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Types of Injuries in Personal Injury Claims

Posted on 12/25/23

Personal injuries can form the basis for a lawsuit when one person is legally responsible for causing harm. The types of injuries in a personal injury case can vary and may include emotional suffering as well as physical damage.

A personal injury lawyer will consider the type and severity of your injury and how much it limits your activities, ability to earn an income, and quality of life. However, they will also look at other important factors.

The main reason for filing a personal injury lawsuit is because someone acted negligently and caused the damage. Legally, this idea is known as a breach of duty of care. It means the person was expected to take reasonable steps to avoid harm, but they failed to take these measures, and their failure resulted in your injury.

If your personal injury attorney can prove a link between the defendant’s actions and the damage you suffered, the defendant may be liable and have to pay damages.

Car accidents and workplace injuries are common reasons for filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, medical malpractice, product malfunctions, and unsafe conditions on someone’s property (slip and fall injuries) can also serve as the basis for a case.

The Connection Between Injuries and Damages

The type of injuries in Pennsylvania personal injury cases can affect the amount of damages you receive. Damages refer to the monetary award from the court to cover costs related to the injury.

Damages can include medical costs, lost wages, compensation for pain and suffering, and other costs related to lost abilities. This aspect of the case often revolves around the type and severity of the injury.

Types of Injuries in a Personal Injury Case

Here is a look at the common types of injuries in personal injury cases in Pennsylvania and how they can impact your lawsuit and your life.

Common Car and Truck Accident Injuries

The following injuries are common in auto accidents in West Chester, Pennsylvania. In these cases, you and your injury lawyer need to prove the other driver was operating their car negligently and caused the accident that led to your injuries.


Whiplash is a soft tissue injury to the neck due to the sudden back-and-forth motion of the head. It is most common in rear-end collisions.

Whiplash causes immediate neck pain and stiffness and may lead to headaches, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating.

Long-term, this injury may limit the range of motion in your neck, affecting day-to-day activities and work responsibilities. A lawyer may seek damages for acute treatment for the whiplash and for any ongoing physical therapy and compensation for lost wages or work opportunities due to the injury.

Fractures and Broken Bones

Impact during a car crash can lead to fractures and breaks in the bones, such as arms, legs, ribs, and the collarbone. Broken bones often require a month or more of immobilization in a cast followed by rehabilitation. Multiple fractures from high-speed crashes can require surgery and an even longer recovery time.

During recovery, routine tasks, including personal care and household activities, can be challenging. In most cases, the break will impact your ability to work.

Also, your lawyer should consider the long-term consequences of the break, which may include chronic pain, reduced range of motion, and other issues stemming from the break.

Head Injuries

Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can occur when the head strikes an object, like the dashboard or windshield. These injuries can have profound and lasting effects on your life. Depending on the severity, head injuries may lead to immediate symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and cognitive impairments. These require a recovery period, impacting your ability to work and perform daily activities.

Meanwhile, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can result in long-term complications, affecting memory, concentration, and overall brain function. Your loved ones may notice emotional and behavioral changes, including mood swings, heightened irritability, or depression.

For TBIs, ongoing medical care may be necessary and the impairments may affect your life, family duties, and career. The long-term effects of head injuries can harm relationships, employment opportunities, and the overall quality of life. These injuries may also lead to mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder and clinical depression.

Back and Spine Injuries

Car accidents can cause herniated discs, spinal cord injuries, and soft-tissue back injuries. Herniated disc and back muscle or nerve injuries can cause pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility directly after the accident. These injuries often require rest, physical therapy, or chiropractic treatment. Even less severe back issues can lead to chronic pain and a more limited range of motion. A lawyer should factor the potential for chronic issues into your case.

Spinal cord injuries can be more serious, leading to permanent paralysis, a loss of certain physical abilities, and ongoing complications. In the most serious cases, such as spinal cord fractures, the victim may require lifelong care.

Internal Injuries

Trauma from a car accident can lead to internal injuries, including damage to organs such as the liver, spleen, or kidneys. Internal injuries are challenging because they can be difficult to detect immediately and may cause symptoms long after the accident.

The recovery process often involves extensive medical treatments, surgeries, and rehabilitation. Internal injuries may result in lengthy hospitalization and impact your ability to work and perform family duties.

The injuries listed below are often caused by car accidents. However, the same injuries and issues can arise from slip-and-fall accidents, pedestrian-car collisions, and other situations involving traumatic impact.

Chest Injuries 

The force of impact can lead to contusions, fractures, or internal injuries, affecting the chest wall, ribs, and internal organs. These injuries often happen when you impact the dashboard, steering wheel, or airbag. In addition to broken rib bones or bruising, you may experience difficulty breathing, damage to the heart, and a collapsed lung.

It is essential to check for internal issues if you experience a chest impact during an accident to rule out internal damage.

Airbag Injuries

While airbags are designed to enhance vehicle safety, they can also cause injuries in certain circumstances. Common airbag injuries include abrasions and burns to the face, arms, and hands. Also, facial fractures, contusions, and injuries to the eyes, neck, and chest can occur due to the forceful inflation of the airbag.

