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Common Types of Car Accident Injuries

The Whaley Law Firm: Your Source for Car Accident Injury Information

A car accident can be a frightening experience, even if you only have to deal with damage to your vehicle. But if you sustained an injury in a car accident or a loved one is injured or dies in a wreck, your quality of life can change in a matter of seconds. Louisville, KY car wrecks can lead to serious physical, emotional and financial complications – even low-impact injuries can develop into chronic pain. Ambulance fees, emergency room fees and long-term medical bills add up fast. An injury victim may be coping with a long-term disability that impacts the ability to work and take home a paycheck.

While there are many types of injuries that can occur in motor vehicle accidents, the Whaley Law Firm understands that some types of injuries are more common than others, including the following:


How long after a car accident injuries appear varies. Even a seemingly "minor" car accident can result in injuries that may not become apparent until hours, days or weeks after the crash. In some instances, insurance companies will try to minimize the amount they pay on a claim by offering a quick settlement before the true cost of your injuries is known.

The Whaley Law Firm has the resources and experience necessary to negotiate favorable settlements with insurance companies. And if the insurance company won’t make you a substantial offer, we can prepare a lawsuit to get results. Contact us today. Call our Louisville office at 866-703-7575 for a free case evaluation.

Don't wait! Many people wonder how long after a car accident you can claim an injury. The answer depends on circumstances, but the window of opportunity could be quite short. A statute of limitations applies to car accident injury claims and lawsuits. If you want to know how much time you have to file, contact us for a free estimate.

Head Injuries

Head injuries sustained in car accidents can dramatically affect every aspect of your life. Frequently, these are injuries that require surgery. A head injury can occur when an accident victim suffers a sudden, violent blow to the head. In car accidents - from rear-end crashes to accidents at intersections - skull or brain injuries can occur when a person's head hits a solid object on the inside or outside of the vehicle. In other instances, a vehicle defect may lead to a rollover accident, causing a traumatic and potentially fatal head injury.

Head injuries can cause a broad range of medical problems, including memory loss, confusion or disorientation, headache, dizziness and blurred vision. A brain injury can also result in changes in emotions and an inability to speak coherently. In severe instances, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), like a concussion or brain hemorrhage, may lead to the development of dementia, Alzheimer's disease or even lead to the wrongful death of a loved one.

After an accident, symptoms of a traumatic brain injury may or may not be visible. In some instances, such as when an accident victim sustains a fractured skull, injuries may be obvious at the scene of the accident. Symptoms that may be diagnosed after an accident can include loss of consciousness, bleeding, swelling or seizures. However, a traumatic brain injury can be more subtle, with symptoms not surfacing for months - or even years - after an accident.

Traumatic brain injuries often require specialized hospital care and may require months of rehabilitation and physical therapy. The Whaley Law Firm can pursue compensation from insurance companies to cover the long-term cost of your injuries, lost wages if you are unable to work and other damages. Our attorneys can handle all aspects of your case and hold negligent parties - from careless drivers to vehicle manufacturers - responsible for your injuries.

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Neck and Back Injuries

Neck and back injuries are common in Kentucky car accidents. Such injuries can range from whiplash to spinal cord damage. Neck and back injuries can happen in a moment's notice and in virtually any type of accident, from rear-end accidents caused by distracted drivers to a head-on collision.

Like many other types of car accident injuries, a back or neck injury may not be obvious after a car accident. That's why it's so important to seek medical attention immediately after an accident, even if you believe your injuries to be minor. In some cases, a serious injury may not become obvious until days or weeks after a crash - something insurance companies may use to dispute your claim without medical records.

Symptoms of back and neck injuries include:

  • Pain that spreads to the neck or arms
  • Sensation of muscles tightening in chest
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness or tingling in fingers or hands
  • Radiating pain down the legs

All too often, insurance companies try to downplay the extent of neck and back injuries sustained in a car accident. They might not believe an accident victim is injured and delay or deny a claim. They could question the necessity of treatment by a chiropractor. The Whaley Law Firm has years of experience working with accident victims who have sustained neck and back injuries. We can work aggressively to prove the extent of your injuries to the insurance company and fight for the benefits you need to cover the long-term cost associated with your accident.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Many different types of accidents can cause spinal cord injuries. In Louisville and throughout Kentucky, head-on crashes, intersection collisions and other types of car accidents can cause a severe, debilitating and potentially life-threatening spinal cord injury in seconds. Spinal cord injuries stem from a severe blow or impact to the spinal cord that cause vertebrae fractures or dislocated vertebrae.

What makes spinal cord injuries so severe? The spinal column discs and vertebrae protect vital nerves, which extend from the spinal cord to all parts of the human body. When the spinal cord is injured in a car accident, numerous debilitating medical conditions may result, including the following:

  • Paralysis
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Numbness/tingling in extremities
  • Impaired movement in limbs
  • Mobility problems
  • Weakness in arms or legs
  • Speech problems


At the Whaley Law Firm, we understand how difficult life can become if you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury. Your life and well-being may be permanently altered. You may have to adjust to life with a permanent disability. The injury may lead to some kind of paralysis - paraplegia (loss of sensation and movement in legs and in part of or the entire trunk) or quadriplegia (paralysis from the neck down). You may need to pay for past and future medical expenses as well as the cost of in-home assistance, including paying for someone to take care of household duties. You may need to pay for renovations to your home, including the installation of ramps and lift devices and the widening of doors and hallways.

Despite all of these potential expenses, the driver who hit you - and the insurance company - may deny wrongdoing. The adjuster may offer a low-ball settlement. They may say that’s the “best” they can do, or they may say what they’re offering is the “average settlement.” But you don’t deserve average; you deserve maximum compensation for your pain, injuries, and losses. We fight hard for clients who have suffered spinal cord injuries in car accidents. We'll handle all aspects of your case so you can focus on what matters most: your recovery.

