Everything you need to know about car accident injuries

12 minute read Published on Jun 4, 2024 by BrokerLink Communications

Red emergency triangle on the road with the blurred background of two cars and drivers involved in an accident

The reality is that accidents happen all the time. Although you can purchase motor vehicle insurance to protect you against the financial repercussions of an accident, there is nothing that can protect you from the worst-case scenario of a car accident: bodily injury. That said, knowing what the most common types of injuries are and how they present themselves can help you in the aftermath of an accident. Today, we’re diving into everything about car accident injuries.

What are the most common types of car accident injuries in Canada?

Being injured in a car accident is serious, but sometimes, you’re in such a state of shock that you might not even realize that you’re injured. If you recently got into a car accident, be sure to seek medical treatment or self-assess for the following types of injuries, which are the most common types that stem from car accidents:


Whiplash can happen in nearly any type of car accident. This injury occurs when a person’s neck is violently or quickly jolted forward and then backward. This motion can happen during practically any type of car accident, from a fender bender to a head-on collision. Common symptoms of whiplash include dizziness, headaches, and stiffness in the neck and head. Whiplash can last several weeks or even months, ranging from mild to severe. Thankfully, there are ways of treating the symptoms, such as with pain medication.

Soft tissue injuries

Soft tissue injuries are also common after car accidents. What constitutes a soft tissue injury? Bruises, strains, stress fractures, and sprains are all considered soft tissue injuries. Although they might seem minor, they can cause a great deal of discomfort and can turn into bigger issues if left untreated. Treatments for soft tissue injuries range from rest, elevation, and hot and cold therapy to physical therapy in the weeks or months following the injury.

Broken bones

It is incredibly common for people to fracture or fully break their bones during a car accident. Bones that could break from a car accident include a finger, your wrist, your collarbone, or even a rib. To diagnose a broken bone, you will need to visit a doctor, and they will perform an X-ray. The X-ray will determine the severity of the broken bone, such as if it’s only a mild fracture or something more serious. From there, the doctor can come up with a treatment plan that could involve a cast or surgery. If any part of your body is swollen and in serious pain after an accident, be sure to see a doctor. You might think that you only have a mild sprain, but it could be a fracture that requires medical treatment.

Back and neck injuries

Back and neck injuries are also very common in car accidents. Whiplash is a minor example of a neck injury, but there are many others that can occur. Again, these types of injuries usually happen after a person’s body has been jolted or jerked suddenly. A herniated disc is one of the most common types of back injuries that arise from car accidents, the symptoms of which are usually pain, numbness, weakness, and stiffness in the lower back. However, you might also experience these symptoms in your arms or legs. There are a wide variety of diagnoses for back and neck injuries, with more serious ones requiring surgery. If you suspect that your back or neck is injured following a car accident, seek medical help as soon as possible.

Spinal cord injuries

Spinal cord injuries are to be taken extremely seriously, as even minor ones can have major repercussions. At their worst, a spinal cord car accident injury can result in complete paralysis. Less severe injuries might be able to be treated with physical therapy, rehabilitation, or surgery. However, there might not be treatments for more severe injuries.


If the car accident you are in involves fire, then you might have gotten burned during the collision. Depending on the circumstances, you could end up with first-degree burns, second-degree burns, or third-degree burns. All of these burns can be treated, but they can take time. Medication can help you manage the pain, but other treatments like wound care or skin grafts might also be necessary.

Traumatic brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are another common category of car accident injuries. Since TBIs involve the brain, they are to be taken extremely seriously. An example of a mild TBI is a concussion, but more serious ones can lead to long-term cognitive issues. Symptoms and signs of a TBI include headaches, memory loss, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.

Internal injuries

Internal injuries are another type of car accident injury to be aware of. This type of injury is tricky because the symptoms may not be as obvious. Internal injuries involve your organs and other structures inside your body. Symptoms can range from dizziness and internal bleeding to abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Examples of internal injuries that can have a serious impact on your life include kidney damage, liver damage, and a ruptured spleen. Since you may not notice the signs of an internal injury right away, it’s important to get yourself checked out by a medical professional following the accident, even if you don’t think you are injured.

