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Car accident injuries can change people’s lives in an instant. While minor injuries eventually heal, some accident victims suffer catastrophic injuries requiring long-term medical care. Serious injuries can also leave mental and emotional scars that affect victims and their families. If you or a loved one were hurt in a car crash in Virginia Beach, the car accident attorneys at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers will fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.

Common car accident injuries can have lasting physical, emotional, and financial effects on victims and their families. Whether you have minor injuries from a fender bender or serious injuries from a high-impact collision, medical bills and physical suffering make it difficult to get back on your feet. Some victims even suffer catastrophic injuries that require long-term medical care. Virginia reported 7,142 serious car accident injuries in 2022 alone.

Car accident victims commonly deal with whiplash, neck injuries, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, burns, and other injuries from a crash. If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident and want to know your legal rights, the Virginia Car Crash Experts at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers can help you claim compensation for your injuries and suffering.

Types of Car Accident Injuries

Car accidents can have devastating results. Due to collisions at high speeds, victims often sustain penetrating and impact injuries that require medical care. Types of car accident injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Scrapes and cuts
  • Sprains
  • Minor head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Burns
  • Organ damage
  • Psychological damage

The Virginia Department of Transportation reported 122,430 crashes and 7,142 serious injuries in 2022. That is close to 6 percent of car accidents resulting in serious injuries across the state. There were also 1,004 fatalities connected to car accidents in 2022, up from 968 deaths the previous year.

In 2021, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles reported 118,498 crashes with 58,786 injuries. The data shows that nearly 50 percent of all car accidents in Virginia result in an injury. Common car accident causes included in the report are alcohol use and speeding.

Most Common Broken Bones Resulting From a Car Accident

A broken bone often leaves victims with limited mobility or significant discomfort during recovery. Not only are broken bones painful, but they can also prevent you from returning to work or enjoying your favorite activities.

Accident victims break bones when the force of the collision causes them to slam into the airbag, parts of the car, or loose items. Some people may even be ejected from the vehicle and break bones from hitting the pavement or other objects. Commonly broken bones from a car accident include:

  • Ribs
  • Vertebrae
  • Clavicle
  • Pelvic bone
  • Fibula
  • Femur
  • Cranial bones
  • Facial bones
  • Sternum

Neck Injuries

Neck and chest injuries are prevalent after a crash. Because vehicles are usually moving at the time of the accident, it causes the body to be thrust forcefully in one direction while being restrained. This movement can cause significant damage and painful injuries to the neck.

Common neck injuries following a car crash include:

  • Whiplash
  • Neck sprains
  • Pinched nerves
  • Stiffness
  • Neck compression
  • Neck muscle spasms

Whiplash is a Common Car Accident Injury

The Mayo Clinic describes whiplash as a common type of neck injury caused by a forceful back-and-forth motion. If you were rear-ended or T-boned by another car, you might experience pain, stiffness, tenderness, or limited range of motion in your neck in the days after the accident. It’s possible also to have blurred vision, irritability, and ringing in the ears. These are typical symptoms of whiplash that show up soon after the crash.

However, there are long-term effects of whiplash that can linger and flare up long after the car accident, including:

  • Chronic pain in your neck, shoulders, and back
  • Headaches
  • Sleep issues
  • Dizziness
  • Jaw pain
  • Memory problems
  • Chronic tinnitus, or ringing in the ear
  • Trouble concentrating

People involved in a car crash should immediately seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, the symptoms of whiplash often show up in the days following the accident. Prompt medical care can help you manage the pain and effects of whiplash and is of vital importance.

Head Injuries are Common During Car Accidents

Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, are serious and need immediate attention after a car accident. When you hit your head against something or the force of the crash causes your brain to hit the inside of your skull, you can suffer a range of symptoms that affect your cognitive function. In severe cases, these injuries can permanently change your life.

Common brain and head injuries from car accidents include:

  • Concussion
  • Contusion
  • Skull fracture
  • Diffuse axonal injury
  • Hematomas
  • Penetrating head wound
  • Coup-contrecoup, where a head injury results in damage to both the side of the trauma and the opposite side

Medical professionals will diagnose the severity of your brain injury after an accident to find the best treatment for your situation. These levels of brain injury severity are:

  1. Mild brain injury: Dizziness, vomiting, memory loss, and brief or no loss of consciousness
  2. Moderate brain injury: Unconscious for up to 24 hours, contusions, signs of injuries showing in neuroimaging
  3. Severe brain injury: Coma, no sleep-wake cycle during the coma, damage appears on neuroimaging


concussion is a common type of traumatic brain injury resulting from a jolt or impact to the head that causes the brain to shift back and forth inside the skull. A concussion from a car accident might not be apparent right away, but common symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fatigue
  • Balance issues
  • Slurred speech
  • Delayed responses to others
  • Glazed appearance in the eyes
  • Confusion and forgetfulness
  • Inappropriate emotional responses 

If you experience any of these symptoms after a car accident, seek medical care immediately. Although there is no specific cure for a concussion, it’s essential to have a doctor evaluate the severity of your brain injury and provide guidance for managing your symptoms and recovery. 


