Neck Injuries From Car Accidents: Understanding the Costs and Your Legal Rights in Pennsylvania
Neck injuries are extremely common in car accidents. Our necks are fragile, and they are one of the few areas of the body that are not well-protected in modern vehicles. While airbags can help mitigate the risk of neck injuries in some cases, the forces involved in a collision—even when a vehicle’s airbags properly deploy—are more than enough to cause significant internal trauma.
If you are dealing with a serious neck injury after a car accident, it is important to make sure you understand the costs you are facing. It is also important to make sure you understand your rights under Pennsylvania law. While serious neck injuries can lead to both financial and non-financial costs, many car accident victims are entitled to recover these costs due to driver negligence, airbag defects and other issues.
Understanding the Costs of a Serious Neck Injury After a Car Accident
From whiplash and muscle strains to slipped discs and impinged nerves, car accidents can leave victims facing various types of neck injuries. While some neck injuries will be more serious than others, all neck injuries can lead to significant out-of-pocket costs, pain and other complications. Typical costs associated with traumatic neck injuries include:
Medical Bills and Other Out-Of-Pocket Costs
Neck injuries require a prompt diagnosis. Neck pain after a car accident can be symptomatic of several different types of injuries, and identifying your specific injury (or injuries) is essential for obtaining appropriate treatment.
But, regardless of your specific diagnosis, your medical bills can start to add up quickly. You may also need to pay for prescriptions, medical supplies and assistive devices. Physical therapy and rehabilitation can add to the costs of recovering from a serious neck injury, and you may need to pay for cleaning, landscaping, childcare and various other services while you recuperate as well.
Loss of Income, Benefits and Future Earning Capacity
If you are unable to work while recovering from your neck injury, your loss of income and benefits will add to the financial costs you incur. If your doctor recommends taking off work for an extended period of time or only working in a limited capacity, this will add to your costs as well. Ultimately, you need to do what is best for your health, and if this means not working, you should rest as your doctor prescribes.
Pain and Suffering
Neck injuries can be extremely painful. Many car accident victims who suffer neck injuries live with constant pain, and their pain is exacerbated by even the smallest movements. Neck trauma can also cause migraines, back pain, shoulder pain, and pain in other areas of the body, and this can make it difficult (if not impossible) to live comfortably. While your pain and suffering may not directly impact your bank account, these are also very real costs that you need to take into account when making decisions about asserting your legal rights.
Other Types of Non-Financial Losses
Along with pain and suffering, serious neck injuries can also lead to other types of non-financial losses. For example, many car accident victims who are coping with neck injuries find it difficult to enjoy life. They can’t follow their passions or go out with friends, and they are limited in how they can spend time with their spouses, children, and other loved ones. This can have serious effects; and, as we discuss below, it is a type of loss for which car accident victims can—and should—seek just compensation under Pennsylvania law.
Understanding Your Legal Rights After a Car Accident in Pennsylvania
Like all types of serious injuries, drivers and passengers can seek just compensation for neck injuries suffered in car accidents in many cases. Pennsylvania law provides car accident victims with clear legal rights, including the right to seek just compensation for their financial and non-financial losses.
Filing a claim after a car accident requires two forms of evidence: (i) evidence of liability and (ii) evidence of damages. Evidence of liability proves that you are entitled to just compensation, while evidence of damages proves how much you are entitled to recover.
While driver negligence is the leading cause of car accidents, it is important not to assume that you have a claim under the other driver’s insurance policy. There are other possibilities as well—and if you file the wrong claim, you won’t receive the financial compensation you deserve. Examples of potential liability claims in car accident cases involving serious neck injuries include:
- A claim against a negligent driver (i.e., a driver who was speeding, reckless, drowsy or distracted behind the wheel)
- A claim against a negligent driver’s employer or rideshare company (i.e., if the driver who hit you was working at the time of the collision)
- A claim against a seat belt or airbag manufacturer (i.e., if a seat belt or airbag defect is to blame for your neck injury)
- A claim against a road construction contractor, government agency, or other third party (i.e., if a road defect or other non-driver-related factor contributed to causing your neck injury)
When it comes to proving the costs of your neck injury, your medical records and employment records are two key pieces of evidence. But, proving the long-term costs of a serious neck injury requires much more. When you hire an experienced car accident lawyer to represent you, your lawyer will work with you, your doctors and other experts as necessary to clearly document the total costs you are entitled to recover.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer Today
Did you suffer a serious neck injury in a car accident in Pennsylvania? If so, we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our lawyers have decades of combined experience helping car accident victims recover the financial compensation they deserve. To get started with a free consultation, call 888-777-7098 or get in touch online today.