Psychological injuries

One final type of car accident injury that might affect you is psychological injuries. Psychological injuries are all too common after a car accident, especially a serious one. PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is the most common type of psychological car accident injury. Symptoms of PTSD include anxiety, depression, the inability to carry out everyday tasks (such as driving) and reoccurring thoughts of the accident or event. A disorder like this can impact various aspects of your daily life, including your appetite, sleep schedule, and more. If you suspect that you are suffering from a psychological injury after a car accident, seek help from a mental health professional, such as a psychologist. They might be able to recommend talk therapy, medication, or a combination of the two that can help.

What symptoms should I look out for after a car accident?

If you aren’t a medical professional, then it might be difficult to identify what type of injury you have following a car accident. That said, if you start to experience any of the following symptoms, get yourself checked out by a doctor as soon as you can:

  • Fatigue
  • Stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Upper back pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle spasms or cramps
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Swelling and inflammation
  • Bruising, redness, or discolouration
  • Tenderness or sensitivity to touch
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Changes in personality or behaviour
  • Vision issues
  • Dizziness
  • Tinnitus (ringing ears)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Nightmares
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating
  • Appetite loss

What types of car accidents lead to injuries?

Any car accident can lead to injury. Typically, more serious car accidents, such as head-on collisions or rollovers, are more likely to lead to injury than minor accidents like fender benders. However, bodily harm is still possible no matter what type of collision you are involved in. To gain a better understanding of what types of car accidents most commonly lead to injuries in Canada, keep reading.

Head-on collisions

Head-on collisions are extremely dangerous and can even be fatal. A few of the most common types of injuries that may arise from a head-on collision include whiplash, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, back and neck injuries, soft tissue injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and serious cuts or lacerations. Knee injuries are also more common after a head-on collision since your knee may be more likely to slam into the front of the car when the collision occurs. You may be more likely to break your collarbone in a head-on collision due to the impact and force of the seatbelt pressing on your collarbone.

Rear-end collisions

Rear-end collisions can also result in all kinds of injuries. Whiplash, soft tissue injuries, and traumatic brain injuries are usually the most common since the driver’s body is usually jolted forward and then backward in this type of accident.

Side impact collision

Side impact collisions, such as T-bone accidents, can result in serious injuries. The injuries that may be more likely to happen as a result of a side impact collision include back injuries, soft tissue injuries, neck injuries, head and traumatic brain injuries, pelvic injuries, and abdominal injuries. Since there are fewer structural barriers on the sides of the car to protect the occupants, serious and even fatal injuries can occur from this type of collision.

Rollover collision

A rollover collision is incredibly dangerous and can have serious repercussions in the form of injury. Specifically, occupants involved in a rollover collision may suffer traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and soft tissue injuries.

Truck and commercial vehicle collisions

Collisions that involve trucks and commercial vehicles are among the most serious due to the size and weight of these types of vehicles. Given how large a commercial vehicle usually is, especially when compared to the average passenger car, the occupants of the passenger car are very likely to suffer an injury if their vehicle is struck by a truck. As a result, these types of accidents can be fatal or result in burns, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and traumatic brain injuries. Depending on what the truck was carrying at the time of the accident, there could be additional consequences, like exposure to toxic chemicals.

Seeking medical treatment after a car accident

If you get into a car accident, your first course of action should be to seek medical treatment. Before you call your insurance company, be sure to get checked out by a medical professional. In fact, before you leave the scene of the accident and drive home on your own, it’s wise to have a doctor or paramedic check you out. If you believe that you are fine or only suffered minor injuries, then you can leave the scene of the accident when it is safe to do so. However, it is still recommended that you see a doctor within a few days of the accident. You never know what injuries might start to present themselves following the accident. Remember that some injuries, such as internal injuries, maybe less obvious.

By seeking medical treatment from a professional, you can confirm the status of your health. If you are injured, the doctor can recommend a treatment plan. Make sure to keep a record of all medical treatments and diagnoses you receive, as you might need it when it comes time to file an insurance claim.

When should I call a doctor after a car accident?

You should call a doctor right away following a car accident. If you have reason to believe that you are injured, then you should call 9-1-1 right after the accident happens. This way, you can be checked out by a paramedic as soon as possible and be brought to the hospital, if necessary, to see a doctor.

