As a car accident attorney, I have firsthand experience with the profound consequences of car accidents, including the potential for significant internal organ damage. When two vehicles collide or a vehicle crashes into a fixed object, the tremendous force and impact involved can cause severe trauma to the internal organs of the individuals involved. The violent jolt and abrupt deceleration can result in injuries such as kidney damage, liver lacerations, collapsed lungs, brain hemorrhages, fractured ribs, and internal bleeding.
These injuries occur when the body’s organs are subjected to the intense forces exerted during the accident, leading to potential life-threatening conditions that require immediate medical attention. Recognizing the possibility of hidden internal injuries is crucial in pursuing rightful compensation and justice for car accident victims.
Internal organ damage after a car accident
Internal organ damage can occur as a result of various factors in car accidents. The weight and momentum of motor vehicles, even at low speeds, generate substantial force during collisions. When vehicles collide with each other or with fixed objects, the force is transferred to the occupants, leading to impacts with the vehicle’s structure. Unfortunately, our bodies are not designed to effectively absorb the force generated by motor vehicle accidents.
The force from these accidents can cause serious injury to internal organs, resulting in organ damage, internal bleeding, or other internal injuries. While airbag deployment can save lives, it can also contribute to internal injuries. Additionally, when passengers or drivers are ejected from the vehicle, they are at risk of sustaining internal injuries upon impact with the ground or other objects.
Motorcyclists face a higher risk of experiencing internal organ damage, as they are often thrown off their bikes and collide with the ground or other objects in accidents. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists, who have minimal protection against the force of a car accident, are particularly vulnerable to severe internal organ damage, which can lead to significant and long-lasting harm.
Types of trauma that cause internal injuries
A car accident can impact the body in many different types of ways, and each of these different types of trauma can cause different types of internal injuries.
Some of the kinds of trauma you can sustain during a car accident include.
- Blunt trauma. Blunt trauma occurs when body parts collide forcefully with another object, and can tear or crush blood vessels within the body.
- Decelerating trauma. Decelerating trauma happens when certain organs continue moving forward while the rest of the body abruptly stops, potentially affecting vital organs like the heart, lungs, and brain. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can occur without direct impact to the head but rather when the brain strikes the inside of the skull and moves within the head.
- Penetrating trauma. Penetrating trauma includes lacerations or deep puncture wounds that may divert attention from internal bleeding or organ perforation during emergency response.
While blunt and penetrating trauma typically prompt immediate medical attention due to noticeable signs, internal injuries resulting from decelerating trauma can often initially go unnoticed . Victims may not exhibit external indications of injury, and symptoms might not manifest for hours, days, weeks, or even months following the accident. However, decelerating trauma is a silent yet severe cause of internal injury.
Types of internal injuries caused by car accidents
Car accidents can result in a wide range of internal injuries, each with its own potential dangers. While you may not think you have suffered any injuries, it is important to seek medical attention after a car accident, as symptoms of internal injuries may not be noticeable at first, and delaying medical assistance may have dangerous consequences.
Different types of internal injuries caused by car accidents include:
- Kidney damage. Typically occurring when the lower back or flank is injured, kidney damage can be permanent, necessitating a kidney transplant or dialysis. In severe cases, it can lead to internal bleeding and even death.
- Liver damage. The force of a severe car accident can cause injury or tearing of the liver, resulting in significant damage and internal bleeding. Immediate surgical intervention is crucial to prevent fatal consequences.
- Lung damage. A punctured lung can collapse, causing the chest cavity to fill with air. Prompt treatment is essential to prevent potentially life-threatening complications.
- Brain bleeding. Impact to the head during a car accident can lead to brain hemorrhages, posing a serious threat to the victim’s life and well-being.
- Abdominal aorta aneurysm. The crushing of the stomach in a car accident can cause the abdominal aorta to rupture, often resulting in death.
- Fractured ribs. Beyond causing severe pain, fractured ribs can be dangerous as they may puncture the lungs or damage blood vessels, leading to medical emergencies or even death. Recovery from broken ribs is a lengthy and painful process.
- Internal bleeding. Internal bleeding is a common and potentially deadly injury in car accidents. If the source of bleeding cannot be located or if a blood vessel rupture prevents clotting, the consequences can be dire. Blood clots themselves can be dangerous, as they impede proper circulation. Timely and accurate identification and treatment are vital to avoid rapid deterioration and possible death.
These internal injuries underscore the critical need for prompt medical attention and comprehensive care following a car accident. If you have lost a loved one due to the severity of their internal injuries, we can help you to find some justice and closure through receiving restitution from the liable party.
How can a Vancouver, WA car accident attorney help me?
If you or a loved one has experienced internal organ damage as a result of a car accident in Vancouver, WA, the team at Philbrook Law Office is ready to provide assistance. Our experienced car accident lawyers have a proven track record of representing clients in Vancouver and Battle Ground who have suffered internal injuries in car accidents. We understand the complexities of such cases, including those involving the tragic loss of a loved one due to internal injuries sustained in a car accident.
Whether you are seeking compensation through an insurance claim or considering a personal injury lawsuit, our dedicated team is here to support you. Take the first step by scheduling a free initial consultation with our Vancouver, WA personal injury law firm by calling us or filling out our contact form. We handle these claims on a contingency fee basis, ensuring that you only pay if we secure a favorable outcome. We proudly serve clients in Portland and throughout Oregon as well.
Founding Attorney Matthew Philbrook attended Clark College, Washington State University, and Gonzaga University School of Law. He is a member of the Washington State and Oregon State Bar Associations and started Philbrook Law Office in 2005. He specializes in Personal Injury, DUI and Criminal Defense cases. Learn more about Mr. Philbrook.