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Common Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries You Should Know About

motor vehicle accident

Getting into a car accident is a traumatic experience that has the potential to change your life forever. If you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident, chances are you’ve suffered from a mild to severe injury and might have received rehabilitative therapy. Here are some of the most common car accident injuries you should know about:


Whiplash occurs when your neck quickly moves into a forward (hyperflexed) and backward (hyperextended) motion, and is most common in rear-end accidents. This rapid motion causes damage to soft tissues in your cervical vertebrae. Whiplash isn’t life-threatening; however, it can lead to long-term neck, head, and spine complications if left untreated. Symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Headache
  • Neck/shoulder pain and stiffness
  • Back pain
  • Dizziness, fatigue
  • Jaw pain (temporomandibular joint symptoms)
  • Arm pain and/or weakness
  • Tinnitus
  • Vision problems

Symptoms of whiplash sometimes don’t appear right away. It can take 24 hours to a couple of days for the symptoms to start appearing, at which point, it’s important to see your doctor. Do not ignore these signs and symptoms of whiplash, as you may have to be fitted with a cervical collar and receive further treatment.

Neck, Back, and Head Injuries

The accident is over in the blink of an eye, but your body will be put under severe trauma. Even if you’re wearing your seatbelt, it’s very possible to experience neck, head, and back injuries from the impact. Besides whiplash, there are other common injuries you might endure during a motor vehicle accident, such as:

  • Concussion: This is a serious injury that should be treated as soon as possible. Symptoms of concussion include:
    • Vision loss
    • Difficulty concentrating and remembering; confusion
    • Speech problems
    • Dilated pupils
    • Headache; dizziness
    • Tinnitus
  • Facial Trauma: Your face may suffer various injuries more severe than cuts or scrapes. Common facial and head injuries may include:
    • Eye trauma resulting in temporary or permanent vision loss
    • Ear trauma resulting in temporary or permanent loss of hearing
    • Jaw fractures
    • Dental injuries
  • Back and Spine Trauma: Paralysis of the limbs or major parts of the body are unfortunately not uncommon. However, other less severe back and spine injuries often occur that will require rest and physical therapy.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, occur when your head experiences major trauma, such as hitting your dashboard, driver window, or another passenger. Some TBIs, like a concussion, can go away on their own with minimal to moderate care and doctor supervision, while other TBIs, such as those that alter a person’s consciousness, present a harder road to recovery. Extreme TBIs can lead to complications like coma or a minimally conscious state, or even brain death. Some symptoms of a traumatic brain injury include:

  • Concussion symptoms (seen above)
  • Loss of consciousness; coma
  • Inability to wake up
  • Feeling weak or numb in extremities
  • Seizures
  • Persistent vomiting and diarrhea
  • Dilation of one or both pupils
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurred speech

Closing the Gap Healthcare provides Motor Vehicle Accident Therapy for people who require care and rehabilitation for their injuries, to help relieve pain and restore optimal function. Our Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists work with patients to develop an individualized treatment plan based on their personal needs. Contact Us to learn more or to book an appointment today.

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