Car accidents are a leading cause of injuries throughout California and the rest of the country. In 2012, for example, there were 5.6 million car accidents reported, with 1.6 million resulting in injuries and over 30,000 ending in fatalities. Car accidents cost an estimated $877 billion each year, and included in that cost are medical expenses. The following are just a few of the most common injuries that arise from car crashes.

A high-speed collision can lead to traumatic brain injuries when a victim hits their head on the steering wheel, dashboard or windows. TBIs lead to concussions and sometimes long-lasting cognitive difficulties. Head injuries can be accompanied by skull fractures and even hearing loss and vision problems. The impact could also injure the spine and cause disk herniation.

Upon impact, occupants could incur blunt-force trauma in the chest area, suffering broken ribs, collapsed lungs and even heart attacks if they have preexisting heart problems. In addition, the neck is frequently injured by being snapped back — this is known as whiplash.

Injuries to the hands, arms, legs and feet are also common. Motorcyclists who collide with cars are especially prone to such injuries, suffering broken bones and ligament damage like a torn ACL. Victims could additionally suffer emotional distress, even PTSD, after serious crashes.

Those who wish to file a claim after a motor vehicle accident may want to obtain legal representation. Personal injury lawyers usually have a network of professionals who can build up a case through investigation and by finding evidence. This can help ensure the maximum amount for a settlement. If the other party’s auto insurance company refuses to pay out, the lawyer could consider litigation.