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Philadelphia Car Accident Injuries that May Require Physical Therapy

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If you’ve been hurt in a Philadelphia car accident, it’s highly likely that your doctor will prescribe physical therapy to help rebuild muscle tone, ease pain, improve range of motion, and more.  Many times car accident physical therapy can increase the amount of your overall compensation to ensure you can go “back to normal” after you’re injured.

Types of Car Accident Injuries that Might Require Physical Therapy


philadelphia car accident physical therapy lawyer whiplashWhiplash is one of the most reported injuries after a car accident. It occurs when the head is thrown quickly and forcefully forward and back, or back, then forward. Whiplash can injure bones in the neck, head, and spine – and cause muscle, tendon, and ligament damage. It can range in severity from mild to severe and must be diagnosed and treated by a doctor and your physical therapist to ensure your case qualifies for the maximum compensation possible.

Broken Bones 

Car accidents are traumatic, and broken ankles, arms, legs and other bones are common. Once you’ve started the healing process, a Philadelphia physical therapist can help the area around your broken bone regain range of motion, muscle tone, and flexibility. These costs should be considered and figured into your compensation. Not all physical therapy is part of a short treatment plan, sometimes it can continue for months or years after injury.

Sprains and Strains

Sprained joints and strained muscles are common. Many times just tensing your arms or shoulders upon impact in a car accident can cause damage to the tissue. A good physical therapist can help you work out the aches, pains, and soreness that accompany strains and sprains after a car accident.


Dislocating a joint is painful, and sometimes easily fixed during your post-car accident emergency/doctors office visit. Long-term effects from dislocated shoulders, fingers, jaws, and other joints may require the help of a physical therapist to ensure the supporting muscles, ligaments and tendons go back to pre-injury form and function to hold that dislocated joint in place.

Deep Bruising and Stiffness

Being bruised deep in your muscle tissue can be painful and take a long time to heal. Muscles and joints that surround the bruise can stiffen and tighten as you favor that area and sometimes your physician may prescribe physical therapy to get everything back in working order again. 

Back Injuries

Back injuries can have long-term, even life-long effects after a car accident. Depending upon the severity and the type of injury – physical therapy is likely necessary to help you return to full function. If you require surgery or immobilization as part of your treatment for the back injury after a Philadelphia car accident, physical therapy is more than likely a part of your recovery plan. Ensuring your compensation includes that extended cost is imperative.

Symptoms of Car Accident Injuries that could require Physical Therapy in Philadelphia

We recommend everyone involved in a car accident see a doctor or be transported to the emergency room immediately afterward. Even if adrenaline has masked an injury, you could be hurt badly and not know it.  Less severe injuries must also be treated.  Diagnosis, treatment, and doctor’s records are an integral part of creating a case around your car accident. Without a record of diagnosis and treatment, it’s extremely difficult to get an insurance company to pay for treatment.

These are just a few symptoms that must be treated by your physician, and could very likely require physical therapy after your car accident:

-Back Pain
-Stiff Shoulder, Elbow, Knee, Hip or Wrist Joints
-Neck Pain
-Knee Pain

Again, every injury should be treated by a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-licensed professional post-accident – these are just a few that you might suffer from, that can also benefit from car accident physical therapy.

How Physical Therapy is Paid For out of Insurance Policies in Philadelphia area car accidents

In Pennsylvania, you can recover any unpaid medical expenses such as physical therapy if these bills are not paid by your auto insurance or private health insurance, including any out-of-pocket deductibles. 

All car insurance policies in Pennsylvania must provide at least $5,000 of coverage for medical bills, known as first-party coverage (referred to as personal injury protection or “PIP” coverage). Most serious car accidents result in traumatic injuries and involve more than $5,000 in medical bills. If you “exhaust” the $5,000 of PIP coverage, then your own private health insurance (e.g., Blue Cross) would pay the bills less any deductibles. If the injured victim does not have private health insurance, then these unpaid medical bills become part of your lawsuit or claim.  

Most residents of Pennsylvania select the state minimum- $5,000 of PIP benefits. Pennsylvania is considered a “no-fault” auto insurance state because your own auto insurance pays the first $5,000 (or $10,000 if you chose a higher amount) of medical bills no matter who is at fault for the accident. 

Past Philadelphia Car Accident Payout that Included Physical Therapy Allowances

In the case of Wilkinson-Lyle v. Tuley from 2006, the plaintiff was t-boned by the defendant at the intersection of Tyson Avenue and Gillespie Street in Philadelphia. She suffered pinched nerves in her lumbar column causing radiculopathy that radiated pain down her entire left side and into her foot.  At the time of the accident, she was active and strong for her age, after the accident she was forced to sell her multi-story home and move into a 1-level apartment. Her doctor also recommended she attend physical therapy for a minimum of 4-months to relieve pain and undergo a series of epidural injections.  She also will take pain medication long-term.

Tuley was found to be responsible for the accident and Wilkinson-Lyle was awarded $200,000 in past & future medical costs and pain and suffering. See other examples of top PA car accident settlements

What our Car Accident Physical Therapy Clients in Philadelphia have to say on Google

Nicole was my lawyer and I absolutely adore her! She helped me get through physical therapy after my back and shoulder injury. She always responded in a timely manner and was very informative throughout the process. I am more than pleased with my settlement and I 100% recommend Pearce Law Firm for Personal Injury and Accident Claims.

Briana R. May 2021

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