Car drivers and passengers who are involved in car crashes often die, suffer serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord damage, break their bones, endure acute nerve and spinal pain, and suffer other injuries. One set of injuries that can go undetected for hours or days is internal injuries. Often, these injuries are due to being thrown around in the car, due to the impact, and striking the dashboard, another occupant, or the sides or top of the car. Air bags can also cause internal injuries.
Types of internal injuries
The best course of action for all car collisions is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some of the internal injuries a physician will look for (either through your oral history, a physical exam, or through diagnostic tests) are:
- Rupture of the abdominal aorta. Medically called an abdominal aorta aneurysm, this injury often causes death.
- Broken ribs. In addition to taking a long time to heal and causing unbearable pain, broken ribs may also damage the lungs, kidneys, and other internal organs. Busted ribs can also damage blood vessels.
- Internal bleeding. Internal bleeding can occur in the body’s organs, tissues, and cavities. Sites include the abdomen, the head and brain, the spine, the heart, muscles, and joints. Bleeding of the eye is often common. Unlike external bleeding, which can be seen visually, internal bleeding is much harder to detect. Internal bleeding happens when artery or vein damage causes blood to escape and collect inside the patient’s anatomy. The symptoms for internal bleeding vary depending on the location of the bleeding. Loss of blood, blood clot formation, lightheadedness, pain, shortness of breath, vomiting, and blood in the urine are just some of the symptoms. Tests for internal bleeding include CT scans, ultrasound, endoscopy, colonoscopy, blood tests, and an angiography. The treatments vary depending on the location and intensity of the bleeding and other factors.
- Organ injury. Injured organs may cease to function, causing death or the need for immediate surgery. Organ damage can also cause internal bleeding.
- This is a collapsed lung and required surgery to correct. It can happen when a car crash causes air to enter the area between the chest wall and the lung.
- A ruptured spleen. The spleen is an organ under your rib cage. If the spleen ruptures, emergency surgery is required to repair it. A ruptured spleen can cause extensive internal bleeding.
Internal bruising usually accompanies any internal injury.
Early intervention is essential when you have a car accident. Our Nashville car accident lawyers work with your emergency doctors, treating physicians, and independent doctors to help you get the right treatment and a full understanding of your diagnosis and prognosis. At the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, our Gladiators in Suits are experienced trial advocates. For experienced legal help, please call us 615-246-5549 to make an appointment at our Nashville, Hendersonville, or Knoxville offices. You can also reach us by completing our contact form.