Recent Blog Post

Bruising and Contusions After Car Accidents

Steven Matz
May 14, 2024 | Fractures, Sprains & Soft Tissue Injuries

Key Takeaways:

  • A contusion is a type of bruise when small blood vessels tear and a collection of blood pools underneath the skin.
  • Contusions and bruising often occur after auto accidents, typically caused by seat belts and airbags. They also occur in other types of accidents, such as slip-and-falls, sports injuries, or other incidents where the body suffers an impact.
  • Bruising can form in most parts of the body, including muscles, bones, the brain, and internal organs.
  • Many contusions will heal on their own with medical and self-treatment, but serious bruising often requires more intense medical intervention.
  • Working with an experienced Michigan personal injury lawyer can help you create a strong injury claim to help you obtain compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages from an accident.

When you think about car accident injuries, you likely think of concussions, broken bones, and other serious injuries. Unfortunately, bruises can also be an indicator of a serious issue or soft tissue damage.

Left unchecked, what seems like a minor bruise could worsen, potentially leading to deeper tissue damage or complications like compartment syndrome, increasing pain and prolonging recovery.

If you have been in a car crash or other accident that left you bruised, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Learn more about how to treat bruising and contusions after an accident.

Matz Injury Law’s personal injury attorneys are here to help. Contact us at 1-866-22Not33 to obtain your free consultation.

What is a Contusion (Bruising)?

A contusion (bruise) happens when you suffer a direct blow or otherwise receive an impact on your body. The skin typically stays intact when this injury occurs, meaning you do not suffer cuts, abrasions, or other wounds. Many contusions will heal on their own, but more serious contusions, especially those with internal bleeding, need immediate medical attention.

Where Does Bruising Occur Most Frequently After a Car Accident?

Contusions or bruising are characterized by small blood vessels that tear or rupture, causing blood to leak and pool together under your skin. Contusions are common injuries after an accident that can occur in any part of your body, including but not limited to:

In some cases, bruising might be internal injuries that become life-threatening. It is important to seek medical treatment from a healthcare provider after a car accident to examine your injuries and rule out the more serious diagnosis.

Don’t wait to call if you were hurt in an accident. Reach out today for free.

Why Are Contusions and Bruising Injuries So Common In Car Accidents?

Contusions often appear as bruises after involvement in car accidents from seat belts, steering wheels, and airbags. Other common causes of bruising are from slip-and-falls, sports injuries, or other situations where bodily impact against another object or person occurs.

The doctor will do a physical exam to find the location of your contusion. You may also have tests to make sure you do not have a more serious injury, such as a broken bone or nerve damage. These may include X-rays or imaging tests like CT scans or MRIs.

How to Care For Your Bruising After an Accident

Normal bruise symptoms include skin discoloration, swelling, and tightness in the affected muscles or joints. Initial treatment for minor injuries after an accident should include:

  1. Getting plenty of rest
  2. Icing affected areas for 10 to 20 minutes at a time
  3. Applying compression wrap to minimize swelling
  4. Taking prescribed or OTC pain reliever as recommended by your doctor
  5. Propping up the sore areas (above your heart) where possible
  6. Keeping any accompanying scrapes and lacerations clean and bandaged
  7. Watching for new symptoms

If pain levels increase or new symptoms emerge, seek medical attention immediately. It’s better to be safe and allow your doctor to rule out more serious internal bruising and medical conditions caused by the injury.

Example of Car Accident Brusing Caused by Airbag Deployment

One Reddit user described their experience with contusions from a car accident.

“In my one personal experience, I discovered a love/hate relationship with airbags. It saved my life, but the most damage I had to my body from the accident was from the airbag. I was bruised and stiff for at least the following week, from my neck down to my chest. […] I don’t have anything to compare it to, but a best guess would be the worst punch to the face, throat, and chest EVER. Like I said, it saved my life, but it’s not something I’d ever like to experience again.”

Symptoms of Bruising to Watch For After an Accident

doctor examining a woman's bruised forehead injury

Some symptoms with contusions or bruising can indicate a serious underlying issue, such as soft tissue damage that needs medical treatment. If you notice the following, seek help from a medical professional right away.

  • Worsening pain
  • New swelling
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Weakening occurs near the bruise
  • Feeling cold or appearing pale around the bruised area
  • Headaches
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest tenderness
  • Chest pain

If symptoms worsen, new ones emerge, or you don’t feel improvement, your healthcare provider will likely run numerous diagnostic tests to assess the extent and location of your contusion to ensure your heart, lungs, brain, and other internal organs do not have blood pools collecting, along with evaluating if you’ve developed a hematoma.

How to Document Your Contusions For Your Michigan Personal Injury Claim

To increase the chances of successfully navigating a personal injury claim and receiving compensation for your injuries, you’ll want to document your case carefully.

  • Take clear photos and videos of your injuries.
  • Organize medical care records.
  • List all medical bills.
  • Keep a diary tracking injuries.
    • Outline in detail how the injury impacts your day-to-day activities.
  • List any accompanying injuries, such as whiplash, head injuries, ligament tears, sprains, etc.
  • Establish a detailed timeline of events leading to your injury.

A knowledgeable Michigan car accident attorney can help you gather evidence, collect documentation, analyze your claim, and assemble a case.

When to Call a Lawyer

You should always consult with an experienced Michigan personal injury lawyer after any kind of accident. Most law firms, including Matz Injury Law, work on a contingency basis, which means an attorney only gets paid if you collect compensation. Your initial consultation is free.

Matz Injury Law sets itself apart from other law firms because our fee is only 22%, not the standard 33 1/3% the majority of firms charge. Our lower fee means more money goes into your pocket once you receive a settlement or verdict.