Though rarely fatal, these injuries can limit mobility and affect vision and the ability to breathe and eat normally. In some cases, facial and neck injuries can lead to chronic pain if not properly treated.

Common Slip-and-Fall Injuries

Slip-and-fall injuries occurring because of dangerous conditions at a home or business property can cause broken bones and spinal injuries. Other types of physical damage are also common in these cases. They include the following injuries.

Sprains and Strains

Twisting or stretching during a fall can lead to sprained or torn muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Sprains and strains can lead to pain, swelling, and restricted mobility immediately after the accident. Sometimes, however, it may take time for pain to manifest. You may experience difficulties performing routine activities and might require time off work or reduced physical activity to facilitate recovery. Ligament tears in the knee, shoulder, or wrist may require surgery.

Even if you do not need an operation, you could need rehabilitation and physical therapy to regain strength and flexibility. In some cases, persistent symptoms may contribute to long-term limitation and pain.

Cuts and Abrasions

Sharp objects, edges, or rough surfaces can cause cuts and abrasions during a fall. Beyond the immediate pain and discomfort, these injuries may lead to complications such as infections, scarring, and prolonged healing periods.

Severe cuts may require stitches and courses of antibiotics to ward off infection. You may have to miss work or other activities during healing, which could take a long time if you have deep cuts.


Dislocated joints commonly happen in areas like the shoulders, elbows, or hips. They often occur as you twist or try to brace yourself after falling. These injuries lead to immediate pain, swelling, and loss of mobility.

The recovery process may involve acute treatment, rehabilitation, and lifestyle adjustments. In most cases, your range of motion will be limited temporarily, and you will need rehabilitation to regain strength and flexibility. In severe cases, dislocations could also involve ligament or tendon tears that require months of recovery before you resume normal physical activities.

Hip Fractures

Older individuals are particularly at risk for hip fractures in slip-and-fall accidents. These injuries deserve special mention because they can have life-altering consequences.

The hip is a weight-bearing joint, and a fracture often leads to significant pain, swelling, and immobility. Recovery from a hip fracture may involve surgery, rehabilitation, and an extended period of reduced weight-bearing activity. In older individuals, a fracture can lead to other life-threatening complications, such as blood clots or muscle atrophy.

However, regardless of your age, a broken hip can lead to a lengthy period of immobility and a difficult rehabilitation process. Work and normal activities are often out of the question for a hip fracture victim.

Common Work-Related Injuries in West Chester, Pennsylvania 

Workplace injuries in West Chester, Pennsylvania, are often covered under worker compensation laws, with treatments paid for by the employer’s worker compensation insurance. However, if there was negligence involved in the injury, you may also file a civil personal injury lawsuit. These cases often involve proving unsafe conditions in the workplace or showing that the employer did not follow federal or state safety regulations.

Respiratory Issues

Prolonged exposure to hazardous substances, poor air quality, or inadequate ventilation can lead to conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other respiratory ailments. Beyond the immediate health consequences, these issues may necessitate ongoing medical treatment, including medications, breathing therapies, and, in severe cases, a need for supplementary oxygen.

These lung conditions can significantly diminish your quality of life, affecting your ability to work, engage in physical activities, and even perform routine tasks.


Burn injuries, often caused by exposure to heat, chemicals, or flames in the workplace, can result in excruciating pain, scarring, and long-term physical limitations. Beyond the immediate trauma, burn victims may require extensive medical treatments, including surgeries, skin grafts, and rehabilitative therapies.

The psychological damage of burns can be substantial, leading to chronic anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The mental health symptoms may continue long after the physical symptoms heal.

Machine-Related Injuries

Workplace machine-related injuries can have a life-altering impact. These traumatic events can involve crush injuries, amputations, or entanglement in moving parts.

In many cases, these injuries have a lasting impact on your life, your ability to work, and everyday personal care activities.

Machine-related injuries often require extensive medical treatments, surgeries, and rehabilitation. If you experience an amputation of a limb, you will need ongoing physical therapy, mobility assistance, and a prosthetic hand, arm, or leg.

Because of the trauma associated with the type of injury, you may also suffer mental health issues, such as depression or PTSD as a result of the injuries.


Electrocution injuries often result from contact with faulty wiring, malfunctioning electrical equipment, or inadequate safety measures. Electrocution can cause burns, nerve damage, cardiac issues, and even fatalities. The impact and treatment requirements will depend on the severity of the electrical shock. In addition to burn treatment, a doctor will look for damage to the heart and nervous system. More than any other type of injury, electrocutions require a comprehensive examination.

Personal Injury Law Firm in West Chester, Pennsylvania

In personal injury cases, it is essential to have an experienced attorney working on your behalf. Defendants may question the severity of your injury and argue about their role in causing the event that led to the damage. If you are in the West Chester, Pennsylvania area, consider contacting Wilk Law.

Tyler Wilk is an experienced lawyer with an excellent track record on civil personal injury cases. He has dealt with cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, rideshare accidents, wrongful death, and more. Tyler focuses on providing personalized legal assistance and support so that you can focus on recovery and returning to your normal life while he and his team handle the legal aspects of your personal injury case.

For personalized services, compassionate support, and aggressive legal representation in West Chester, contact Wilk Law after your accident.