The CDC estimates that more than 9,400 people go to an ER each day for treatment of injuries from an auto accident. This number fails to account for the many injured people who do not seek treatment for internal injuries following an auto accident—largely because they are unaware of the injuries. Internal injuries may not produce obvious symptoms that would cause a person to seek medical treatment. While almost three-quarters of blunt abdominal trauma injuries are the result of a motor vehicle accident, these injuries can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are often vague and non-specific.
In short, it’s not unusual for internal injuries to be discovered days after an auto accident—and by this time the injury victim may be in serious distress. If you have been involved in an auto accident or another type of accident caused by negligence, and have sustained internal injuries, you need assistance. Having an experienced Richmond internal injury lawyer from Tronfeld West and Durrett by your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your accident.
What Are the Internal Injuries That Can Happen Following an Accident?
Injuries to organs like the gallbladder, pancreas, and spleen will not produce the same outward discoloration and swelling as an injury to bones, muscles, and skin. They can, however, cause internal bleeding, shock, and peritonitis. Internal injuries can quickly develop into a more serious condition so must be carefully monitored. Seatbelts are one cause of internal injuries.
While using a seatbelt definitely helps protect you in the event of an accident, seatbelts are often worn incorrectly. The seatbelt may be worn too loosely or may be too high on the body. When worn incorrectly, the entire weight of the body is thrown against the seatbelt, potentially causing internal injuries to the individual.
At the point of impact during an auto accident, occupants in the vehicle can be slammed against the windshield, dashboard, steering wheel, or airbags. Occupants can also be hit by unsecured cargo or debris inside the vehicle. The head of the drivers or passengers can slam into a windshield or other hard surface, causing bleeding in the brain. Bleeding in the brain can prevent oxygen from reaching areas of the brain, leading to permanent brain damage when the brain is placed under excessive pressure from a subdural hematoma.
A broken rib can place pressure on the lungs causing a pneumothorax (collapsed lung) resulting in air escaping and filling the chest cavity. This type of internal injury may not cause pain, and therefore, may be overlooked during a medical exam. A high-impact crash can result in damage to internal organs including internal bleeding.
This can cause the organ to completely shut down. The liver and kidneys are the most commonly injured organs in auto accidents, but damage to any organ can cause internal bleeding—and may not be easily diagnosed. In fact, organ damage is one of the most common fatal injuries resulting from an auto accident.
Internal injuries following an accident can be severe. Speaking to a knowledgeable Richmond internal injury lawyer from Tronfeld West & Durrett can help you determine what your next steps should be following an accident caused by negligence.
What Are Some of the Most Common Symptoms of an Internal Injury Following an Accident?
When trauma to blood vessels occurs during an auto accident, the blood vessels may be unable to clot or repair themselves, causing internal bleeding. Some of the more common symptoms of internal bleeding include abdominal pain, a very pale complexion, unusual thirst, extreme fatigue, lightheadedness, or feeling unusually cold. Other internal injuries, including injuries to organs, can result in pain or tenderness in the area, nausea, dizziness, or vomiting. If you see dark purple skin this indicates bleeding into the soft tissues, which is much more serious than a typical bruise.
The body may go into shock following an accident that results in an internal injury. When you lose a significant amount of blood—even when the blood loss is internal—shock can occur. The symptoms of shock include a rapid heart rate, lightheadedness, lethargy, and weakness. Blood in the urine or stool is another symptom of an internal injury, usually to the kidneys or bowel.
What Types of Accidents Can Cause Internal Injuries?
Internal injuries are generally the result of blunt trauma—when a body part collides with something else with great force or at high speed—or from penetrating trauma when an object penetrates the body. Penetrating trauma can cause tears in blood vessels, internal organs, and muscles. Internal injuries are most likely to occur during a car accident, a commercial truck accident, a motorcycle accident, or when a pedestrian or bicyclist is struck by a vehicle. The force of a vehicle hitting an unprotected person is very likely to result in internal injuries.
Motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians have virtually no protection when hit by a vehicle. If they are hit at a high rate of speed, internal injuries are almost a given. Large commercial truck accidents also often result in internal injuries due to the size difference between an 80,000-pound loaded commercial truck and trailer and a much smaller passenger vehicle. Internal injuries can also occur during a slip and fall when an area of the body strikes a hard, unforgiving floor or concrete. Work accidents may also result in internal injuries, depending on the type of accident.
How Should You Handle Internal Injuries Following an Accident?
You should always seek medical attention following any type of accident. All too often, those involved in an accident refuse medical treatment because the adrenaline rush received during the accident can mask injury symptoms. Even if you think you are not badly injured, it is always a good idea to have a medical professional check you out. Later, once you’re home, if you have any unusual symptoms—especially unusual fatigue, dizziness, feeling cold, or blood in your urine or stool—you need to immediately seek medical attention.
Hiring a Richmond Internal Injury Lawyer Near You
If your internal injuries are the result of the negligence of another person or entity, you could benefit from speaking to a knowledgeable Richmond internal injury lawyer near you. Your attorney will ensure your rights are protected while also being able to determine the full extent of your damages and what will constitute fair compensation. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses (current and future), lost wages, lost future wages, property damage, disability, disfigurement, and pain and suffering. An experienced Richmond internal injury lawyer will know what your injuries and emotional trauma are worth—and fight zealously for you and your future.
How a Richmond Internal Injury Lawyer from Tronfeld West & Durrett Can Help
At Tronfeld West & Durrett, we work hard to ensure you are properly compensated for injuries resulting from the negligence of another. While we are highly skilled negotiators, we are always prepared to go to trial when necessary for an equitable settlement. Since 1972 the Richmond internal injury lawyers at Tronfeld West & Durrett have represented thousands of injured clients in both state and federal courts. We will ensure your claim is filed in a timely manner as we gather evidence and comprehensively assess the facts and circumstances of your accident and injuries. Contact Tronfeld West & Durrett today!