Experiencing a personal injury can affect you on different levels. Even a minor accident or incident can have lasting financial, physical, and emotional effects. You might have to take time off work to deal with the accident or pay out-of-pocket costs for medical coverage. These factors are why so many people pursue damages when an accident occurs.
In Lancaster, PA, some accidents and incidents are more common than others. Here are the five most common personal injuries in Lancaster to be aware of.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Several types of accidents and injuries fall under the motor vehicle accident umbrella, including car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents. Depending on the situation, bicycle accidents and pedestrian accidents could also fall into this category.
There are approximately 13 motor vehicle accidents in Lancaster County each day, making up 4.6% of accidents statewide. Of the 4,794 accidents that took place in 2020, 43 were fatal. Over 2,000 of these accidents resulted in serious injuries.
Motorcycle accidents are also a huge concern in Lancaster County. According to the NHTSA, individuals in a motorcycle accident are 27 times more likely to die than someone in a car accident. Of the 3,500 accidents in Pennsylvania in 2020, 217 were fatal (6.2%).
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, large commercial trucks were involved in 6,906 motor vehicle accidents in 2020, resulting in 2,500 injuries and 110 fatalities.
The key takeaway of these disturbing numbers is that a motor vehicle accident can happen to anyone. What’s more, insurance agencies often try to blame an accident victim to minimize the coverage payout for repair and medical costs— that’s why it’s so important to consult with an attorney before accepting a settlement.
Motor vehicle accidents can have lasting psychological and physical impacts. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
The average cost of medical treatment following an MVA ranges from $3,500-57,000. If you experience a vehicular accident, first try to document the scene. If you wish to reach out to an attorney in Lancaster, PA, read more to get familiar with your rights.
Many people are surprised to discover that animal bites are a leading cause of personal injury in Lancaster, with dog bites being the most common. Dog bite cases in Pennsylvania range around 700-800 incidents per year or about two per day. Approximately 1.8% of dog bites are severe and require medical attention.
Animal bites can result in broken bones, scarring and disfigurement, nerve damage, soft tissue damage, and PTSD. These issues lead to extended medical costs, loss of income, and mental anguish.
When looking for compensation, the key thing to remember is proof of owner negligence and whether you provoked the dog somehow. For example, if the dog was on a leash and you were told not to pat it but decided to, your case will be difficult to prove.
Conversely, if the owner didn’t keep the dog restrained or the animal has a history of aggressive behavior, your case will be easier to prove. Pennsylvania also has shared-fault legislation, which could get you partial compensation if you contributed to the attack somehow.
There are many nuances when navigating an animal attack case. Document your injuries and consult with an attorney.
Product Liability Accidents
Product liability accidents occur when a product is defective in some way and either directly or indirectly causes injury. For example, if your phone charger shorts out, causing electrocution, this would be an example of direct harm. Conversely, if a safety product like a seatbelt or helmet broke instead of protecting you, the indirect injury would still fall under this category.
Many different occurrences fall under product liability accidents. This type of accident could be related to finding glass in your pasta sauce or discovering a choking hazard on your child’s toy. If your personal care products or cleaning products are discovered to have cancerous components, this could also fall under product liability.
Studies from various regulatory bodies indicate that dangerous products are responsible for 40 million injuries and over 46,000 deaths each year in America. These injuries and fatalities are caused by everything from late vehicle recalls to unexpected prescription side effects.
It’s also important to note that not all product-related injuries are clear defects or failures. If a company fails to inform you of risks, such as drug interactions, this could also be a product liability case. Talking to an attorney will help you determine how to pursue a case and how much it’s worth.
Slip and Fall or Premises Liability Accidents
While slip and fall accidents sound innocuous, don’t let the name fool you. These accidents are one of the leading causes of death for senior citizens in the US. During the pandemic, when many seniors were isolated without assistance, slip and fall deaths in Pennsylvania increased by 9% to 76.3 fatal falls per 100,000 people.
Slip and fall injuries are also a leading cause of workplace accidents, causing 880 workplace fatalities in 2019. Sadly, this type of accident is notoriously difficult to pursue as proving negligence is a challenge.
While considered a separate type of case, premises liability accidents often go hand-in-hand with slip and falls. For example, someone might trip over a loose brick in the walkway that the owner should have secured months ago. Conversely, if someone failed to fix their roof and a piece of board fell on a visitor, that would fall under premises liability.
Medical malpractice is also prevalent in Lancaster County. Fortunately, Pennsylvania is one of the top states for malpractice payouts. It’s important to understand that malpractice can happen even with an experienced, trusted doctor. Everyone makes mistakes. However, when those mistakes risk your health and longevity, they should be covered.
Malpractice incidents include everything from hospital-acquired infection to delayed diagnosis to hospital negligence. Depending on the situation, you might also be eligible for punitive damages.
Considering all the curveballs life might throw at you is scary. However, knowing and being aware of your options, should an accident occur, can help you reclaim your life.