Common Injuries After a Car Accident in Pennsylvania

Common injuries after a car accident include traumatic brain injuries, whiplash, post-traumatic stress disorder, broken ribs, and a herniated disc. Being involved in an automobile accident can have long-lasting effects on your mental and physical health. If you were in a car accident in Pennsylvania, you may be able to get compensation for your injuries by filing a legal claim against the other driver. 

Having the right lawyer to help you handle your claim can make all the difference. The attorneys at Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC have decades of experience fighting for those injured in crashes in Pennsylvania. A car accident attorney on our team would be happy to talk to you about your case and how they can help. They can guide you through the insurance process and let you know if bringing a lawsuit may be in your best interest. 

How Often Do Car Accidents Happen in Pennsylvania?

According to the 2022 report issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, approximately 318 reportable crashes occurred every day in 2022. This amounted to about 13 collisions every hour, resulting in 3 people dying and 184 people injured daily due to reportable traffic events. 

Driving while intoxicated was the leading cause of traffic fatalities (320), followed by speeding (268). Motorcycle-involved crashes resulted in 217 people losing their lives, and wrecks involving pedestrians resulted in 184 deaths. Hitting a fixed object was the leading crash type, accounting for 29.9% of all accidents and 30.6% of all fatalities in Pennsylvania in 2022. Just over 47% of all crashes involved passenger cars, with light trucks, vans, and SUVs accounting for 44.6% of collisions. Eighty percent of the accidents occurred without adverse weather events like high winds, rain, snow, or fog. 

What Are Common Injuries After a Car Accident?

Auto wrecks can cause extensive damage to someone’s body and mind, especially if alcohol or speeding is involved or the victim isn’t wearing a seatbelt. Common injuries include: 

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Broken ribs
  • Herniated discs
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

These injuries can put you out of work while you heal or cause lifelong scars or impairments. In some cases, you can file a legal claim to recover compensation. Your money damages could include pain and suffering, medical expenses, prescription costs, and property repairs. A seasoned attorney can help you understand and assert your right to recover a settlement.

Traumatic Brain Injuries 

Traumatic brain injuries occur when someone suddenly hits their head or their neck violently moves back and forth, causing their brain to jostle around in and impact their skull. A TBI can cause mild symptoms, including minor headaches, fatigue, confusion, and sleep disturbances. In some cases, a TBI can cause severe or persistent symptoms, like difficulty concentrating, personality changes, loss of motor coordination, and impairment of the ability to understand speech or talk. 

Concussions, subarachnoid hemorrhages, and diffuse axonal injuries are examples of traumatic brain damage that can arise after car accidents. Traumatic brain injuries can require surgical intervention, medication, rest, and physical therapy. How long a traumatic brain injury lasts after a car accident depends on the injury’s severity and the type of damage done to the fragile brain tissue.

Whiplash

During a car accident, your neck may violently move from side to side or back and forth, causing injury to your bones, cartilage, and muscles in your neck. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, headaches, dizziness, and numbness in the arms or shoulders. Whiplash may require bed rest and medication to help ease the pain or other symptoms. In many cases, it clears up after a few weeks, but it may persist beyond this in serious cases. 

Broken Ribs

The forces involved in the crash may cause your body to shake forward or backward, causing your ribs to break. Broken ribs can cause significant pain and discomfort, requiring the victim to stay bedridden for a prolonged period while their ribs heal. The doctors diagnose someone with broken ribs by scanning the area (such as with an X-ray or MRI). As the Mayo Clinic reports, an injury to the ribs may take six weeks or more to heal on its own. Often, surgery isn’t available or needed unless the rib punctures or tears something.

Herniated Discs

A herniated disc occurs when one of the cushions (discs) in your spinal column gets out of place. It’s common for accident victims to experience this injury after a car wreck. Herniated discs can cause serious pain in the back, arms, or legs, tingling, numbness, and weakness. In severe cases, a herniated disc can damage the spinal cord or cauda equina (the “tail” of your spinal cord). These injuries can clear up on their own but may require surgery or medication to relieve the symptoms. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 

A car accident isn’t just physically taxing—it can also be incredibly emotionally exhausting as well. A car accident might cause you to feel worried, anxious, or fearful at the prospect of driving on your regular route—or at all. The victim may struggle with nightmares or hypervigilance after the crash, impacting their ability to engage in things they enjoy doing or need to do to care for themselves. The victim may experience physical limitations after the crash that now make them feel vulnerable, which can worsen the emotional and mental toll of the crash. Watch the following video for more information:

What Should You Do After an Auto Wreck?

The first call you should make after a car wreck is to the police so you can meet your reporting obligations under Pennsylvania law and get emergency medical care. Even if you don’t feel hurt after the crash, getting checked out by a doctor is a good idea. They can examine you and see if you have hidden or masked injuries that can turn serious if left untreated. Calling the police also creates an accurate record of what happened before, during, and immediately after the crash. 

The next step is to contact the insurance company that covers the vehicle you were in during the accident. Try to limit your discussion to just the facts the insurance company needs to know what happened. In other words, try to leave out comments like, “It was raining, and I didn’t see the stop sign.” The insurance company may use these statements later to deny your claim, so it’s best to leave them out of the discussion. 

After you file a claim, the insurance company may investigate the accident and start settlement talks. Before you sign anything they send you, it’s best to have a knowledgeable Philadelphia personal injury attorney review the offer. They can help you understand what a fair car accident settlement might look like in your case. 

When Can You File a Lawsuit Because of Car Accident Injuries?

Pennsylvania allows people to take out no-fault insurance plans. This type of coverage allows the person to seek reimbursement from their insurance company regardless of fault. But it limits the compensation they receive to whatever the policy allows. What’s more, the victim may not be able to sue the at-fault driver unless they suffered one of the most serious common injuries after a car accident. If the person is eligible to file a lawsuit, Pennsylvania law requires them to do so within two years after the crash. An attorney can help the victim understand their policy and what they can do next.

Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC: Award-Winning Pennsylvania Car Accident Attorneys 

The effects of being involved in an accident due to a negligent driver can be devastating. You might have to take time off or leave your job indefinitely because of your injuries. Additionally, you may rack up soaring medical expenses and other costs because of the accident. 

Our attorneys can help you start to rebuild your life by fighting for your legal rights. We understand the tremendous impact an accident can have on someone’s life. With us, you’re in good hands. The distinguished Super Lawyers group named Lawrence Kalikhman a Rising Star from 2012 to 2019. Lawrence tailors his approach to car accident cases to fit the client’s situation, preferences, and best interests. 

If you were in a car accident in Pennsylvania, our team may be able to help you get the compensation you need. Contact us today by calling 267-435-2426 to schedule an initial consultation.