What Organs Are Damaged in a Car Accident?

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Car accidents can lead to serious injuries, including organ damage. In 2020, there were 4.8 million medically-consulted injuries in the United States. While any organ can get injured in a car accident, some are more vulnerable to damage than others. Most car accident injuries can become apparent immediately after the accident allowing the victim to get proper treatment; however, internal injuries are more difficult to identify. Leaving them untreated can have life-threatening consequences. If you suffered internal organ damage in a car accident, you should contact a car accident lawyer to seek compensation for your injuries. You can continue reading to learn more. 

Most Commonly Damaged Organs in Car Accidents

Penetrating injuries are one of the leading causes of organ damage in car accidents. In this type of physical trauma, an object penetrates the skin, damaging the organs. However, this is not the only type of physical trauma that leads to internal injuries. Here is more detail on the most commonly damaged organs in car accidents. 

Brain

Rapid decelerations are common in car accidents, and even if the head does not hit an object or suffers a violent blow, the brain is still subject to rapid movement. It may come in contact with the skull, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. If the head hits a part of the vehicle or an object, it could lead to brain hemorrhage (brain bleeding), which is a leading cause of disability and death in car accidents. 

Kidneys

When the mid to lower back suffers trauma or excessive stress in an accident, the kidneys can also suffer damage. In some car accidents, kidneys can experience severe damage, leading to dialysis or a kidney transplant. Injuries to the kidneys can have latent symptoms such as recurring kidney infections, unstable blood pressure, and urine leakage. 

Heart

The heart can also suffer damage due to physical trauma. The compression of the heart can occur as a result of hemopericardium which is bleeding in the pericardial sac. The heart can also suffer a stress-related injury due to a car accident. For example, the stress experienced during the accident could lead to a heart attack

Spleen 

When the abdomen experiences physical trauma, the spleen is one of the common organs to suffer injuries. Any damage to the speel can lead to internal bleeding. Depending on the damage, the spleen injury may require surgery. 

Liver 

The body’s midsection can come into contact with airbags, the seatbelt, or the steering wheel leading to liver damage. Typically liver injuries such as bruises are minor and can be treated with non-invasive procedures. However, if the damage is severe, it may require invasive treatment.

Lungs

The lungs can be punctured by broken ribs or foreign objects penetrating the chest. Symptoms of punctured lungs may not manifest immediately, but the condition can rapidly worsen if not treated, causing the airflow to reach the abdominal cavity. 

Treatment for Organ Damage 

Internal bleeding is a common result of organ damage, and it requires immediate treatment, as excessive bleeding can affect the functioning of other organs. It can also lead to extremely low blood pressure, which can be life-threatening. When a person suffers organ damage due to extreme physical trauma, such as a car accident, imaging tests are required to determine the extent of the damage. It is common for doctors to provide the patient with blood transfusions and intravenous fluids rich in electrolytes to prevent a critical drop in blood pressure. In some cases, internal bleeding resulting from physical trauma can stop on its own. 

In cases where internal bleeding is significant, immediate surgery may be required. The type of surgery depends on the damaged organ and the location of the bleeding. For example, suppose the bleeding results from a traumatic brain injury. In that case, surgeons may perform a craniotomy to stop the bleeding and prevent the brain from sustaining further injuries due to the bleeding. Other types of surgery that may be needed to treat organ damage include: 

  • Fasciotomy: Cutting up the fascia to reduce pressure and improve circulation resulting from internal bleeding. 
  • Thoracotomy: Adding a cut between the ribs to visualize the source of bleeding, generally around the lungs or heart, and stop it. 
  • Laparotomy: Open surgery of the abdomen to seal any open blood vessels.  

Organ Damage Symptoms May Take Time to Become Evident 

Internal organ damage resulting from penetrating injuries would be apparent immediately. However, organs damaged due to rapid deceleration or non-penetrating injuries can be more challenging to identify and have delayed symptoms. As such, organ damage is often not diagnosed until the victim feels symptoms or a medical professional is able to identify the injury through medical tests. The following are the most symptoms of organ damage in a car accident: 

  • Disorientation 
  • Confusion 
  • Feeling of light-headedness or fainting
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Increased thirst 
  • Accelerated breathing 
  • Bruising 

You should visit the hospital immediately if you experience any of these symptoms so a doctor can thoroughly examine your condition and offer expert advice on treatment. 

Seek Compensation for Organ Damage

A car accident victim who sustains internal injuries in the accident can be entitled to compensation for the financial costs as a result of the accident. The economic costs can include medical bills, loss of income, in-home care, vehicle or house accommodations, and additional out-of-pocket expenses. They can also seek compensation for their emotional distress from internal injuries. 

To obtain compensation, the victim must present substantial proof of their injuries. This includes receipts, medical reports, prescriptions, and other supporting documents. They should also have proof of loss of income and emotional trauma they suffered due to the accident. Gathering evidence can be difficult following such severe injuries, which is why you should seek the help of a car accident attorney. 

Your attorney will review your case, gather expert witness testimonies, and handle the paperwork for your case. They will also handle negotiations with the insurance company to help you get full compensation for your damages. If the negotiations are unsuccessful, your attorney can take your case to trial. Click injuryclinicmiami.com to learn more.

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