Internal Injuries from a Car Accident in Queens, NY
Damage to internal organs can be among the most dangerous injuries suffered in a car accident. Internal organ injuries may not be readily apparent to emergency responders, which can lead to extended internal bleeding, shock, and death. Even with proper care, internal injuries often require a long and painful recovery.
New York insurance laws ensure that accident victims are paid for medical expenses and other financial losses in car accidents but create a threshold for recovering medical expenses beyond $50,000 or for pain and suffering damages. Significant internal injuries will meet this threshold and allow further compensation.
At The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., we are committed to helping people who have suffered internal injuries in car accidents in Queens. Our firm has helped car accident victims throughout Queens recover the compensation they need and deserve for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses they have suffered. Contact us today for your free legal consultation about a potential car accident claim.
Common Internal Injuries in Car Accidents
An internal injury is not visible from the outside of the body, meaning it is an injury to the organs occupying the cranial (head), thoracic (chest) or abdominal cavities. An internal injury can be the result of a direct blow or a penetrating injury.
The tremendous amount of force released in the impact of a car accident or suffered due to being ejected from a vehicle and hitting the ground or roadside objects can cause such internal injuries as:
- Internal bleeding. If blood vessels are damaged in an accident and are unable to clot or repair themselves, the ongoing internal bleeding can be a serious medical emergency. If left untreated, internal bleeding injury can lead to shock, cardiac arrest, and death.
- Traumatic brain injury. An open or closed head wound can cause bleeding in the brain. This can result in oxygen not getting to the parts of the brain where it needs to go, often causing permanent brain damage. Excess pressure on the brain caused by pooled blood can also cause brain injury. Any blow to the head or penetration of the skull can tear or bruise brain tissue and cause a lasting TBI.
- Chest injuries. Injuries to the chest (thoracic trauma) can interfere with respiration, circulation, or both, and without treatment can quickly lead to death. Blunt or penetrating trauma to the chest is most likely to damage the heart and lead to cardiac arrest; tear the aorta and cause massive bleeding; cause a collapsed lung (pneumothorax), which occurs when a lung is punctured and air floods the chest cavity; or cause a pulmonary contusion, a lung bruise that causes bleeding and swelling and can obstruct breathing and be fatal.
- Broken ribs. Fractured ribs, though painful, usually heal on their own with rest. But a rib broken in a car accident can move and tear blood vessels or puncture a lung or the heart and create a medical emergency.
- Liver damage. The liver is one of the largest organs in the body and is often injured from blows to the lower chest or upper abdomen. A liver injury usually requires lengthy and complex surgery, though some liver trauma is treated with nonoperative procedures. If the liver cannot be saved, the patient will require a transplant or will not survive. The spleen, which is adjacent to the liver, is often found to be damaged if the liver has been injured. A splenectomy often accompanies surgery on an injured liver.
- Abdominal / bowel injuries. An injury to the abdomen may be confined to the abdomen or can cause severe, multisystem trauma. Damage may occur to the abdominal wall; solid organs (liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys), or hollow viscus (stomach, small intestine, colon, ureters, bladder). A blunt or penetrating injury that affects intra-abdominal structures may also damage the heart, spine (i.e., potential paralysis), and/or pelvis. Serious injuries may cause massive bleeding with shock and sometimes death. Surgery is typically required to repair damaged abdominal organs or to stop bleeding.
Symptoms of Internal Injuries
Emergency responders on the scene of a car accident and medics in emergency rooms should check accident victims for initial symptoms of internal injuries, including:
- Lowered blood pressure, indicating internal bleeding and possible injury to internal organs.
- Blood in urine due to internal bleeding around the urinary tract.
- Blurred vision, slurred speech, or dizziness indicating traumatic brain injury.
- Muscular pain, loss of sensation, and/or difficulty moving, indicating bleeding deep within the muscle tissue.
- Blood in vomit, which may indicate intra-abdominal bleeding.
Treatment and Compensation for Internal Injuries
Internal injuries typically require hospitalization and surgery. Without immediate medical treatment, they can be life-threatening. This is why it is important to see a doctor promptly after a car accident, regardless of how you initially feel.
Because, car owners maintain personal injury protection (PIP) auto insurance, which pays their medical bills and other losses after an accident, regardless of who is at fault. If an individual suffers “serious injuries” in a car accident, they may file a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto liability insurance to recover compensation beyond what their PIP policy pays for medical expenses and vehicle damage.
Among the serious injuries described in New York insurance law (Section 5102(d)) are “permanent loss or consequential or significant limitation of use of a body organ, member, function or system” and “disability for 90 days during the first 180 days following the accident.”
In most cases, we would expect a significant internal injury to qualify as a serious injury as well as to provide a financial reason to pursue a legal claim against an at-fault diver. A car accident attorney could investigate, and if evidence demonstrated the other driver’s negligence, file a claim to recover compensation for your:
- Remaining medical bills, including for future treatment and care
- Lost wages and income
- Pain and suffering, including loss of enjoyment of life.
Get a Free Consultation with Our Queens Car Accident Lawyers
If you have been hospitalized with internal injuries after a car accident in Queens, NY, we urge you to speak with a car accident attorney from the Tadchiev Law Firm. You may be eligible to seek compensation for medical bills and other losses connected to the accident, including your pain and suffering.
At The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., we are committed to helping people who have been injured in car accidents in Queens recover all compensation legally available to them. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation review of your options for pursuing a legal claim.