Car crash internal injuries can require extensive recovery time and could be life-threatening. In the aftermath of a car accident, it’s crucial you seek the help you need, and also that you are aware of your rights in receiving compensation for any injuries on account of negligence.
If You Have Sustained Serious Injuries in a Car Accident
You should seek treatment immediately and report the incident to authorities. Afterwards, you should contact your lawyer and discuss the details of your car accident claim.
Types of Internal Injuries Caused by Car Accident
Car accident internal injuries can range in levels of severity, some of which can be severe and life-threatening. Internal injuries are simply injuries that happen beneath the layers of skin, like bleeding from an internal blood vessel, that can typically be identifiable by a large red spot beneath the skin. Common internal injuries sustained in various car accident scenarios would include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): A blow to the head or a violent jolt can cause traumatic brain injuries, ranging from concussions and other head injuries to severe brain damage.
- Internal bleeding (or, hemorrhaging): Impact or blunt force trauma can cause internal bleeding, which can occur in organs, tissues, or body cavities. Examples include abdominal bleeding, retroperitoneal bleeding, and intracranial bleeding.
- Organ damage: Blunt force trauma can cause damage to internal organs, such as the liver, spleen, kidneys, or lungs. Organ damage can lead to internal bleeding or impaired organ function.
- Spinal cord injuries: Severe car accidents can cause damage to the spinal cord, leading to partial or complete paralysis, loss of sensation, or impaired motor function.
- Fractured ribs: Broken ribs can cause internal injuries, including damage to the lungs, heart, or other organs in the chest cavity.
- Pneumothorax: A punctured lung, caused by broken ribs or other chest injuries, can result in air leaking into the chest cavity, leading to lung collapse.
- Hemothorax: This condition occurs when blood accumulates in the pleural cavity (the space between the lung and chest wall) due to chest trauma.
- Cardiac injuries: Severe trauma can cause injuries to the heart, leading to conditions such as myocardial contusion (bruising of the heart muscle) or damage to the heart valves.
- Kidney injuries: Blunt force trauma to the abdomen can injure the kidneys, leading to complications such as internal bleeding or impaired kidney function.
- Bowels and intestine injuries: Trauma can cause perforations or tears in the bowels or intestines, leading to peritonitis (inflammation of the abdominal lining) and other complications.
- Diaphragm injuries: The diaphragm, a muscle separating the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity, can be ruptured due to trauma, leading to breathing difficulties and other complications.
- Pelvic and leg injuries: Fractures or dislocations in the pelvic region can cause internal bleeding and damage to nearby organs. Broken bones in the leg could also cause serious blood vessel and artery issues.
It’s important to note that the symptoms of internal injuries may not always be immediately apparent after a car accident. Therefore, individuals involved in a significant accident should seek medical evaluation even if they do not immediately feel severe pain, as internal injuries can worsen rapidly without proper treatment.
If someone is killed in a car accident, the legal system will have the at-fault party tried, and will seek charges of vehicular manslaughter and gross negligence. Generally, fatal accidents see insurance coverages off a maximum payout benefit. Of course, the cost of a human life is incalculable, but you as the victim and griefer may seek out the maximum compensation allowable, and file a wrongful death lawsuit.
What are the Signs of Internal Injury after a Car Accident
If you experience any of the following after an accident, it is highly advised that you reach out or consult with a medical professional:
- Abdominal pain: Persistent or worsening pain in the abdomen, which may be accompanied by tenderness, swelling, or bruising.
- Bleeding: Internal bleeding may not be visible externally. Look for signs of shock, such as pale skin, rapid breathing, or weak pulse. Coughing up or vomiting blood can also indicate internal bleeding.
- Deep bruising: Large, deep bruises on the abdomen, chest, or back can be a sign of internal bleeding.
- Dizziness or fainting: Feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or fainting could indicate internal bleeding and a drop in blood pressure.
- Nausea and vomiting: Persistent nausea or vomiting, especially if blood is present, may indicate internal injuries.
- Difficulty breathing: Shortness of breath, rapid breathing, or shallow breathing could be a sign of internal chest injuries, such as a punctured lung.
- Changes in skin color: Pale or bluish skin, particularly around the lips or fingertips, can be a sign of inadequate oxygen supply due to internal bleeding or other injuries.
- Rigid abdomen: A hard, rigid abdomen, which is tender to the touch, can indicate internal organ damage.
- Confusion or restlessness: Changes in mental state, confusion, restlessness, or agitation can occur due to lack of oxygen or shock resulting from internal injuries.
- Blood in urine: Blood in urine (hematuria) or black, tarry stools (melena) can be signs of internal bleeding.
- Swelling and pain: Swelling or pain in the neck, chest, or abdomen, especially if it worsens over time, may indicate internal injuries.
- Fractured ribs: Broken ribs can puncture internal organs, leading to internal injuries. Severe pain when breathing or moving may indicate rib fractures.
Internal injury treatment can be quite extensive and require hospital time. Some may be treated with physical therapy and antibiotics, however others may include needing IV fluids, respiratory support (like ventilators), donations/transfusions, or surgery.
Steps to Take Following a Car Accident
As mentioned above, safety is number one, so you should contact emergency vehicles as soon as you can seek medical treatment.
If you are healthy enough, file an accident report with the authorities and talk with them at the scene. It is also heavily advisable to exchange contact information as well as insurance coverage information with the other driver/drivers involved. Take photos of the accident scene if you are able (if it goes to trial, visuals are a massive help when presenting to a jury). Contact your own insurance and make them aware of your accident.
Finally, you’ll want to meet with a personal injury lawyer and see if you can be reimbursed for the expenses the accident caused.
Compensation for Internal Injuries Sustained in Auto Accidents
Settlements for cases involving internal injuries from a car accident can be favorable for the plaintiff. Your lawyer will ensure your compensation covers time spent away from work, hospital bills, therapy bills, and non-economic damages like mental health.
An elderly New York plaintiff back in 2017 had been struck by a vehicle at 30 mph and suffered broken ribs, the result of which led to internal bleeding. There was no dispute of liability – meaning the at-fault party admitted guilt – and the case was settled with a $250,000 settlement.
Contact Our Car Accident Attorney Today
Our lawyers are ready to defend you and fight for your case. You can consult with us and ask us any questions, such as lawyer fees, timelines, and any legal questions that may cross your mind when filing a lawsuit. We’ll make sure you can reach a favorable settlement and expeditious results. If you’re looking for a car accident lawyer in Philadelphia, call us and book an appointment today.