A car crash can cause fires from gasoline leaks, heat from the motor, and electrical equipment. Painful burn injuries from a car accident have lasting, life-changing effects on victims. Some burns are severe enough to cause serious health complications, including amputations and disfigurement.

Medical professionals classify burns by the following degrees, with higher degrees indicating more significant damage:

  • First-degree burns: Burns to the outer layer of skin or epidermis
  • Second-degree burns: Burns that penetrate through the epidermis to part of the dermis or inner layer of skin
  • Third-degree burns: Burns that damage the epidermis, dermis, and possibly the muscles and bones underneath

Treatment and recovery can be long and complicated if you suffer burn injuries in a car accident. However, you may qualify to claim compensation for your medical bills, rehabilitation, and future medical care. Schedule a free consultation with Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers to learn more.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are one of the most severe and traumatic car accident injuries you can sustain after a crash. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke describes spinal cord injuries as damage to the nerves and cells in the spine responsible for sending signals from your brain to the rest of your body. When these cells are permanently damaged, it can impair your mobility, strength, feeling, and overall function.

The types of spinal cord injuries are determined based on the following areas of the spine affected:

  • Cervical: Damage to head and neck region
  • Thoracic: Damage to the upper chest, middle back, and abdominal muscles
  • Lumbar: Damage to hips and legs
  • Sacral: Damage to hips, buttocks, pelvic organs, and thighs

Doctors will categorize these types of injuries as complete or incomplete. Complete spinal cord injuries cause permanent damage, resulting in partial or complete paralysis. An incomplete spinal cord injury means that only a portion of the spinal cord was damaged, and the accident victim still has some ability to move and feel. Additionally, there are levels of severity based on the extent of the damage.

Common Joint Injuries Following a Car Accident

Some car accident victims suffer from joint injuries that cause pain, inflammation, dislocation, and temporary arthritis. Different types of joint injuries are:

  • Dislocated joints
  • Joint fractures
  • Joint sprains and strains
  • Post-traumatic arthritis
  • Sacroiliac joint injury
  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Anterior cruciate ligament tears

Rotator Cuff Tears

rotator cuff tear affects the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that allows you to lift your arm above your head, rotate your arm, and move it up and down. This type of injury is excruciating and debilitating because you use your shoulder for many more daily movements than you may realize. 

Car accident victims can suffer a partial tear, which does not completely tear the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder. However, a total rotator cuff tear fully severs the shoulder muscle in two. It will take time for this type of severe rotator cuff tear to heal and regain full shoulder motion.

Heart Attacks

Although you might not connect heart attacks to car accidents, it’s more common than you might think. The shock and trauma of the event can cause enough stress to trigger a heart attack in some people. However, blunt force trauma to the chest causes physical injuries that can also cause a heart attack.

One cause of blunt cardiac injuries from a car accident is an impact with the steering wheel. The force can injure the heart and cause:

  • Chest pain
  • Silent arrhythmias
  • Palpitations
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Deadly cardiac rupture

Call for emergency medical care immediately if you or a loved one experience any heart attack symptoms after a car accident.

What Types of Compensation Can I Expect from a Car Crash Injury?

If another person’s careless or reckless actions led to your car accident and injuries, you may pursue a legal claim for compensation. You can claim monetary payment for both economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages compensate for the measurable, objectively verifiable financial losses from an accident, such as medical costs and lost wages. Non-economic damages compensate for an accident’s harder-to-measure, subjective effects, such as physical and emotional suffering. 

You can seek compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages, in some limited cases 

Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers can help calculate compensation from a car accident and claim the maximum amount you’re entitled to after a crash. We have a record of successful settlements and verdicts, including a $6.5 million settlement—the largest recovery in Virginia in 2020.

Who Is Likely to Suffer a Car Accident Injury?

According to data from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, many car accident injuries are connected to alcohol use, speeding, and improper car restraints. Avoiding alcohol, obeying the speed limit, and wearing your seat belt can help prevent injuries.

In addition, Forbes shares that men are more likely to experience a car accident injury than women, and more people aged 25 to 34 were injured in 2020 than any other age group that year.

How Can an Attorney Help Me after I’ve Suffered a Car Accident Injury?

Car accident victims deserve justice. Working with a Virginia Beach car accident lawyer means you have a skilled professional on your side to fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve. 

Our experienced attorneys will handle the legal process so you can focus on recovering from your injuries and rebuilding your life after a car accident. We can help with the following:

  • Gathering evidence, including witness statements
  • Calculating the value of your medical bills and other damages
  • Submitting your claim
  • Dealing with the insurance companies
  • Negotiating a fair settlement
  • Taking your case to trial

If you were injured in a car accident, our team is ready to help. Contact us for your free case evaluation now and see how much your case may be worth.

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