Because of behaviors like distracted and drunk driving, serious car accidents are on the rise. Last year, traffic deaths increased 6 percent, to 40,200, according to estimates released on Wednesday by the National Safety Council. The two-year increase — 14 percent — is the largest in more than a half a century.
Unfortunately, one of the devastating types of injuries these crashes can cause is internal bleeding. This can happen when there is trauma to an organ, such as the brain, heart, liver, or lungs.
Internal bleeding is bleeding or hemorrage that comes from the vascular system and flows into a body cavity. Internal bleeding is as serious as it sounds, and is a medical emergency. Below I’ll tell you about signs and symptoms of internal bleeding. If you witness an accident and see these signs, call 911 immediately. Of course, any serious accident should prompt an emergency call immediately anyway. Please note that sometimes internal bleeding can take hours or days to manifest. The bleeding may stop on its own, but it can also get worse as time goes on. Surgery would be necessary when it doesn’t stop by itself.
Signs and symptoms of internal bleeding injuries
Victims of serious motor vehicle crashes may experience the following internal injuries:
- Bruising/Hematoma: When an area of the skin turns a deep purple color, this can be evidence of bleeding underneath the skin and in the soft tissues.
- Swelling, tightness, and pain in the leg can be a sign of internal bleeding in the thigh. This can signify that a bone, such as the femur, has fractured.
- Headache and loss of consciousness can be caused by internal bleeding in the brain.
- Abdominal pain and/or swelling may be caused by internal bleeding in the liver or spleen.
- When an injured person loses enough blood flow to any body part, it can result in light-headedness, dizziness or fainting. Internal injuries are life threatening and should be treated by a medical professional immediately.
Trauma can cause internal bleeding. The two types of trauma (especially blunt trauma) are common in serious car accidents. They are:
- Blunt trauma – usually in a high speed collision, a body part will come into contact with an object such as a car door or steering wheel. At the moment of impact, the force causes blood vessels to br crushed or tear, resulting in bleeding.
- Penetrating trauma – if that foreign body enters the person’s body, the blood vessels will tear. The object would have to be sharp enough to penetrate the skin.
In simply reading this list, it’s likely that you would identify no part of your body that you would prefer to endure internal bleeding over another. Ideally, you’ll never have to experience this yourself, nor endure the aftermath of these injuries with a friend or loved one. But some parts of the body can be more seriously affected by internal bleeding and trauma than others. The list won’t surprise you:
- Head trauma is extremely dangerous. Concussions are a common injury in car accidents; learn their signs and symptoms here.
- Internal bleeding around the lungs.
- Internal bleeding around the heart
- Tears in the large blood vessels close to the body’s core (aorta, superior and inferior vena cava, and their major branches)
- An injury caused by trauma to the abdomen such as liver or spleen lacerations or perforation of other organs
If you or a loved one has experienced any of these injuries in a car accident, it is likely you are watching the medical bills pile up. Also, these are serious injuries that take time to heal, and that means time off of work. A personal injury lawyer can help you recover your financial losses and handle the stress of the insurance claims process so you can focus on recovering your health. If the insurance company won’t pay a full claim, your lawyer can take them to court and fight for you. We at Bill Coats Law go the distance and have the experience and skills to show for it. Read our testimonials and case results for yourself.