Internal Injuries That Could Occur in a Car Accident

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Car Accidents Published on June 22, 2022

talking to doctor about abdomen painA car crash can cause a wide variety of injuries involving many body parts. While brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones and soft-tissue damage often get a lot of attention, internal injuries are also common.

One of the worst things about these injuries is victims may not experience serious symptoms right away. This could lead them to believe they are not seriously injured and delay seeking treatment. While delaying treatment could be used against you by the insurance company, delaying treatment could also have severe or even life-threatening consequences.

Below, we discuss some of the internal injuries that are often caused by car crashes and why they can be so catastrophic. If you suffered injuries in a car crash, internal or otherwise, our licensed Maryland-based vehicle accident attorneys are ready to help.

Schedule a free initial consultation. Call 410-401-9979.

Why Car Crashes May Result in Internal Injuries

The force of impact from a car crash can be incredibly strong, and the momentum from the vehicles involved can transfer to the occupants of the vehicles. Our bodies are not built to withstand such momentum, which is often why injuries can occur.

For example, your internal organs could get jostled around as the force of the impact moves through your body. This could result in internal bleeding and damage to your internal organs.

Some crash victims could suffer decelerating trauma, which occurs when your organs continue to move forward after your body stops. This could happen when your forward momentum is stopped by your seat belt and the airbag. All of your body parts do not decelerate at the same time.

Sometimes airbags can cause internal injuries if the airbag hits you in the face during deployment. Hitting other things like the airbag, steering wheel or dashboard could tear or crush blood vessels and lead to other internal injuries. Unsecured cargo could also hit you in a crash and cause significant injury.

If something pierces the windshield, it could impale the driver or passengers. If you get thrown from the vehicle, traveling through the windshield and hitting the pavement or another vehicle could easily result in serious internal injuries.

Motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists are much more likely to suffer internal injuries and other severe injuries in a collision because they have much less protection than those in other passenger vehicles.

Common Car Crash Internal Injuries

These are some of the internal injuries car crash victims could suffer:

Ruptured Spleen

The force of the crash could cause your spleen to rupture or bleed and you would need surgery to repair the spleen or have it removed. The spleen helps the body fight off infection, so losing it could make you much more vulnerable to infection in the future.

Internal Bleeding

Blood vessels could get crushed or ruptured, resulting in excessive bleeding because the blood will not clot. On the other hand, if clots form, they could be life-threatening because they prevent blood from circulating as it should. Without prompt treatment, internal bleeding could potentially be life-threatening.

Collapsed Lung

If your lung gets punctured in the crash it could collapse. Air could flood into your chest and make it difficult to breathe. Doctors may need to stick a needle in your chest to help release trapped air so you can breathe. Surgery is often necessary to repair the damage.

Broken Ribs

A punctured lung injury often accompanies a broken rib, as the rib punctures the lung when it breaks. Broken ribs can be very painful and make it difficult to breathe. It may take weeks or months to recover. Sometimes surgery is needed to repair the damage and to allow the ribs to heal.

Abdominal Aorta Rupture

Compression of the stomach could lead to a ruptured aorta, which is often a fatal injury.

Liver Damage

Sometimes a crash can cause the liver to be torn open, resulting in internal bleeding and many other problems. If the liver is not repaired quickly, the consequences could be fatal.

Kidney Damage

If your lower back gets hit, such as from the side, your kidneys could suffer damage. Sometimes victims need to have dialysis or even a kidney transplant because the damage is permanent. Damage to the kidneys could cause fatal internal bleeding.

Brain Bleed

Getting hit in the head or suffering a puncturing injury to the head, also known as an open head wound, can cause bleeding in the brain. When this happens, parts of the brain may not get the oxygen they need, resulting in permanent brain damage. Too much pressure on the brain could cause permanent problems.

Symptoms of an Internal Injury to Watch For

Sometimes an internal injury is not obvious and needs to be diagnosed by a doctor. You may also suffer symptoms that appear minor, so you may think these symptoms will go away on their own. This could cause you to delay treatment, and this could have disastrous consequences.

Keep an eye out for these symptoms of an internal injury and seek treatment right away if you experience them:

  • Pain – Your organs could sustain damage in a collision, particularly a high-impact collision. If you feel pain in your abdomen or chest or tenderness you should seek medical attention right away. Even mild pain or tightness in your stomach or groin should be investigated.
  • Feeling sick or nauseous – You could feel dizzy or even vomit after a collision. This is particularly concerning if you vomit blood or there is blood in your vomit.
  • Bruises – If you see dark purple skin, blood may be flowing into your soft tissues and skin. This is not just a normal bruise. It is much more serious.
  • Blood in your urine – You should never assume blood in the urine will simply go away. You may have a worsening problem in your kidneys or your bowels. The blood could be from damage to an internal organ.
  • Going into shock – Losing a significant amount of blood in a short time could send you into shock. You may feel lightheaded and tired, and your heart rate may be rapid.

Connecting Internal Injuries to a Car Crash

This can be a challenge and may require a detailed and thorough investigation. Your lawyer must establish your injuries would not have occurred unless you were involved in the crash. Your lawyer may also need to explain in detail what happened during the crash to cause internal damage. Your lawyer will likely need to use your medical records and may even need to bring in a medical expert to help build your case.

That is why it is vital to find an experienced attorney who has the resources to build a strong case. Without experienced legal help, it may be much harder to secure full compensation for your damages.

Contact The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl Today

For many years, our attorneys have been assisting crash victims and victims of other types of personal injury accidents. We have secured millions on behalf of our clients, as we are committed to seeking the maximum compensation possible. We know compensation cannot erase what happened, but victims need compensation to put their lives back together.

Our firm operates on contingency, which means there are no upfront costs. We do not get paid unless our clients receive compensation through a settlement or courtroom verdict.

There is no risk in giving us a call. Phone: 410-401-9979.