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Chest Injuries

If you get into a car accident and you're wearing your seat belt, it's possible for the seat belt to cause injuries to your chest and rib cage. While seat belts are an important safety component necessary for all drivers and passengers, seat belts can cause additional injury to vehicle occupants when they lock up to keep drivers and passengers from being thrust forward. While this is by design, the inherent design of a seat belt can present dangers to occupants.

If you're involved in a car accident and suffer chest injuries as a result of a seat belt, you can make those injuries part of your claim. If another driver is at fault for your accident - from rear-end crashes to high-speed intersection accidents, he is liable for any and all damages that were ultimately caused by the crash, including medical bills, future medical bills, any lost wages or future lost wages and property damage.

The fact that a seat belt may have caused additional injury does not excuse that driver from liability. That's because the seat belt only caused chest injuries because the crash itself caused the seat belt to lock up and protect you from additional injuries. If there was no collision, the seat belt would have not locked up. The Whaley Law Firm can help prove the extent of your injuries to insurance companies and fight to recover the compensation you deserve.

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Broken Bones

Serious car accident injuries can include broken bones and fractures. Depending on the severity of an accident, injury victims may require months of physical rehabilitation and multiple surgeries. You may be forced to take time off from work or lose your ability to collect an income. You may be left wondering how to pay for ambulance and emergency room fees and medical bills that quickly escalate after a crash.

Broken bones and fractures can occur in a variety of different accidents. Injuries can be sustained in head-on collisions, intersection accidents and rear-end crashes involving drivers traveling at any speed. In Louisville, pedestrians and bicyclists are especially at risk of sustaining debilitating and potentially life-threatening broken bone injuries when they're struck by the driver of a car or truck.

Bone breaks can be categorized in a number of different ways. A complete fracture occurs when a bone breaks in two. An incomplete fracture occurs when a bone is partially broken. An open or compound fracture occurs when a bone tears through the skin. A simple fracture is called a hairline crack.

Seeking medical attention immediately after an accident is critical in ensuring a bone break heals properly. If a claim is filed against another driver, these medical records can become important in proving the extent of your injuries to the insurance company. The Whaley Law Firm can help prove the extent of your injuries and work to hold negligent drivers accountable when they've caused the accident leading to your injuries.

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Burns can occur from various sources in a car accident, such as a vehicle catching fire. Burn injuries are classified into three main types based on the severity of the damage: first-degree burns, second-degree burns, and third-degree burns.

First-degree burns are the mildest type of burn injury and affect only the outermost layer of skin. They typically cause redness, pain, and mild swelling. These burns can occur in a car accident from contact with hot surfaces or fluids, such as hot engine components or spilled coffee.

Second-degree burns are more severe and affect both the outer layer and the second layer of skin, causing blisters, severe pain, and redness. They can occur from exposure to flames, hot liquids, or hot metal surfaces. In car accidents, second-degree burns may occur from contact with a hot steering wheel or from spilled gasoline.

Third-degree burns are the most severe type of burn injury and affect all layers of skin, as well as the underlying tissues. They often result in charred or blackened skin, and may not be painful initially due to the destruction of nerve endings. In car accidents, third-degree burns can occur from a vehicle fire or prolonged exposure to extremely hot surfaces.

Burn injuries can also lead to complications such as infections, scarring, and respiratory problems. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you sustain a burn injury in a car accident, as prompt treatment can help prevent complications and improve outcomes.

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Internal/Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries are one of the most common types of injuries suffered in car accidents. These injuries can occur in any type of accident, from rear-end collisions to head-on collisions, and can range from minor to severe.

Soft tissue injuries include any damage to the body's connective tissue, such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Common types of soft tissue injuries include whiplash, bruising, and strains. It is important to seek medical attention for internal soft tissue injuries from a car accident as soon as possible. Even if the injuries seem minor, they can worsen over time if left untreated.

Whiplash is a common soft tissue injury that occurs when the head and neck are suddenly and violently jerked back and forth. This type of injury is most commonly sustained in rear-end collisions. Symptoms of whiplash may not appear for several hours or days after an accident and can include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, and dizziness.

Bruising is another common injury that occurs when small blood vessels under the skin are damaged. Bruising can occur anywhere on the body and may not be visible until several days after an accident. In severe cases, internal bleeding may occur, which can be life-threatening if not treated promptly by a doctor.

Strains are a third common type of soft tissue injury. Strains occur when muscles or tendons are stretched or torn. Symptoms of a strain may include pain, swelling, and limited mobility.

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Permanent Scarring and Disfigurement

Car accident-related scarring and disfigurement can dramatically alter a person’s quality of life for years after an accident. While a scar is not a life-threatening injury, living with permanent disfigurement or scarring can be just as traumatizing as other severe injuries sustained in car accidents. For many, disfigurement and scarring can serve as a reminder of an accident or even the loss of a loved one as a result of an accident.

Many accidents result in permanent physical injuries. A severe accident may lead to cuts and lacerations, broken bones or burn injuries. Scar tissue often remains after a wound heals and may look significantly different than skin around it. Disfigurement occurs when an injury negatively affects an accident victim’s personal appearance, such as an injury requiring amputation or multiple surgeries.

Injuries resulting in scarring and disfigurement often require extensive treatment, including reconstructive surgeries, skin grafts, rehabilitation, physical therapy and prosthesis. Scarring and disfigurement can also take an emotional toll on accident victims for years after an accident. With the help of an attorney, you may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress resulting from a scarring or disfigurement injury.

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