5 Types of Back Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

Published on November 12, 2021, by Matthew Sharp

Car Accident

5 Types of Back Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

Car accidents often lead to back injuries like whiplash, herniated discs, fractures, spinal cord injuries, and soft tissue injuries. Sometimes the injury could be unnoticeable immediately, but it is often hard to ignore back pain that starts days after an accident.

Most Common Types of Back Injuries


Whiplash is caused when the back suddenly jolts backward and forward at high speeds. It can also result from slower T-bone collisions or rollover accidents. The neck takes the brunt of the impact, and if not properly protected, the vertebrae can shift and tear ligaments. Whiplash symptoms typically start to show up a few minutes after the accident. These symptoms include pain in the neck, shoulder pains, numbness or tingling in the arms, and headaches.

Car-accident-related whiplash injuries usually result in huge medical bills and financial losses. An auto accident attorney has the necessary skills to negotiate a reasonable settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance provider on the injured party’s behalf.

A Herniated Disc

Discs shift or herniate due to an accident, exerting pressure on nearby nerves. The tissues that surround the disc inflame, and this causes pain in the back. Most accident victims with back injuries complain of nerve-related symptoms like tingling and weakness in the limbs, loss of bowel and bladder control, and loss of balance.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are more likely to happen during high-speed collisions. These injuries can cause paralysis if left untreated.


Fractures are the result of high-impact collisions that cause the spine to crack in one or more places. Car accidents can sometimes fracture the vertebrae. When this happens, the victim suffers from severe pain and discomfort. Other types of fractures like hip, rib, pelvic, and shoulder can also result from car accidents.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Even when there is no visible injury to the spine, it doesn’t mean that nothing happened. Soft tissue injuries like muscle strain and ligament damage can cause long-term pain, even when there is no fracture or sign of a herniated disc.

A soft tissue injury usually doesn’t show up right away because the surrounding tissues protect the spine. There might not be any visible trauma to the back, but pain sets in days after the accident, and it can even get worse over time. Seeing a doctor and seeking legal support right after a car accident is, therefore, a wise decision.