Car accidents cause significant devastation due to car damage, injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Many drivers will have to deal with a car crash at some point in their life, oftentimes by no fault of their own. Though these unfortunate incidents are sometimes difficult to avoid, there are resources like personal injury lawyers that can help victims get compensation that they deserve and require for car accident injuries. This guide will inform drivers about the prevalence of car accident injuries and the process they should take in order to seek justice.
Pennsylvania Statistics on Car Accident Injuries
Luckily, the large majority of car crashes in PA are non-fatal. However, many accidents involve an injury of some kind. According to PennDOT’s 2017 Crash Facts & Statistics report, over 80,000 people in Pennsylvania were injured in a car crash and nearly 60,000 crashes resulted in at least one injury last year. Unfortunately, car accidents pose a large threat to drivers, and it’s crucial to take steps to prevent them.
Common Car Accident Injuries
There are many types of injuries that can be sustained from a car accident. Here are some of the most prevalent and serious injuries.
Concussions and TBIs – Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are common in accidents where the victim’s head is violently shaken and/or hit against a surface in the vehicle. It’s important to be tested for a concussion after an accident because the symptoms may not be readily apparent.
Whiplash– Similar to TBIs, whiplash is caused by the victim’s neck being suddenly moved back and forth. The severity of whiplash varies and should be diagnosed quickly in order to begin effective treatment.
Disc injuries—Damage to the discs in the spine and neck could cause long-term pain and difficulty with movement. The symptoms sometimes take time to become prominent so it’s crucial to diagnose a disc injury as soon as possible.
Paralysis—Car accidents may cause temporary or permanent paralysis due to damage to the spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries require significant treatment and therapy in order for a victim to be rehabilitated and need to be addressed quickly.
Internal damages – When a victim’s body is forcefully pushed around during a crash, their organs and bones can be damaged due to the impact leading to fractures and internal bleeding. These injuries are diagnosed with x-rays and MRIs and require varying degrees of treatment.
PTSD—Psychological illness is quite common after a disturbing event like a car accident. Victims of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) require therapy and medication in order to cope with the symptoms of anxiety, flashbacks, and depression.
Steps to Take after a Car Accident
In order to form a strong case against a negligent driver, these important steps should be taken after a car accident.
Take photos – Photographic evidence of both the damage to your car and the injuries caused by the crash will serve as crucial corroboration of your claim. Cases with visuals backing up the narrative are much stronger than those without.
Obtain a police report – A police report will serve as a narrative of the incident and discuss the cause of the accident. This report will support your claim against the negligent driver if it indicates that the officers involved determined the other driver was at fault.
Record recollections – Take names, contact information, and statements from eye-witnesses to the accident. Record your own recollection of the event as soon as possible so the details are fresh and clear in your mind.
Medical evaluation – Call an ambulance after an accident in order to summon medical professionals as quickly as possible. Submitting to a medical evaluation after a crash is a crucial step of building your case because the documents provided by doctors will confirm that your injuries were indeed caused by the accident.
Documentation of pain and suffering – In addition to the details of your injuries, you should also write down all the pain and suffering caused by the accident. Record all lost wages, psychological and physical difficulties, and any other problems the accident has caused.
Consult with a personal injury lawyer – In order to increase your ability to receive compensation for car accident injuries, you should hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. Having someone represent your case will make the process of seeking justice much easier and less stressful.
Tips for Preventing Car Accident Injuries
Since accidents are so prevalent and sometimes difficult to avoid, it’s crucial that drivers and passengers both try to lessen their risk of sustaining injuries. If you did not take proper safety precautions at the time of the accident, it may be more difficult to get compensation for car accident injuries you’ve suffered.
An obvious precaution to take while driving is to wear a seat belt. You’ve likely seen signs on the road urging you to “click it or ticket.” Not only will using a seat belt decrease the chances of sustaining an injury in an accident, but it is also Pennsylvania law – and for good reason. When you are involved in a crash and are unrestrained by a seat belt, it’s nearly impossible to prevent yourself from shifting forward with immense force. This could lead to broken bones, concussions, or even being thrown from the vehicle.
Sitting in a vehicle with both feet on the ground and good posture helps you avoid getting hurt. Putting your feet on the dashboard may seem harmless, but you risk the airbag breaking your legs and feet and causing other severe injuries in the event of a crash. You should also uncross your legs and keep your entire body inside the vehicle rather than hanging out the window.
No matter how great your driving record is, you cannot trust that other drivers are as careful as you. Defensive driving techniques include keeping ample distance between you and the car ahead, staying alert and aware of other cars’ actions, and keeping distractions like loud music and entertainment out of the car.
You should avoid driving in inclement weather at all costs. Choosing to drive in poor conditions puts yourself, your passengers, and other drivers at risk. If you’re caught in bad weather, pull over and wait for it to subside before continuing to travel.
Getting Compensation for Car Accident Injuries with the Help of a Trusted Personal Injury Lawyer
It’s very important to seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer in order to get compensation for car accident injuries you or a loved one has sustained. Donaghue & Labrum has been proudly serving Delaware and Chester counties for over 25 years years and we are committed to helping our clients get the largest compensation possible. We are highly experienced in the practice of car accident lawsuits and injury claims, so please contact us today for a free consultation!