A severe car accident can result in serious or potentially fatal organ damage. If you or someone you love suffered organ damage in an accident caused by another person's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
Types of Car Accident Organ Damage
In a car accident, organ damage can be caused by the force of impact between vehicles, airbag deployment, or an incorrectly positioned seat belt. Organ damage after a car accident can take many different forms, including:
- Kidney damage. Damage to the kidneys can result from a car accident that causes trauma to the flank or lower back. Kidney damage can be severe enough to require dialysis or a transplant. Fatal internal bleeding may also result.
- Liver damage. Liver damage is one of the most common types of car accident-related organ damage, especially in a front impact collision. Internal bleeding is a major concern with any type of liver damage. In some cases, liver damage may require a transplant.
- Lung damage. Broken ribs or foreign objects hitting the chest area can result in a punctured lung that can collapse and cause air to flood the chest cavity. This is called pneumothorax and is generally treated by inserting a flexible tube or needle between the ribs to remove the excess air and allow the victim to breath properly.
- Spleen damage. The spleen helps the body fight infection and kill unwanted bacteria. When a car accident impacts the abdominal area, the spleen could be punctured or rupture. This floods the abdominal cavity with blood, creating a potentially fatal complication. In some cases, the spleen may need to be removed altogether.
- Brain damage. A head wound can create bleeding in the brain, which results in excess pressure and a loss of oxygen. This can cause permanent cognitive damage or death.
- Bowel damage. While unlikely to be fatal, injury to the bowels can create obstruction, abscesses, or fistula formation as well as infection.
- Pancreas damage. Injuries to the pancreas are relatively rare in an auto accident, but a buildup of fluid surrounding this organ can increase the risk of infection.
Signs of Organ Damage
Symptoms that could indicate organ damage include:
- Severe bruising
- Shortness of breath
- Vomiting blood
- Blood in urine or stool
- Low blood pressure
However, the signs of an internal injury aren't always immediately apparent after an accident. For this reason, it's important to be evaluated by a medical professional after a car accident. Even if you feel fine at first, your doctor may notice abnormalities that could indicate a problem.
Seeking Personal Injury Compensation
To alleviate some of the financial burden caused by your injuries, you can file a personal injury claim against the driver or drivers responsible for your accident. Your claim can include:
- Medical expenses, including emergency care, follow-up visits, and anticipated future medical costs
- Loss of wages, as well as any applicable loss of future earning potential
- Pain and suffering, including the physical pain and emotional trauma related to the accident
Seeking Wrongful Death Compensation
In cases where organ damage results in a fatality, the surviving spouse, parent, or adult child can file a wrongful death claim. This is a type of personal injury case that includes compensation for:
- Medical costs up to the time of death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost earnings
- Loss of consortium, or the chance to have a relationship with the deceased
Protecting Your Legal Rights
Hiring an attorney to advocate for your interests can help ensure that your case proceeds in a timely fashion. Your attorney can negotiate with the other driver's insurance company, line up documentation of your expenses, and locate expert witnesses to address any liability issues relevant to your case.
Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's experienced attorneys are committed to assisting Louisiana residents who've been injured due to the negligence of others. Contact us onlline or call us directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free initial consultation at one of our six convenient office locations.