilitation.

High-force impacts or stress often cause fractures. Typically, these types of car accident injuries result in personal injury compensation with the support of a car accident lawyer.

Let’s simplify: If your broken bones are due to another’s negligence or recklessness, you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim. The responsible party’s insurer will be accountable for alleviating your financial and emotional burdens when you win your lawsuit.

#4 – Soft Tissue Injuries and Sprains

As mentioned above, one of the main issues with motor vehicle accident injuries is that they’re not always immediately noticeable. Another example of this is soft tissue injuries, impacting muscles, ligaments, and tendons – often tricky to spot but can result in significant pain and discomfort following a car collision. 

While you may not see them, you’ll indeed feel them. These injuries include sprains, strains, or deep bruising, which can cause discomfort long after the accident and are often the result of sudden, sharp twists or sustained direct impact. 

Symptoms can range from localised pain, stiffness, and inflammation to limited motion in the affected area. Despite their often ‘invisible nature,’ these injuries can profoundly impact your daily life, restricting your mobility and causing ongoing pain.

Again, seeking medical treatment is the most critical step in reporting your injuries, preparing to make a car accident compensation claim, and looking after yourself and your well-being.

#5 – Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis

A doctor using a model of a bent spine to explain a spinal injury to a patient after a motor accident

Now, while you can typically live and recover from most of the car accident injuries we’ve covered above, one car accident injury is far more severe and traumatic than most: spine injuries.

Spinal injuries are among the most life-changing from a motor vehicle crash, typically leading to temporary or permanent paralysis.

Back injuries are life-altering, profoundly impacting not just the injured person but their families as well. In the most demanding scenarios, someone with a spinal cord injury and related neck injuries may require a full-time carer or facilities installed in their home to help make their life better. It can be overwhelming when facing such a reality.

Spinal cord injuries often result from a potent force, like those experienced during high-impact car collisions. Depending on the extent and location of the back injury, the symptoms can vary significantly. You could experience pain, numbness, weakness, and loss of sensation or motor function in certain body parts.

Understandably, facing such an injury can be incredibly medically and financially daunting. The cost of treatment, rehabilitation, and adaptive devices can be extensive. Again, if this car accident injury has resulted from another’s negligence, car accident victims can seek compensation by making a personal injury claim. A successful back injury payout financially supports the cost of treatment and care.

#6 – Internal Injuries

Internal injuries, including damage to organs, blood vessels, or the digestive system, often go unnoticed initially but can have profound implications. Furthermore, you risk long-term damage to your body the longer they’re left untreated. 

They can occur due to the intense impact sustained in car collisions, making motor vehicle accidents one of the leading causes. Some subtle symptoms to be vigilant for include deep bruising, a head injury, lightheadedness, swelling, and pain in the abdomen.

Always seek medical assistance if you are in any collision, realistically above a minor knock. Yes, this sounds repetitive, but you’d be amazed by how many people survive high-speed collisions, brushing themselves off. They think they’re okay, only to discover they suffer from internal bleeding or organ damage, severely harming their well-being.

#7 – Cuts and Lacerations

Gloved hands applying a bandage to a cut knee to help with healing

Cuts and lacerations. Though they might seem less severe than other accident injuries mentioned in this guide, they are common consequences of car crashes. This physical harm, whether it be facial injuries or other types, involves a break in the skin due to a sharp object from broken glass or metal during an accident.

While cuts and lacerations can be superficial in some instances, they can also be severe, leading to significant blood loss, nerve damage, or infection if not adequately treated. It’s vital to seek fast medical attention to prevent complications and to begin documentation to pursue a legal claim.

#8 – Psychological Trauma (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

To wrap things up, let’s look at one of the more unique and often overlooked medical conditions associated with car accidents. While physical injuries frequently take centre stage, psychological trauma can be equally debilitating.

Among the most common mental health concerns following such an experience is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

With symptoms ranging from intense anxiety and nightmares to flashbacks and emotional distress, this is a severe mental disorder that has the potential to impact every area of your life. PTSD exemplifies the invisible wounds of an accident. 

One guy we worked with had a collision with someone walking out onto a highway while travelling at high speeds. He came out fine, with no physical injuries inside or out. However, the psychological pain from such an event lasted for years. Consequently, he had to have several rounds of therapy and counselling to understand his experience.

The impact of your mental health should not be underestimated or invalidated, as it’s critical for your overall wellness. If you experience lingering fear, anxiety, or other emotional changes following a collision, seeking help from a mental health professional is the first step towards healing. Simultaneously, you must be aware of your legal rights.

If your psychological trauma stems from an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may qualify for damages for emotional suffering under a personal injury claim.

Compensation Legal Advice for Car Accident Injuries

Whilst the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident injury can feel isolating, remember you are not alone. Transparency, empathy, and expert compensation legal advice—you should expect them all from your trusted personal injury lawyers at this challenging time.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, please reach out. We’re here to support you with experienced legal representation. 

At Splatt Lawyers, we prioritise your well-being and work relentlessly to ensure you receive justice on a 100% no-win, no-fee basis. For a no-obligation, confidential discussion about your situation, contact us todayCall 1800 700 125

Why you need legal advice following a car crash >

Car Accident Injury FAQs

How much compensation do I get for car accident injuries?

An injured person in Australia, harmed in an automotive accident that was not their fault, can claim third-party damages (make a CTP claim). When successful, the liable insurance company will owe them a personal injury payout. How much compensation you receive depends on the extent of your injuries and how much they have altered your life. Particularly your capacity to work and earn an income.

Personal injury compensation calculations consider ‘heads of damages’ like medical expenses, lost income and superannuation, cost of home care and travel expenses. For more severe injuries, you could be owed compensation for non-economic losses like your pain and suffering. Use our car accident calculator now to get a fast estimate.

What can happen to your body following severe car accidents?

The human body can suffer a great deal as a result of being in a car accident. Often, the physical force of a motor vehicle crash will aggressively shake your body, causing damage and injuries. Consequently, injured persons often experience whiplash injuries, head injuries, spinal cord trauma, broken bones and limb injuries. Sadly, the worst accidents are fatal or produce long-term harm like partial or total paralysis.

How do you know if you have psychological injuries after a car crash?

In Australia, car accident victims often experience psychological injuries following a motor vehicle accident. Typically, symptoms range from shock to depression, mild anxiety and severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this situation, you could experience disturbing dreams, unwelcome thoughts, excessive worry, mood swings and avoidance behaviour. However, if you do not want to discuss the accident, visit the scene or drive the same vehicle, you could have MVA-related PTSD.

What are the most common car accident injuries in Australia?

Rear-end collisions are the most frequent type of car accident in Australia. Hence, the most common car accident injuries involve head, neck, chest, back and abdominal injuries. If you are sitting in the middle seat during a car crash, you have a higher risk of spinal injuries.

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