When a vehicle moving at highway speeds collides with another vehicle or object, the physical impact on the occupants of the vehicle can lead to serious, even permanent, injuries or death. Many of these blunt force trauma events can cause various life-threatening injuries, including damage to internal organs.
Due to its position in the abdomen, the spleen is commonly injured in car accidents. It is located below the left rib cage near the stomach. When a vehicle occupant sustains a blow to the abdomen, the spleen may be ruptured or perforated resulting in significant internal bleeding. The severity of the injury determines the type of treatment and recovery. In some cases, the damage to the spleen necessitates its removal. Although you can live without a spleen, its absence can degrade the immune system and increase the risk for acquiring dangerous, life-threatening infections.
Located just below the ribs, kidneys are bean-shaped organs that are positioned on each side of the spine. Their main function is to filter blood in order to produce urine and waste. Due to their location, they are susceptible to damage when the mid to lower back is injured in a car wreck. Blood in the urine is one sign of kidney damage. If the kidneys are seriously torn or damaged, a kidney transplant and/or dialysis may be necessary. Complications can still occur even if surgery is not required, including urine leakage, blood pressure issues, and recurring infections. In some cases, the damage to a kidney may not be immediately apparent and may pose a life-threatening situation.
The body’s largest internal organ, the liver is positioned on the right side of the abdomen. This organ is responsible for producing proteins that are required for blood clotting, metabolizing toxins, producing bile, and producing chemicals required for digestion. One symptom of liver damage is pain experienced in the upper right portion of the abdomen.
Additional indications of liver damage may include a weak pulse, significant blood loss, and a distended abdomen. Although the majority of liver injuries are minor and may be treated effectively with noninvasive procedures, other significant liver injuries require surgical intervention. Some liver injuries can result in death if the blood loss involved is excessive.
Organ damage may not present right away
Although certain injuries to internal organs are immediately evident, sometimes symptoms are delayed. These injuries are often referred to as hidden injuries due to the fact that symptoms may not start to develop for several hours or days after a collision. For this reason, it is always important to obtain a thorough medical checkup after any involvement in a car crash, particularly if you have experienced any type of pain, weakness, or dizziness in its aftermath.
If you or someone you love has sustained damage to one or more internal organs in a collision, our experienced car accident attorneys in Atlanta and Savannah here to help you. We fight for car wreck victims, helping them pursue the compensation they have a right to collect for their injuries. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of the Harris Lowry Manton LLP team, call our Savannah office today at 912.417.3774 or our Atlanta office at 404.998.8847. Alternatively, send us a message through our contact form.