If you don’t end up calling emergency services immediately following the accident, then you should take care to book a doctor’s appointment within a few days or one week of the accident. Your doctor can give you an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan to confirm whether or not you're injured and the severity of your injuries, if applicable. From there, they can come up with a treatment plan to ensure that you recover fully from the accident.

Car insurance if you are injured in a car accident

Although there is no amount of car insurance coverage that can take away your injury or pain, having the right policy can help mitigate the financial ramifications of an injury.

As you probably know, car insurance is a legal requirement everywhere in Canada. This means that you must have car insurance if you want to get behind the wheel legally. The purpose of car insurance is to protect drivers against road risks, and one of those risks is car accident injury.

That is where there are specific types of coverage for bodily harm that occurs during a car accident. For example, accident benefits coverage, and third-party liability car insurance are two types of mandatory coverage that can help pay for medical and rehabilitative care if someone is injured in a car accident.

Accident benefits coverage can pay for your own injuries, while liability car insurance can pay for the injuries of another party if you are found to be at fault for the accident.

Uninsured automobile insurance might also pay for medical expenses that arise from an accident if you get into an accident with an at-fault driver who is uninsured, underinsured, or who is anonymous because they illegally fled the scene of the collision.

As you can see, there are many types of car insurance coverage that are designed to cover the cost of car accident injuries. An insurance broker will make sure that your policy contains all of these types of coverage and more. This way, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are financially protected in the event of injury.

To file a personal injury claim with your provider, you will need to contact your insurance company to notify them about the accident. You then need to gather evidence from the accident, like any photos or videos you took at the scene, witness statements, or the police report.

From there, your insurance company will give you some forms to fill out, and once completed, you can officially file your claim and await a decision. If your claim is approved, you will receive a payout from your insurance company, less your deductible, to cover the cost of the medical treatment you received in the wake of the collision.

To learn more about how to file a car insurance claim after you are injured in an accident or how auto insurance covers you for personal injury, reach out to BrokerLink today.


What types of car accident injuries are covered by auto insurance?

Many types of car accident injuries are covered by auto insurance, from soft tissue injuries and traumatic brain injuries to spinal cord injuries and whiplash. If you qualify for medical and rehabilitative coverage following a car accident, then any expenses not covered by health insurance can be covered up to the policy limit. For example, the cost of physical therapy or prescription medications is usually not covered by health insurance, which means you could be reimbursed for them through your car insurance policy.

Other expenses that your insurance company might cover after an accident include lost wages if you are temporarily unable to go to work due to your injuries. If someone dies in the accident, then your provider might also cover funeral fees and other related expenses.

What isn’t covered by bodily injury insurance?

Bodily injury coverage, such as accident benefits coverage, is specifically designed to cover expenses relating to car accident injuries. While it offers comprehensive coverage against the cost of medical treatment after an injury, it doesn’t cover everything. For instance, you should not expect accident benefits or any other type of personal injury coverage to cover the following:

  • Vehicle theft
  • Hit-and-run accidents
  • Property damage to your vehicle

How much does personal injury car insurance cost in Canada?

The cost of car insurance, which includes personal injury coverage, is dependent on the following factors:

  • Where you live
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Vehicle type
  • How you use your vehicle
  • Driving record
  • Driving experience
  • Past claims
  • Prior insurance coverage
  • Number of kilometres you drive
  • Type of coverage on your policy
  • Your deductible(s)

Reach out to BrokerLink for more information

If you still have questions about car accident injuries in Canada, including how they happen, whether you are covered for them, and how personal injury insurance coverage works, reach out to BrokerLink today.

A BrokerLink insurance advisor can explain all about how auto insurance works to protect drivers against the cost of bodily injury. We can provide insight into basic car insurance, as well as enhanced car insurance that includes extra coverage like accident forgiveness coverage, comprehensive car coverage, and collision car insurance.

An insurance broker at BrokerLink can also help you renew your car insurance plan or update it to save money.

Speaking of savings, if you want to lower your auto insurance premium, ask a BrokerLink insurance advisor for advice. We can provide a list of safe driving tips to help you qualify for a safe driver discount or explain how bundling or buying multiple auto insurance policies can help you save.

Learn more and request a free car insurance quote by contacting BrokerLink today.

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