Our attorneys will help with all aspects of your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. We’ll gather evidence, manage your medical documentation, negotiate with insurance companies, and secure fair compensation.

Choose a highly qualified, compassionate, and affordable attorney for your case. Call now.

Related Resources

Michigan Personal Injury Protection Guide: Michigan requires motorists to carry no-fault insurance, including Personal Injury Protection. PIP coverage is a form of coverage on your auto insurance policy that pays for your medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses.

What Should I Do If An Airbag Caused An Injury?: Airbags are designed to protect you and your passengers from slamming into objects or the vehicle’s interior during impact. Yet, due to their design, they can still sometimes hurt you. Learn what to do if your airbag injures you during a car accident.

Why Clients Choose Matz Injury Law

Clients trust Matz Injury Law because they know they can count on receiving sound legal advice and having a strong advocate on their side. Since 1977, our attorneys have remained committed to protecting the rights and interests of Michigan’s injured.

We’ve generated more than $300 million in results for our personal injury clients. Whether you suffer from a contusion or another type of injury, we’ll be at your side every step of the way. We’ll listen to you and work hard to get the most out of your case.

Examples of settlements Matz has secured:

  • $4.15 Million Settlement in Washtenaw County
    • $4,150,000 settlement on behalf of the family of a college student who was killed in a traffic crash while riding a motorcycle. The settlement came from three different insurance companies.
  • $3.45 Million Settlement In Genesee County
    • $3.45 million settlement against a cement company whose truck crossed a center line, causing three deaths and severely injuring a 4-year-old boy. The settlement was $450,000 in excess of available insurance.
  • $1.3 Million Settlement In Monroe County
    • $1.3 million Federal District Court settlement on behalf of a mother and daughter in a car/truck collision. Mom suffered a pancreas injury but returned to full-time employment within six months; her eight-year-old daughter suffered an aggravation of a pre-existing learning disability as well as a ruptured spleen.
  • $500,000 Settlement in Ingham County
    • $500,000 bodily injury settlement for a 2-year-old girl who was catastrophically injured as a result of a motor vehicle collision.


“Steve Matz deserves more than 5 stars! He went above and beyond to help me with my automobile accident/lawsuit and stayed in constant contact with me. He cared about me as a person and how I was feeling or doing. I will recommend him to anybody who ever asks me. He has been amazing!!!!! Mr. Matz, I can never thank you enough for what you have done for us. Thank you for always being authentically and truly you. You are definitely a fighter for what’s right.” — Holly L.

“I cannot speak highly enough of Steve and his team! […] Whenever I needed to talk to Steve, he was always there and still always will be. I know I can always trust him, and if I need anything, he will help me out. I seriously couldn’t have asked for a better lawyer to share this journey with. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change my lawyer, and if I ever need a lawyer again, he will always be my first choice. […] It took a lot of stress off of me knowing Steve and his team were always by my side, and I love the feeling of people who actually care about you. They aren’t there just to take your money, and whatever happens happens. I truly believe they are in the business because they care and want to fight to get people justice. Choose right, choose Matz Injury Law, and I guarantee you won’t regret it! Thank you Steve and your team for everything you do and have done for me. I can’t thank you guys enough, stay well and amazing!” — Kristina K.

Here For You When an Accident Leaves You Black and Blue

If you or a loved one suffers a contusion or other injury from an auto accident, the understanding and compassionate attorneys at Matz Injury Law are here to help. Over the decades, our attorneys have logged hundreds of thousands of miles throughout both the Lower and Upper Peninsulas to work with our clients.

When you choose Matz Injury Law, you’ll always work with a Matz partner on your case. You won’t be just a case number for us, as our law firm prides itself on its high level of personalized service. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact Matz Injury Law at 1-866-22Not33 or, if you prefer, fill out our online contact form, and we’ll get right back to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Contusion Lead to More Serious Complications?

Contusions should be carefully monitored as complications can sometimes arise, such as hematoma formation or infection, and may necessitate additional medical intervention.

Can Someone’s Face Get Bruised Because of an Airbag?

Yes. Airbags are designed to protect and save lives, but the force of the airbag can damage skin and cause bruising on the face.

steven matz headshot

Written By Steven Matz

Founding Shareholder

Steven J. Matz is a founding shareholder of Matz Injury Law. The firm’s concentration is on personal injury litigation, with an emphasis on traumatic brain injury.

The maximum contingency fee permitted by law is actually 331/3%. Michigan court rules require that the attorney fee be computed on the net sum recovered after deducting all disbursements properly chargeable to the enforcement of the claim.

What does 22not33 mean, exactly?

We can charge 22% while virtually all other injury attorneys charge 331/3% because we are very, very, good at obtaining results for our clients.

We do not spend millions of dollars on television ads; instead, we offer a lower fee to all our clients. We do not have dozens of lower paid associates handling our work. All our clients are represented by Steven and Jared Matz. Steven Matz started the firm in 1977 and since then has dedicated his life to representing injury victims. Jared joined the firm in 2016 but grew up listening to stories, discussing theories, and generally learning at the dinner table about how to effectively and compassionately represent injury victims. Jared Matz was literally born to represent individuals involved in motor vehicle crashes.

All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee and all our cases are handled at 22%. Whether the case settles or goes through trial, the fee does not change. While our competitors make excuses as to why they charge so much, we are obtaining results for our clients at a lower fee.

At a typical television advertising law firm, your first call will be handled by a receptionist, who may refer you to an intake person, who will discuss your claim with an intake manager, who then discusses your claim with an associate, who may then report to a partner. You may never speak with the person whose name is at the top of the letterhead. At Matz Injury Law you will always speak with either Steven Matz or Jared Matz.