Most Common Injuries in Drunk Driving Accidents

The effects of alcohol on the body can vary from person to person, including their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. However, even at blood alcohol levels within Pennsylvania’s legal limit, an individual’s use of alcohol before getting behind the wheel can negatively impact thier driving, from reduced reaction times to coordination loss.

Most drunk drivers who cause a motor vehicle accident end up criminally charged for their crime. In Pennsylvania, their victims can also file lawsuits against them and receive compensation for injuries due to the drunk driver’s negligence. That is important because it is often the innocent drunk driving accident victims who suffer the most.

Drunk driving accidents in PA are all too common and cause a wide range of injuries, many of which can be life-altering. It can also cause significant financial strain from the high cost of medical bills, lost wages, and more.

Read on to learn about some of the most common car accident injuries associated with drunk driving in Pennsylvania and what you can do to ensure that your rights as a victim are protected and that you get the compensation you deserve.


Traumatic Brain Injuries

Perhaps the most common injury associated with DUI accidents in Pennsylvania is a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries are caused by head trauma and can take many forms, from open head wounds, like skull fractures, to closed head injuries, such as a concussion.

A traumatic brain injury can affect an individual’s emotions, reasoning, memory, hearing, and vision. But even more concerning is that a severe traumatic brain injury caused by a drunk driving accident can limit a person’s ability to earn a living or even perform the most basic daily activities.  


Spinal Cord Injuries

Severe spinal cord injuries may result in partial or complete paralysis, impacting an accident victim’s ability to work or function. Less severe spine injuries, such as ruptured discs, can cause nerve damage and chronic pain.

Depending on the severity of the spinal cord injury, drunk driving accident victims can face enormous expenses and challenges that can continue to mount long after being released from the hospital. In fact, those challenges and costs can continue to increase throughout their lifetime. From ongoing medical care and expenses to the need for home or vehicle modifications and mobility devices, spinal cord injuries can be life-altering.


Organ Damage

Drunk driving victims often suffer from a wide range of internal injuries, like organ damage, which can often be life-threatening. Usually, organ damage sustained in a Pennsylvania drunk driving accident will require surgery. Some of the internal organs most commonly damaged in a drunk driving accident are a ruptured spleen, kidneys, and lungs. Internal bleeding can also play a big part in organ damage as well.


Limb Injuries

A crushed or broken limb sustained in a Pennsylvania drunk driving accident may require surgery along with physical therapy that is often long-term. Whether in the accident itself, or while being treated, in the most severe cases, the accident victim’s leg, arm, or another part of the body may be amputated.


Soft Tissue Injuries

It is not uncommon for a drunk driving wreck to result in soft tissue injury. It usually involves stretched or torn muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the back, neck, or shoulder. Such injuries can result in the accident victim having limited mobility and chronic pain. One such common injury is car accident whiplash.

With soft tissue injuries, the drunk driving accident victim could face physical pain that last more than a year and may even require surgery.



In some of the most serious drunk driving accidents, vehicles involved have been known to explode or catch fire. Victims can, therefore, suffer severe burns in a drunk driving accident. These burns can cause scarring or permanent disfigurement, psychological trauma, and infections.


What to Do if A Drunk Driver Injures You in PA

If you or someone you love was injured in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver in Pennsylvania, it is imperative that you contact a personal injury attorney to help you file a claim. A Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer can guide you through the claims process and help fight for compensation for medical costs, loss of income, or pain and suffering associated with the drunk driving accident.

In Pennsylvania, a victim can sue the drunk driver who caused their injuries and anyone else who may have been negligent. In certain instances, this could include the establishment where the drunk driver had been drinking prior to the crash or whoever sold the driver the alcohol.


Pennsylvania DUI Accident Victim Attorneys

If the negligence of a drunk driver has injured you or someone you love, contact the personal injury and drunk driving accident experts at Thistle Law. Our professional team will fight for the compensation you and your family deserve. Set up a consultation with one of our helpful Pennsylvania drunk driving accident specialists by clicking here or calling 215-525-6824.


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