10 Most Common Auto Injuries

Chicago is a city built for small cars. Its packed streets require parallel parking skills, and the constant stop-and-go traffic incentivizes people to use small electric vehicles for better mileage.

Unfortunately, people in small vehicles are more likely to be seriously injured in an accident, especially if the other car was traveling quickly. The faster you drive, the greater the impact of a collision, and the greater the chance you’ll suffer injuries.

man in pain

As Chicago continues to grow, so does the number of car accidents. If you were injured in an auto accident in Chicago, it’s important that you understand your legal options and receive the maximum amount of compensation. Keep reading to learn the most common car crash injuries and how car accident lawyers in Chicago Langdon & Emison will help recover the money you need.

Soft Tissue Injuries

A soft tissue injury occurs when sudden force or trauma causes the muscles, tendons, or ligaments in your body to stretch and tear. Strains and sprains are two of the most common types of soft tissue injuries. A strain refers to trauma of the muscles or tendons due to overstretching, and a sprain is the overstretching of a ligament.

Whiplash is probably the most familiar soft tissue injury. It’s a strain of the neck muscles and tendons caused by sudden impact, usually from behind, as in the case of a rear-end collision.

Over 90% of whiplash injuries result from rear-end collisions at 15 mph or less – the approximate speed at which cars travel in backed-up Chicago traffic. Another startling fact is that more women suffer from whiplash than men, and about 50% of those who suffer from whiplash will develop persistent symptoms, including:

  • Stiffness or pain in upper back, neck, or shoulders

  • Numbness or tingling sensation in arms, hands, or fingers

  • Headaches

  • Dizziness or vision problems

Although soft tissue injuries are common, they can cause pain and persistent suffering in victims. These injuries can also be expensive to treat; if you suffered a soft tissue injury in a car crash, call Chicago auto accident attorneys Langdon & Emison to recover the compensation you need.

Neck Injuries

The neck is a delicate structure and is susceptible to devastating and expensive injuries in the event of a car crash. In the United States, 90% of injuries in rear-end car crashes are neck injuries. Many neck injuries affect the cervical spine located in the neck. You’ll experience severe pain if your cervical spine slips out of place causing slipped, ruptured, herniated, or bulging discs.

It may be obvious that you suffered a neck injury if you feel pain immediately after the accident. However, some neck injuries are latent and don’t present symptoms until weeks or even months go by.

That’s why it’s so important to speak with a car crash lawyer at Langdon & Emison. We’ll speak with your doctor or medical team, help estimate the cost for future care, and negotiate with the insurance company to get you the money you need.

Back and Spinal Cord Injuries

One of the most common auto accident injuries is damage to the spinal cord, and car crashes are the leading cause of this type of injury in the United States.

back injury

A back or spinal cord injury can change your life in the second it takes someone to hit you. As the path of communication between the body and brain, the spinal cord plays an extremely important role in everyday life. If severely damaged, you may suffer lifelong pain, paralysis, or loss of function in certain body parts.

Some of the neurological effects of a spinal cord injury are:

  • Complete or incomplete tetraplegia

  • Complete or incomplete paraplegia

Tetraplegia is also known as quadriplegia and is defined by the partial or total loss of function in all four limbs. Paraplegia is paralysis of the lower body and legs.

Spinal cord injuries can change the way you live. If your spinal or back injury resulted from a Chicago car accident, contact the auto accident lawyers at Langdon & Emison. We’ll help you take legal action and pursue compensation from the person or company who hit you and caused your injury.

Head and Brain Injuries

Due to the enormous force of impact that occurs when one vehicle collides with another, car accidents are a major cause of serious or fatal head and brain injuries. One of the most common and serious are traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

More than half of reported TBIs result from car accidents, mostly due to the force of the skull striking an object inside the vehicle such as the steering wheel or dashboard. TBIs can be defined as open (penetrating, such as when glass or pieces of metal pierce the skull) or closed (non-penetrating, such as a hit or blow to the head from an object inside the car).

There are several types of traumatic brain injuries associated with car wrecks.

  • Concussions (there are levels of severity and loss of consciousness is possible)

  • Contusions (a bruise on the brain that causes bleeding and swelling)

  • Hematomas (blood pooling on the surface of the brain)

Our Chicago car accident attorneys at Langdon & Emison have helped thousands of families recover the money they need to pay for their parent’s or child’s traumatic brain injury after being in a car crash. We’ve seen the devastation these injuries can cause, and we’re here to help families recover and live healthy, satisfying lives.

