Seattle Internal Organ Injury Lawyers
Organ Damage in an Accident
Accidents that damage the internal organs of the body can leave a person suffering catastrophic injuries, with lifelong debilitating effects. Internal injuries are particularly dangerous, as there may be no obvious external signs of the injury immediately after an accident. Emergency medical treatment may be neglected, with potentially life-threatening consequences for the victim. A medical mistake that is not a "risk of the procedure" is another cause of organ injury.
If you or your loved one has suffered serious internal injuries in an accident caused someone else's negligence, your best course of action is to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. With catastrophic internal injuries, there are often extensive damages, and the attorney you choose to represent you can make a significant difference in the final outcome of your case.
Our talented Seattle personal injury attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. have four decades of experience helping injured people in Washington to recover the compensation they need to move forward with their lives. We are aggressive and dedicated legal advocates for our clients with a history of impressive results.
Common Causes of Internal Organ Injuries
Many types of accidents can cause internal bleeding and trauma to the internal organs. Examples include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Train accidents
- Bus accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Iatrogenic medical negligence
Types of Internal Organ Injuries
As stated in the Merck Manual, physicians classify internal abdominal injuries according to the type of structure damaged and the way the injury occurred. Types of structures in the abdominal cavity include:
- Solid organs: Liver, pancreas, spleen, and kidneys
- Hollow organs: Stomach, bladder, ureter, small intestine, colon
- Blood vessels: Veins and arteries
Hollow organs are less likely to be injured in an automobile collision, fall, or other accident. The two most commonly injured organs are the spleen and liver.
MedicineNet reports that internal bleeding is most often caused by injury. Types of injuries that often lead to internal bleeding include:
- Blunt trauma: The force of impact of an automobile collision or the impact when the body hits the ground in a fall can cause great trauma to the internal organs. Although the outside of the body may not show damage visible to the eye, the internal organs may have been subjected to enough compression to cause injury as well as dangerous internal bleeding.
- Deceleration trauma: When a rapidly moving vehicle comes to a sudden stop, vehicle occupants may suffer an impact injury, called deceleration trauma. This can cause the organs to shift inside the body, rip blood vessels off organs and lead to internal bleeding. Abdominal organs are attached by a pedicle (stalk) to arteries and veins for their blood supply. Pedicles can tear off with deceleration trauma – a dangerous and potentially deadly injury.
- Penetrating trauma: Internal bleeding occurs when a foreign object penetrates the body and tears holes in blood vessels. Ribs that are fractured in an accident can also penetrate the lungs or other organs, leading to serious internal damage.
Symptoms of Internal Organ Injuries
As reported in the Merck Manual, abdominal pain and tenderness from internal organ injuries is often mild. Victims may not notice or complain of pain after an accident and is aware of other more painful injuries. In other cases, the victim is not fully conscious due to the shock associated with the accident, or due to a head injury.
Internal injuries may not be visible, but there are specific symptoms, including:
- Spleen injury sometimes causes pain radiating to the left shoulder.
- Small intestinal tears can cause pain that is slight at first but steadily worsens.
- Kidney or bladder injury may result in blood in the urine.
- Blunt trauma that causes internal injuries may also cause visible bruising; for instance, bruising across the chest or lower abdomen from a seat belt. However, not all people with internal injuries will lead to bruising, and bruising does not necessarily indicate severe internal injuries.
- The abdomen may be swollen with excess blood in cases of severe internal bleeding.
- Accident victims suffering internal bleeding who have lost a large quantity of blood may display the following symptoms: rapid breathing; rapid heart rate; sweating; cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin; low level of alert, or confusion.
It is important to seek medical attention immediately after an accident because of the possibility that internal injuries have occurred. If the negligence of another has caused you or your loved one to suffer catastrophic internal organ injuries, contact a Seattle internal organ injury attorney at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. right away for a free case consultation, with no obligation. We want to help you recover the compensation you need and deserve for your family and yourself. You can reach us at (888) 228-3860.