Common Car Accident Injuries in Washington, D.C.

Some life events we can plan for. Others happen without warning. When an unexpected catastrophe like a car accident strikes, it can change your life in an instant and leave you feeling powerless.

At The Abelson Law Firm, we help victims of car accidents overcome that feeling of powerlessness and take back control. We have represented clients with numerous kinds of injuries. In every case, our goal is to hold responsible those who caused a car accident victim’s injuries, and to work to recover compensation for victims’ pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses, among others.

Common Car Accident Injuries

Here are some of the most common car accident injuries with which we are familiar:

  • Neck injuries: Whether you’re a driver or a passenger, you are at risk of whiplash injuries, particularly when your vehicle gets struck from the rear. In any collision in which your head or neck moves in an unnatural motion, there can be hard or soft tissue damage to your tendons, ligaments, bones, joints, muscles, or nerves near the upper spine. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, some kinds of neck pain can be self-treated with anti-inflammatory drugs. But, when the pain doesn’t go away, other treatments may become necessary. When a neck injury is involved, we ensure that our clients work with a treating physician who will carefully document their condition over time and establish how it resulted from a preventable accident.
  • Back injuries: The spine is a flexible device capable of absorbing the many shocks one might experience in the course of the day. Thirty-three vertebrae form the spine, including seven in the cervical region, 12 in the thoracic region, five in the sacral region, and four in the tailbone region. When an impact forces the spine to move beyond its normal range of motion, however, a victim may sustain a significant back injury, including damage to the vertebrae and discs of the spine. These injuries may result in permanent paralysis.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: When a car accident victim’s head impacts the inside of the car, or something outside of the car, no matter how slight the impact, there is the potential for a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Every TBI differs. Some are immediately apparent, with symptoms ranging from confusion, nausea, and fatigue to severe impairment or loss of consciousness. Others may take years to become apparent, even when the victim is under specialized care, and emerge later in the form of dementia or other neurological deficits.
  • Fractures and broken bones: When wearing a seatbelt, a typical driver or passenger is partially immobilized while a vehicle is in motion. Seatbelts are extremely important for keeping you alive, but they also can leave you vulnerable to bone fractures and breaks. It’s common for accident victims to sustain a fracture to one or more bones in the arms or legs. Victims may also experience fractures in their hands, feet, or face. When seated behind the wheel or in the passenger seat, a victim’s ribs or pelvis could get cracked or broken. Fractures and broken bones may take weeks or months to heal and can produce chronic pain.
  • Burns: If a victim gets trapped in a vehicle that catches on fire, he or she could sustain multiple burns. The longer it takes for emergency responders to extinguish the fire, the more burns become possible. A victim may also come into direct contact with hot surfaces or harmful chemicals released in or around the vehicle during the crash. Burn injuries may necessitate multiple plastic surgeries, but the victim may never look the same.
  • Internal injuries: Besides total paralysis or death caused by head or spinal injuries, perhaps the most life-threatening effect of a crash is damage to the internal organs. You could go home from an accident feeling dazed and have a pounding headache while failing to realize your organs were hurt. What’s more, other injuries may take days to surface. That’s why accident victims should go to an emergency room or urgent care center for a complete medical examination immediately after a crash. Waiting too many days could not only threaten your life, it could also affect your ability to make a claim for your accident-related injuries.
  • Ankle, foot, and knee injuries: When involved in a crash, a victim’s feet, knees, and ankles are at risk for blunt trauma involving the pedals, floorboards, dashboards, and/or door of the vehicle. If a victim does not wear a seatbelt, the injuries could be more severe. A medical doctor must evaluate the effects of the body’s contact with all hard surfaces during the crash.
  • Lacerations: During a crash, any part of the body could sustain cuts from broken or flying glass, a deployed airbag, or direct contact with the windshield or overhead components of the vehicle frame. Any lacerations to the face could result in disfigurement, even terrible scars that cannot be remedied via cosmetic surgery.
  • Pain, suffering and emotional trauma: No victim wakes up in the morning and expects their day will be marred by a horrendous motor vehicle accident. Even when a victim sustains only minor injuries, he or she may be traumatized by other victims’ injuries or her own fear of narrowly avoiding death. Victims of serious accidents may also suffer permanent psychological effects from their experiences, such as the symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues.

Consult Our Washington, D.C., Car Accident Lawyer Today

When you sustain injuries in a car crash in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, don’t hesitate to obtain experienced advice about your legal rights. Your injuries may not have resulted from your actions, and others may be at fault. We aim to help you hold those responsible for your injuries accountable for their actions.

At The Abelson Law Firm, we represent Washington, D.C., area car accident victims and their families. While you recover from your injuries or help your loved ones recover from theirs, our goal is to fight to protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve from insurers and responsible parties. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a Washington, D.C., area car accident, contact us today or call (202) 331-0600 for a free consultation.


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If you find that you are in need of a personal injury lawyer, I HIGHLY recommend Attorney Michael Abelson. I suffered a permanent disabling injury in a car accident. Mr. Abelson worked hard on my case and prepared carefully for trial. He guided me every step along the way. His diligent preparation led to a settlement agreement that greatly exceeded my expectation. Date published: 09/07/2018
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