Car Accident Injury Attorney: What Happens to Your Body During a Car Crash?

During a car accident, the human body is subjected to large amounts of force and physical impacts that can cause catastrophic damage. Even minor collisions can leave occupants with neck pain, back pain, and other car accident injuries.

Unfortunately, many car accident injury victims choose not to seek medical attention for their pain, stiffness, and discomfort after a crash. Some may believe the injuries will heal on their own. Others may experience delayed symptoms that manifest days, weeks, or even months after their crash.

If you have been involved in an car accident, it is important to understand why you should seek medical attention. To help with that, we will examine what happens to your body during a car crash.

What Happens to Your Body in a Car Accident?

The dangers a car accident poses to your body are not limited to impact injuries alone. Collisions, especially those that occur at high rates of speed, put the body under extreme amounts of force. As your body is jolted, yanked about, and bent, you can strain muscles and damage tendons. The injuries can result in long-term pain and complications like loss of mobility.

Among the ways your body can be injured in a car crash are:

  • Your head swinging forward or backward in the event of a sudden stop or impact
  • Your body being thrown backward and/or forward
  • You being ejected from the vehicle
  • Your body being jerked to the side
  • Your head impacting against a steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield
  • Your body or being struck by flying debris
  • Your body or head being hit by other passengers

Not all of these injuries will leave a physical mark. Minus a bit of swelling and a whole lot of pain, you may not know that you suffered a muscle or tendon injury. Even more, your pain may not be apparent for hours, days, or weeks after a crash.

Why Didn’t I Feel Pain Immediate After My Crash?

When humans experience an extreme sense of urgency, their bodies can enter what is called the “fight or flight” response. This is an acute stress response that causes an increased heart rate, an increased respiration rate, and the secretion of hormones including adrenaline (also called epinephrine) and endorphins.

Meant for survival, endorphins act as your body’s natural painkillers. Because of this, many car accident patients may walk away from an accident feeling no pain at all. However, as the endorphins wear off, you may begin to experience pain.

In fact, it is not uncommon for victims of crashes to initially report no injuries only to have pain manifest two to three days later.

This is one reason it is so important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Medical professionals know what injuries to look for after a crash and can identify injuries that may not be fully symptomatic. They also understand how these injuries may worsen.

What Parts of the Body Are Prone to Injury During a Crash?

While any part of the body can be injured in a collision, some bodily injuries are more common than others. Here is a very short list of different parts of the body that are likely to sustain damage and injury.

Upper Torso

Bruising and tissue damage to the collarbone, ribs, and shoulder can be caused by the seatbelt as it restrains you. During higher-speed collisions, you may also suffer broken bones, including broken ribs, or internal injuries to the lungs and heart.

Back and Spine

The spine and back can suffer significant trauma during a car crash. As the body is exposed to the kinetic forces of a crash, the spine can bend in ways it is not intended to or be exposed to sudden, damaging jolts.

Herniated discs are among the most common injuries we see following a car crash. The pain of a herniated disc can be acute or chronic and may result in other adverse outcomes.


Whiplash is a common car accident injury that occurs when the neck and head are jerked forward and/or backward. This sudden, violent motion can strain, tear, and damage the ligaments, nerves, and connective tissues in the neck. All of these would fall under what is commonly referred to as “whiplash.”

Whiplash injuries are most common in rear-end collisions, but can occur in other types of collisions and even in events of sudden braking where no actual collision occurred.

Head and Brain

Your head has little protection in the event of a crash. Cuts and bruises are common as your head is struck by debris and loose items. Your head can also strike the steering wheel, dashboard, and windshield.

While cuts and bruises are often noticeable, brain injuries can be less so.

Concussions and traumatic brain injuries can carry long-term complications and should receive immediate medical attention. Symptoms can include headaches, nausea, insomnia, dilated pupils, and memory problems.

Suffer a Car Accident Injury? Call Thomas J. Henry Law

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident in San Antonio, call Thomas J. Henry Law.

Nobody should struggle to receive the medical care they need after an accident. This is even more true when the crash was the fault of someone else. At Thomas J. Henry Law, we will not only fight to secure the financial compensation you deserve- we will also work with medical providers so you get the treatment you need.

Call now to speak with a qualified San Antonio car accident lawyer about your case. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends to help you, and we offer FREE case reviews to injured victims. We can even advance money on qualified cases to help with bills and living expenses.

Do not wait, speak to a San Antonio injury attorney today.

Contact Us for a Free Case Review
Contact Form

Do you really want to end conversation?
chat-icon Live chat
avatar Waiting