A serious result of South Carolina car accidents is internal injuries, which can be especially deadly because there are not always outward symptoms to warn injured victims that they are in medical jeopardy. Internal injuries must be treated promptly and properly, and patients must get the ongoing care they need for their internal injuries to avoid life-threatening complications. Those responsible for causing the car accident should be held responsible for paying for all losses related to those internal injuries, but accident victims often need help from an experienced personal injury lawyer to successfully pursue a claim for damages.
If you or a loved one sustained internal injuries in a car accident in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Clinton or elsewhere in South Carolina, Joye Law Firm is here to help. Our accident attorneys have represented many clients who suffered internal injuries, as well as clients who lost a loved one due to internal injuries caused by a car wreck.
Causes of Internal Injuries in Car Crashes
Cars have significant force and momentum even when they are moving at relatively slow speeds. When vehicles strike each other or when a car hits a fixed object, the momentum of the vehicle is transferred to the bodies of the vehicle occupants. The body is often not able to safely absorb the force.
The inside of the body can be severely harmed by the tremendous force that is released in a car accident, resulting in internal bleeding, organ damage or other internal injuries.
Internal injuries can also occur as a result of the air bag deploying or as a result of being ejected from the vehicle and suffering an impact injury when hitting the ground or other objects. Pedestrians and bicyclists have virtually no protection from the force of a car accident impact. This is one reason why pedestrian accidents and motorcycle crashes often cause such serious and lasting harm.
Types of Internal Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
The damage done to the body by the force of a car crash can manifest in a number of different ways. For example, those who sustain internal injuries in a car wreck may suffer from:
- Fractured ribs – Broken ribs usually must heal on their own in a painful and time-consuming process. A broken rib could damage blood vessels or could puncture a lung, which would create a medical emergency.
- Internal bleeding – The blood vessels in the body can be damaged or severed in a car accident. A ruptured blood vessel can cause bleeding that doesn’t clot, but the formation of clots can also be dangerous, as they can prevent blood from circulating. Internal bleeding can result in confusion, weakness and disorientation. Symptoms can also include breathing problems, bruising and bloody vomit or urine. Organ failure and death may result if internal bleeding is not treated promptly.
- Brain bleeding – If either an open or a closed head wound occurs due to the crash, there may be bleeding in the brain. This can result in oxygen not getting to the parts of the brain where it needs to go, often causing permanent brain damage. Excess pressure on the brain can also have a permanent and damaging effect.
- Abdominal aorta aneurysm – If the stomach is crushed by a car wreck or is compressed when the accident occurs, the abdominal aorta can break (rupture). This almost always results in death.
Damage to the spleen – The spleen is located in the abdomen and contains disease-fighting blood cells that work to help the body fight infection and kill unwanted bacteria. A car accident can damage the spleen or even rupture it, flooding the abdominal cavity with blood. This can be fatal.
- Pneumothorax – If a lung is punctured and collapses due to car accident, air can flood the chest cavity and result in pneumothorax.
- Damage to the liver – The liver can be torn open as a result of an accident or the force of the crash can do significant damage to the liver. Internal bleeding and other problems can result if the liver is injured, and the liver must be repaired promptly to avoid potentially fatal complications.
- Kidney damage – Typically, kidney damage results from accidents where the flank or lower back is impacted. Not only may damage to the kidneys be permanent, necessitating dialysis or a transplant, but kidney damage can also lead to potentially fatal internal bleeding.
Other types of organ damage may occur as well, the symptoms and complications of which will vary depending upon which organ in the body is affected.
Treatment and Compensation for Internal Injuries
Internal injuries may not always have symptoms that show up right away. If and when you do exhibit symptoms, you may not realize right away what they signify or how bad your internal injuries are. If you do not get treatment for your internal injuries immediately, your health situation could become much worse, and you could find yourself on the brink of death.
It is essential that you get medical help immediately after a car accident so that testing and examinations can be performed to determine if any internal injuries were sustained. The treatment for car accident injuries should be paid for by the person responsible for causing the car wreck, which generally means that his or her insurance company must pick up the bill.
Those who sustain internal injuries should be fully compensated for:
- All medical costs, including those for ongoing care or adaptive devices that may be needed to cope with internal injuries or with life after sustaining permanent injuries.
- Lost wages, covering not just time off from work, but also sick time or vacation time and any future or ongoing reduction in income resulting from the car accident injuries.
- Pain and suffering compensation.
- Emotional distress damages.
If the internal injuries result in the death of a car accident victim, then his or her family members may pursue a claim for wrongful death damages. These could include not just payment of medical bills and compensation for funeral costs, but also payment for the loss of the companionship of the deceased.
Legal Help Dealing With Internal Injuries from a Car Accident
Internal injuries are some of the most serious types of car wreck injuries. At Joye Law Firm, our South Carolina injury lawyers have extensive experience representing clients who have sustained serious internal injuries in car wrecks, motorcycle accidents and pedestrian crashes.
Some Joye Law Firm attorneys have been named Super Lawyers in South Carolina and some have received an AV rating (the highest possible rating) from the distinguished Martindale-Hubbell legal directory. Find out today how we can help you. Call Joye Law Firm or complete our online form today for a free initial consultation.