After a car accident, most people are worried about severe cuts, burns, and other visible forms of trauma. However, internal injuries are of particular concern because they can have few visible warning signs, and the symptoms often overlap with other common car accident injuries.
Whenever you’ve been in a car accident, it’s recommended that you seek an evaluation from a skilled medical professional. Even if you believe your discomfort is minimal, you could be suffering from a serious internal injury. A complete medical exam protects your health and provides key evidence in a personal injury claim seeking compensation for accident-related expenses.
Internal bleeding following a car accident is the result of blunt force trauma. High-speed car accidents are the most likely to involve internal bleeding, but this type of injury can occur whenever a body part crashes into or collides with an object.
After a car accident, internal bleeding is normally diagnosed with a physical examination followed by an X-ray or a CT scan. Intravenous fluids, medications, blood transfusions, and/or surgery may be needed to stop the bleeding.
If internal bleeding is not treated, blood can leak from the circulatory system and starve the body of oxygen. This can result in seizures, organ failure, coma, or death.
The rib cage protects the heart and lungs. If it breaks, parts of the broken bone can damage major blood vessels or internal organs.
A doctor can diagnose broken ribs with a physical exam followed by an X-ray or MRI. These tests can also look for signs of internal bleeding or organ damage.
In most cases, broken ribs heal on their own. However, pain control is essential. Pneumonia is a common complication of broken ribs, due to the difficulty of breathing and coughing normally.
In addition to being caused by untreated internal bleeding, organ damage can be caused by airbag deployment, incorrectly positioned seat belts, or the force of impact between vehicles.
Damage to the kidney, liver, lung, spleen, bowel, or pancreas can be life-altering. For example, someone with severe damage to the kidneys may require dialysis or a transplant. Damage to the pancreas can lead to a dangerous infection if fluid is allowed to build up around the organ.
Traumatic Brain Injury
The term traumatic brain injury (TBI) is used to refer to any injury that affects the brain’s normal function. TBIs are classified as open or closed. An open TBI involves an object physically penetrating the skull and entering the brain. A closed TBI is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. A closed TBI is the type most commonly associated with car accident injuries.
Some symptoms associated with a TBI include:
- Confusion and irritability
- Mood swings
- Depression or anxiety
- Visual impairment
- Trouble with balance and coordination
- Speech problems
- Memory and attention impairments
- Sleep disturbances
Therapy can help a person with a TBI cope with specific symptoms, but there is no cure for the condition. It is common for a TBI to impact a person’s personality, relationships, and earning potential. In the most severe cases, someone with a TBI will require 24/7 care.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for Internal Injuries
If you’ve suffered internal injuries in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, filing a personal injury claim can provide you with compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering related to the accident. Louisiana has a one-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, but it’s best to act quickly to protect your right to a fair settlement. Evidence to support your claim for damages will become more difficult to locate as time passes.
Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?
If you've been hurt in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.