One of the many reasons you should go to the emergency room after a car accident is because you might have internal injuries. Sometimes these injuries take a few hours to cause severe symptoms, which is why minor symptoms like pain and nausea should not be ignored. Waiting to seek treatment could increase your risk of serious or life-threatening complications.
Below, we discuss how internal injuries from car accidents happen and what symptoms to look out for. If you suffered an internal injury or another type of serious injury in an Ohio car crash, our Cleveland car crash lawyers are ready to help. We have obtained millions for crash victims and there are no upfront costs with our services.
Call today to learn more about our services: 216-621-0070.
Why Internal Injuries Can be so Dangerous
An internal injury from a car accident can quickly become much more serious, particularly if it is not treated right away. Complications from these injuries could even put you in critical condition and threaten your life. Your internal organs are all critical to the proper functioning of your body. Impairment of just one of these organs should never be taken lightly.
Sometimes an internal injury is obvious, such as if your abdomen was punctured by a foreign object, or you are coughing up blood. Severe bruising of your abdomen is another symptom that many people would take seriously enough to seek medical treatment.
There are other times when an internal injury might not be so obvious. You may feel a little pain but think you can manage it. However, adrenalin could be masking the severity of the injury. This could lead to a delay in treatment, allowing the damage to worsen, potentially causing irreversible damage.
What Causes Internal Injuries to Occur in Auto Accidents?
There are a few main ways an internal injury could occur in a car accident:
- Blunt force trauma
- Penetrating wounds
- Trauma from deceleration
- Seat belt syndrome
Blunt Force Trauma
An internal injury in a car crash or another type of accident is often the result of blunt trauma to your abdomen. Blunt trauma could cause blood vessels to burst or compress internal organs.
Blunt trauma could also occur if you suffer a penetrating injury. For example, you could suffer a puncture wound or laceration from a shard of glass or a piece of metal or debris created by the collision.
Trauma From Deceleration
One of the main reasons a car crash injures vehicle occupants is because they suddenly stop. This sudden stop is jarring to your internal organs, spinal cord, muscles, bones and soft tissues. The trauma can be so severe that organs could rip open or suffer other types of damage.
Seat Belt Syndrome
When your seat belt tightens up around your body, it could be traumatic for your internal organs. You could develop a hernia, which is a term describing part of your intestines coming through the wall of your abdomen. You could also suffer a seat belt injury to lower abdomen.
It may surprise you to learn your seat belt can apply more than two tons of force to someone who weighs at least 160 pounds.
Common Internal Injuries Caused by Vehicle Accidents
If you suffer any of the injuries listed below, you should seek medical treatment right away. You should also consider contacting an experienced lawyer to help you seek compensation.
Car crashes could cause internal bleeding in your abdomen and other parts of your body. This could include bleeding in the:
- Brain – You could suffer bleeding in your brain even if you did not hit your head in the crash. The quick forward and backward motion are enough to cause a concussion or other traumatic brain injury that could result in bleeding in the brain.
- Gastrointestinal system – If you get hit in the stomach hard enough, the organs that make up your digestive system could become damaged and bleed.
- Muscles or joints – The blood vessels in and around your joints could suffer damage and bleed.
Your abdominal aorta could suffer damage in a car crash if your stomach gets compressed. If your abdominal aorta ruptures, it is likely fatal.
Your kidneys and liver are particularly vulnerable to damage in a car accident. Fortunately, you have two kidneys, so even if one is severely damaged, the other may take care of your body’s needs. However, damage to a kidney could cause fatal internal bleeding. Damage to the liver is also serious, and if it is not repaired right away, it could be fatal.
If your spleen ruptures, you will probably need surgery to either repair the damage or remove the organ.
This is also referred to as pneumothorax, which means air from the lung floods your chest. This injury is often the result of a rib breaking and piercing through the lung. This condition could be deadly if it is not treated quickly.
Broken ribs can be incredibly painful, as they can make breathing much more difficult. This is an injury that could occur if your chest gets hit hard during the collision.
Traumatic Brain Injury
You could suffer a concussion or another type of brain injury, even if you do not lose consciousness in the crash. If your head turns too quickly one way, you could suffer tearing of the axons in the brain, also called a diffuse axonal injury.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of an Internal Injury
These are some of the telltale signs of an internal injury:
- Pain – If your abdomen is tender to the touch, especially in the stomach, groin or chest, you may have an internal injury. Do not be fooled by mild symptoms. Your symptoms may start out mild and get much worse later.
- Shock – This could be a sign of internal bleeding, as you may be losing a lot of blood quickly. You may feel lightheaded or weak and experience a rapid heart rate. Other symptoms of shock can include feeling cold, thirsty or short of breath.
- Blood in your stool or urine – This is a sign of bleeding or organ damage, particularly in your gastrointestinal system. Your kidneys may have also suffered damage.
- Bruising on your abdomen – This could be a sign of bleeding in your abdomen. Minor bruising of your abdomen should not be ignored. However, dark purple bruising indicates bleeding into your skin and soft tissues.
- Feeling sick or vomiting – This is often caused by a significant loss of blood. Even if your vomit does not have blood in it, you may have an internal injury.
Some of the other symptoms of an internal injury include:
- Losing consciousness
- Blurry vision
- Trouble sleeping
- Struggle to remember things you used to remember
How are Internal Injuries Treated?
Treatment of internal injuries often involves invasive surgery, which carries significant risks. Other body parts could suffer damage and there is a risk of infection.
If you are treated early enough, there may be a better chance for doctors to repair the damage. However, waiting to seek treatment could make it harder to fix what is wrong. You may suffer permanent damage. This may mean you need ongoing treatment to deal with complications.
Medical treatment for an internal injury is not going to be cheap. It may be in your best interest to reach out to an experienced lawyer to help you seek full compensation. This includes compensation for medical bills and other damages you may have suffered, such as lost wages and pain and suffering.
Injured in a Car Crash? Contact Friedman, Domiano and Smith
If you were injured in a crash, you are going to need compensation for treatment of your injuries and other damages.
The problem is insurance companies often try to deny or underpay claims, especially if you file a claim on your own. If you hire an attorney, he or she can take on the insurance company on your behalf. Victims who hire attorneys often obtain more compensation than those who do not.
At Friedman, Domiano and Smith, we have been securing favorable compensation for crash victims for decades. We do not get paid unless we secure compensation.
Millions recovered. Free legal consultation. Call 216-621-0070.
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