Organ Damage After a Car Accident: What You Need to Know

Organ damage is a devastating car accident injury that can result in lifelong disability or even death. The impact force between vehicles, seat belt position and airbag deployment are just some of the factors that can contribute to this type of injury.

Doctor reviewing organ damage on patient chartSymptoms of Possible Organ Damage After a Car Accident

Immediately after a car accident, it is important to be mindful of any symptoms that could potentially suggest damage to the internal organs. This includes:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Low blood pressure
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Limited range of motion or trouble moving certain parts of the body
  • Vomiting blood
  • Severe bruising
  • Blood in urine or stool
  • Excessive thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Shock

While these signs may suggest organ damage, it is also possible for an injury victim to experience internal injuries and have no immediately visible symptoms. This can be due to the intense rush of adrenaline the body receives after a trauma or due to the development of the injury shortly after the collision. Being evaluated by a medical professional is the best way to ensure your safety following a car accident.  Even if the initial visit with the doctor does not disclose organ damage, if signs and symptoms appear of possible organ damage appear, return to the hospital or immediately see a physician. 

Examples of Car Accident Organ Damage

Possible types of organ damage related to the trauma of a car accident can include:

  • Bowel damage: Although this type of injury is unlikely to be fatal, fistulas, abscesses, infection, and obstruction are possible complications.
  • Brain damage: A blow to the head, such as from striking the steering wheel of a vehicle, can create bleeding in the brain. This bleeding results in a loss of oxygen and excess pressure that can lead to cognitive damage or death. Brain damage can also be referred to as a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
  • Kidney damage: When the flank or lower back is struck by a heavy force, damage to the kidneys becomes a concern. People with this type of injury can suffer internal bleeding or require dialysis and an eventual organ transplant.
  • Liver damage: One of the most common types of car accident-related organ damage, liver damage is associated with front impact or head-on collisions. Internal bleeding is the primary concern with this type of injury, but organ transplants can also be required in very serious cases.
  • Lung damage: When foreign objects strike the chest area or a vehicle occupant suffers broken ribs, a punctured lung can cause air to flood the chest. This impedes breathing, but can be treated by inserting a flexible tube or needle between the ribs to create an open airway.
  • Pancreas damage: Fortunately, damage to the pancreas is rare following an auto accident. However, dangerous infections can result if there is a buildup of fluid surrounding this organ.
  • Spleen damage: When the abdominal area receives a blow, the spleen can be punctured or rupture. This type of organ damage would flood the abdominal cavity with blood and lead to potentially fatal complications or the removal of the spleen.

Protecting Your Right to Compensation

A personal injury claim for organ damage caused by another driver's negligence can include:

  • Medical expenses and future costs related to organ damage disabilities
  • Loss of income and applicable future earning potential
  • Physical Pain
  • Mental Suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Anxiety
  • Embarrassment
  • Loss of Enjoyment of life
  • Physical Impairment
  • Inconvenience
  • Grief
  • Humiliation
  • Emotional Distress

When organ damage creates fatal injuries, the deceased person's surviving family can initiate a wrongful death claim. This is a type of personal injury suit that seeks compensation for:

  • Medical care up to the time of death
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of the deceased person's anticipated future income
  • Pain and suffering, if the deceased did not die immediately
  • Loss of a meaningful relationship with the deceased

If the injured person was partially at fault for the accident, compensation is still available. However, the settlement will be proportionally reduced by their assigned percentage of fault.                                                                               

Retaining the services of a skilled personal injury attorney who can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf is the best way to protect your right to compensation in a personal injury or wrongful death case involving organ damage. Contact the dedicated attorneys at Inland Empire Law Group today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case review. Appointments are available at both our Rancho Cucamonga and Victorville offices.  Call 909-481-0100 or 1-888-MY IE LAW.  For our Victorville Clients call 760-243-9100 for an appointment in our Victorville Office.