Internal Injuries Can be Fatal
Many of the injuries sustained by car accident victims are obvious. Someone who suffers a severely broken bone, for instance, will likely recognize that something is wrong. Similarly, a serious laceration is not only painful, but will begin bleeding immediately. Abrasions, bruising, and burns may also manifest within minutes of a crash. Other injuries, however, are more difficult to diagnose and may not have any physical signs of trauma at all. Internal injuries fall under this category. Unfortunately, internal injuries that go undiagnosed and untreated can end up being so serious that they result in the death of the victim.
Types of Trauma
There are two main types of trauma: penetrating trauma and blunt force trauma, both of which are often present in car accidents. Penetrating trauma occurs when a foreign object punctures the skin, tearing the blood vessels beneath. In some cases, the puncturing object may even come from inside the body. It is not uncommon, for instance, for a broken rib to pierce a lung, causing a loss of oxygen and eventual collapse. The other form of trauma often seen in car accidents is blunt force trauma. This occurs when a part of a victim’s body collides with another object at a high rate of speed. When this happens, the force of impact can cause damage to the blood vessels and organs. Both types of trauma can cause internal bleeding and organ damage, either of which could be fatal to accident victims.
The Risk of Internal Bleeding
One of the most serious risks of internal injuries is bleeding. This can take a number of different forms, including:
- Intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding in the brain;
- Hemothorax, or bleeding around the lungs;
- Hemopericardium, or bleeding near the heart;
- Laceration and perforation of the organs; and
- Tears in the large blood vessels, such as the aorta and superior and inferior vena cava.
Internal bleeding is so dangerous simply because it doesn’t always result in symptoms that show up on the outside of the body. This is why it’s so important for accident victims to keep an eye out for signs of internal bleeding or other internal injuries, such as:
- Abdominal pain or swelling;
- Dizziness or fainting from blood loss;
- Deep purple bruising known as ecchymosis, which can indicate bleeding in the soft tissues and skin;
- Swelling or tightness in the limbs, which could indicate the fracture of and puncturing by a bone; and
- Headaches, seizures, and unconsciousness, which are often indicative of bleeding in the brain.
Internal bleeding must be addressed immediately to avoid excessive loss of blood and eventual organ failure. Treatment may require the use of intravenous fluids, blood transfusions, and surgical repair.
Both penetrating and blunt force trauma can result in organ damage, which is characterized by:
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Weakness and fatigue;
- A loss of consciousness or drowsiness;
- Confusion or difficulty concentrating;
- Appetite loss;
- Shallow breathing;
- Fast or irregular heartbeat; and
- Fever or chills.
While any organ can be damaged as a result of car accident trauma, certain organs are particularly prone to injury, including the spleen and liver.
Schedule a Free Consultation
Innocent accident victims who sustained internal injuries can and should be compensated for their losses. For an assessment of your own claim, feel free to call the dedicated Florida car accident attorneys at Boone & Davis today.