Call us at (312) 872-3389 to schedule your free case consultation.

Arm and Leg Injuries

Sudden acceleration, directional changes, and blunt force of a car accident can cause many injuries to your extremities. The most commonly seen damage are bone fractures (broken bones), but crushed limbs that require amputation may also occur. Commonly seen arm and leg injuries in car accidents include:

  • Humerus fracture (bone in upper arm)

  • Radius or ulna fracture (bones in forearm)

  • Calcaneus fracture (heel bone)

  • Metatarsal fracture (top of the foot)

Broken bones may not seem like a big deal after a car accident, but the dirt, dust, and bacteria introduced in the aftermath may lead to infection, which can be serious.

Chest Injuries

Seatbelts are one of the most beneficial inventions of the modern era, but they can cause serious injury during a car accident. When a person slams on their brakes forcefully or is hit from behind, their body may jerk forward into the seatbelt, putting an abnormal amount of pressure and force on their chest.

This pressure can cause broken or bruised ribs, collapsed lungs, and muscle strains. A broken rib is a serious injury that requires immediate medical attention, as the rib may puncture your heart or lung.

After seeing a doctor, call Langdon & Emison, Chicago auto accident lawyers who will investigate your case and work to prove that the person who hit you is liable for your injuries.

Internal Injuries

Internal injuries are especially dangerous because they may not be obvious immediately after your wreck. If you experience the following symptoms, consult your doctor immediately. Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list and you should always speak with a medical professional if you have concerns or want more information.

  • Abdominal/chest pain and/or tenderness

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Dark purple bruises on your abdomen

  • Rapid heart rate, weakness, and/or lightheadedness

If you were involved in a car accident and believe you may have internal injuries, don’t settle with the insurance company. The cost to treat your injuries may be much more than the amount of money they give you because it’s hard to detect the extent of damage before you receive a full internal exam.

Instead, hire a lawyer and get them to estimate the future cost of medical care before speaking with the at-fault party’s insurance company.


You may experience a wide range of injuries if you come in contact with a hot liquid such as gas or oil during a car crash. You’ve probably experienced a minor burn cooking with hot oil; imagine that sensation multiplied by a thousand due to the enormous amount of oil contained in vehicles and semi-trucks.

burn injury

Gas is highly flammable and can easily spread throughout your car, damaging the interior and exterior and causing severe burns across your body. Semi-trucks must follow strict precautions and regulations to prevent fuel fires; if it’s discovered that they did not follow these procedures and caused a fire during an accident, the driver or their company may be held liable for your injuries.

Chicago lawyers Langdon & Emison will hold them accountable for their negligent decisions. Call (312) 872-3389 for a free consultation.

Cuts and Lacerations

In 2018, there were 319,146 motor vehicle crashes in Illinois. Most victims of those accidents may not have suffered severe injuries, but they likely walked away with some kind of cut, scrape, or laceration.

The force of being hit by another vehicle can cause your body to be thrown in any direction. A piece of metal may scratch or cut your skin, or your windows may shatter, cutting you in the process. Cuts and scrapes may not seem serious, but like broken bones, they can easily become infected, especially if the cut resulted from a piece of metal or glass that was in contact with outside germs.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Other Psychological Injuries

If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you may have experienced shock for a few minutes or hours after the crash. You may have had trouble sleeping for a night or two, but after a few days, everything was mostly back to normal.

Some people can’t say the same, because they experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the crash. Their symptoms of fear, guilt, confusion, and avoidance don’t go away over time; they may actually become worse and negatively affect their daily lives.

If you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD, consult with a psychiatrist or other doctor as soon as possible. PTSD is a serious condition that can change the way you live and view life.

Chicago Car Accident Injury Lawyer

Chicago is a busy city. With millions of people and vehicles on the roads, it’s almost guaranteed that someone will break a law and cause an accident. Many of these Chicago car accidents leave people injured, possibly for the rest of their lives. If your car crash injury resulted from another driver’s negligence of traffic laws and road signs, you can sue them for damages.

Langdon & Emison are experienced auto accident lawyers with more than 30 years of experience handling cases of negligence and recovering money for our injured clients. We’ll investigate your case and collect all medical information. We’ll negotiate with insurance and fight to get you the fair and equitable compensation you need to pay for your injuries.

You’re not alone in your journey to get treatment and hold the at-fault driver accountable for injuring you. Call Langdon & Emison at (312) 872-3389 or contact us here to schedule your free case consultation.