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What Bones Can You Break in a Car Accident?

If you were recently involved in a car accident, you might be wondering what bones you can break in a car accident. Depending on how severe the car accident is, a person has the potential to break several bones in their body, such as in the leg, arm, head, and back. This article will discuss further what types of bones you can break in a car accident.

You Can Potentially Break Several Kinds of Bones in a Car Accident

While you can break virtually any bone in your body, the following bones are the most likely to break in a car accident:

Leg or Knee

A leg or knee fracture is a common injury in car accidents due to limited space in most vehicles. These injuries may occur when:

  • The occupant in the vehicle is thrown backward or forward during the accident
  • The vehicle crumples
  • The impact of the crash is primarily directed toward the occupant’s lower half of their body
  • The victim’s body turns in an unusual way


Even though the femur is one of the strongest bones in the human body, it may break during a high-impact collision, often from speeding since speeding makes it more difficult for a driver to control their vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding was a factor in more than one-quarter of car accident fatalities in 2017.

An arm may also break when a victim braces for a collision, which causes the arm to absorb a lot of the impact of the collision.


Spinal bones in the back or neck may also be at risk of being broken because of the way most vehicle occupants are positioned while in a vehicle. Many spinal injuries occur in rear-end accidents due to the force of impact from behind. These injuries are often serious and may result in temporary or permanent paralysis, which may be accompanied by the need for multiple surgeries and years of ongoing care.

Rib or Breastbone

Another vulnerable part of the body in a car accident is the torso region, including the breastbone and ribs. These bones protect the heart, lungs, and other organs, so any fracture to this region must be taken seriously. Ribs may be broken due to seatbelts or deployed airbags.

Pelvis or Hip

The pelvis or hip bone may also be fractured during a motor vehicle accident. Pelvis fractures are more common in motorcycle accidents, but they can also occur in car accidents, such as when a victim is:

  • Thrown backward or forward in a car
  • Ejected from the car
  • Compressed by the vehicle

Hip fractures often result in reduced mobility and may adversely affect a person’s ability to live independently.


The foot may also absorb a great degree of force in a collision, especially if you were slamming on the brakes at the time of the accident. Foot injuries can be debilitating and negatively affect your mobility and ability to enjoy your favorite pastimes. They may also require you to miss work for a prolonged period of time.

Facial or Cranial Bones

Bones in the face or skull can also break in a car accident if the occupant hits their head on a hard surface, such as the steering wheel, dashboard, or door. Other possible causes for facial or cranial bone fractures include:

  • Being hit with a projectile item in the vehicle
  • Being thrust forward in the vehicle
  • Penetrating injuries caused by broken car parts or glass

Skull fractures may require invasive treatment, including surgery followed by a long stint in rehab.


The collarbone is much more vulnerable than many of your body’s other bones and runs along the top of your torso, so this bone is often broken during car accidents.

If You Think You May Have Broken a Bone

If you were recently involved in a car accident, monitor yourself for the following symptoms:

  • Pain that gets worse when you move or touch the affected body part
  • Difficulty to keep weight on the injured area
  • Redness, swelling, or tenderness at the point of the injury
  • Discoloration at the injury site
  • Protruding bone
  • Visible deformity

Seek immediate medical assistance if any of these symptoms develop and follow your doctor’s orders.

Contact Us for Help with Your Car Accident Claim

Now that you know which bones you can break in a car accident, you might be wondering about what to do next. The Cochran Firm – Nashville can review the circumstances of your case and determine what your next steps should be.

If you choose to retain our services, we will not charge any attorney’s fees unless we recover compensation for your claim or lawsuit. Call our office today at 615-678-6278. We can give you a free case review to get to know you better and explain your legal rights and options.

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