There is no limit to which parts of our bodies can be seriously injured in a car accident. Some of those injuries are well-publicized, and deservedly so—they can be very serious. Injuries like broken bones, paralysis, or neck or back injuries get a lot of attention. However, our internal organs are just as vulnerable, and damage to our internal organs can lead to lifelong and catastrophic disability.
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How Damage to Internal Organs Happens
Our main internal organs are shielded by our ribcage. However, our ribcage is not enough to protect our delicate organs from the trauma and violence of a car accident as the ribcage does not extend down to cover the entire abdomen.
Just the impact from an accident can cause a “shake up” in our bodies that can lead to organs rattling against each other, or against our ribs. An accident that is violent enough can easily cause an organ to rupture, cause internal bleeding that damages internal organs, or cause a break to a bone that can pierce an organ.
The problem has to do with simple physics. The forces unleashed in an accident must go somewhere. Those forces are often passed on from the car’s exterior to our own bodies. Even inertia can cause injury. As our bodies are moving inside a car, if the car comes to a sudden stop due to a collision, the car may stop moving, and our external bodies may be held back from moving forward by a seatbelt, however, our internal organs are still moving forward, colliding with each other and with the inside of our chest cavities.
Even items inside a car can cause an internal organ to bleed, or sustain damage. For example, seatbelts save lives and usually prevent more harm than they cause—however, a seatbelt can also sink into a person’s torso with enough force to squeeze and thus damage an internal organ.
The same goes for airbags, which also save lives. However, airbags release with incredible force. There are even videos online demonstrating the incredible things that the force from airbags can do to objects when they are deployed. That force going into our bodies can cause immediate injury to internal organs.
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Examples of Damage to Internal Organs
There are many kinds of injuries that can affect our internal organs. Some of the less known or less obvious can include:
Aorta Rupture: The aorta is the main artery that leads blood into our hearts. However, many people may not realize that the aorta also goes into our abdomen. When force is exerted on our stomach area, the parts of the aorta going into the stomach can be damaged, leading to death.
Punctured Lungs: In an accident, a lung can easily sustain damage. Air fills the chest area, putting pressure on the lung, and causing suffocation.
Kidneys: The kidneys are located very near the lower back area, an area that is well known to suffer injury in car accidents. In fact, in many cases what seems like a “routine” back injury is actually a serious and life-threatening kidney injury.
Spleen Injuries: You may have heard people who have had a spleen removed. The human body can live without a spleen. However, those who need a spleen removed because it is damaged in an accident are more susceptible to infection. Damage to the spleen can also lead to serious bleeding, which may at first be unnoticed, but which can if left untreated, be deadly.
Sometimes, an emergency room may not pick up on damage to internal organs. In some cases, an emergency room will just make sure that vital bodily functions are working properly. Damage to an organ that does not have immediate symptoms, or which does not immediately show up on the diagnostic tests done in emergency rooms (which are generally more limited than those that are prescribed by your private doctor) may not show organ damage.
Types of Damage to Organs After an Accident
Damage to internal organs causes two problems. The first problem is the immediate problem of bleeding internally, or pressure put on surrounding structures in the body by bleeding. Bleeding is an immediate problem, both because of the loss of blood, but also because the pooled blood puts pressure on surrounding organs.
However, the long term problem may be the failure of an organ, and the loss of that organ’s function to our bodies. In many cases, Ajax injury lawyers do not think about or account or the expenses, modification to someone’s lifestyle, the costs of medications, or the loss of future income when a vital organ fails. However, these are important parts of a victim’s injury claims.
For example, in acute kidney failure which can happen because of the kidney’s close proximity to the exterior lower back area, a lifetime of dialysis may be needed. Thankfully, kidney failure due to injury is more reversible than slow, chronic kidney failure that often happens as a result of disease.
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Benefits and Recoverable Damages After Damage to Organs
Any type of injury or damage to a major or internal organ will likely provide increased insurance benefits for victims. Victims may be able to recover between $50,000-$1 million in medical benefits to help pay for the costs of medical bills, vocational retraining, life skills training, rehabilitation and extra medical expenses such as medical devices. These benefits are on top of and addition to benefits that can help replace lost wages.
Serious injuries such as those that involve damage to major organs may also allow victims to recover from a driver who caused an accident if the driver was driving carelessly, recklessly or negligently. Your Ajax injury lawyer can help you analyze whether there is another driver that is responsible for your injuries. If so, a claim can be made against that driver’s insurance to obtain additional damages.
Let Us Help You
It may seem like Ontario law allows victims to recover a significant amount of money to help with recovery after an accident, and that is true. However, given the lifelong care and lifestyle alterations that may be necessary after an injury to a major internal organ, victims may need as much as they can get to help them get back to their regular lifestyle.
The injury lawyers at Preszler Law Firm can help you investigate your case and provide evidence to help you obtain the benefits and damages to which you are legally entitled. Call us today to discuss your injuries and your accident.