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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

Five Car Accident Injuries That May Require Surgery

The more serious the car accident, the more serious the injuries that can result. 


Physical trauma as a result of a severe car accident may lead to major surgeries and therapies to repair damage that occurred in the body. Below, the vehicle crash attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. details five car accident injuries that can result in surgery:


Brain Injuries


Car accidents are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, or TBI. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are three main types of TBI:

  • Mild TBI, or a concussion
  • Moderate TBI
  • Severe TBI


The CDC also reports that there were about 61,000 TBI-related deaths in the U.S. in 2019 alone—166 TBI-related deaths each day. Severe accident-related brain injuries that lead to internal bleeding may require surgery to relieve pressure inside the skull and drain excess cerebrospinal fluid. 


Back Injuries


Because of the sudden, jolting nature of car accidents, back injuries are a very common result of crashes. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), 39.3% of all spinal injuries are a result of vehicle crashes every year. These spinal injuries can be very serious and life-threatening, and many require surgery to repair.


While more minor back injuries like back sprains and strains may not require surgery, ruptured discs and nerve damage are more serious injuries that may require a surgeon to repair the damage. According to the University of Orthopedic Associates (UOA), there are three signs you may need back surgery:

  • Your back pain does not go away after a month of therapies and treatments,
  • Your back pain has traveled to your arms and legs, or
  • It’s an emergency that requires immediate back surgery after an accident.


Neck Injuries


Perhaps one of the most common types of car accident-related neck injuries is whiplash. According to the Spine Research Institute of San Diego, around three million Americans sustain whiplash injuries every year, and aging significantly increases the risk of whiplash. Whiplash can lead to spinal joint, disc, and ligament damage as well as damage to the cervical muscles and nerves. 


While whiplash treatment rarely requires surgery, according to the Spine Universe, severe cases may require an operation. Severe cases may be defined as persistent neck and shoulder pain that has not improved after an extensive period of time where non-surgical treatment options have been addressed. The type of surgery you may need will depend on which part of your cervical spine was injured. 


In addition to whiplash, other neck injuries such as disk injuries or cervical dislocation may require surgery to repair. 


Bone Fractures


Serious car crashes create extreme force enough to break any body in the body, which is why car accidents typically result in a high number of broken bones. Compression during a car crash, hitting external objects or even being ejected from the car can all result in severe bone fractures and breaks. Common car crash fractures that can occur include femur, wrist, clavicle, skull, or rib fractures. 


While not all broken bones require the consultation of a surgeon, severe fractures may require operating on to fix the damage that was caused by the accident. Fractures are more or less life-threatening depending on the part of the body they occured. For example, facial, skull, spine and neck fractures are highly serious and may require emergency surgery or even cosmetic surgery. 




Burns can be caused by a variety of occupations and life events. Burns can occur at home, at the workplace and in car accidents. The most common causes of burns during car accidents include hot debris, contact with hot surfaces and even air bag deployment.


There are three types of burns a victim can suffer:


First-Degree Burns

First-degree burns are the mildest form of burn that affects the epidermis. First-degree burns cause skin redness and irritation, swelling and mild blistering to the outer layer of skin. 


Second-Degree Burns

Second-degree burns affect both the epidermis and the dermis, and require more treatment than first-degree burns. The burn may seep and blister and feels painful. 


Third-Degree Burns

Third-degree burns are the most severe form of burn that affects the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. The most serious form of burn, third-degree burns may cause permanent damage to the affected area’s tissue. They may require skin grafts and appear leathery once healed.


Third-degree burns may require surgery to remove burned tissue from the affected area. Because third-degree burns also do not heal on their own, they often require skin grafts, according to Medical News Today.


Contact the Car Accident Injury Attorneys at SPBMCC If You Have Been Injured


The car accident attorneys at SPBMCC urge you or your loved ones to seek medical attention immediately after a car accident, especially if you experienced prolonged neck and back pain after your accident. If you or someone you know were involved in a serious car accident that resulted in surgery to treat your injuries, our New York car accident attorneys can help you evaluate your claim and determine if you are eligible to file a lawsuit. To schedule a free consultation, call (212) 732-9000.

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Our fee is on a contingency basis. If we don’t recover money for you, we will never charge you. If you are unable to come to any of our offices, we are happy to visit you at home or in the hospital.

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