Internal injuries can be extremely serious and even life-threatening. However, the victim may not look like they have any injuries at all. Even so, these internal injuries can be as serious as any visible cut, bruise or disfigurement.
If you have suffered internal injuries in a car accident, you need to know how to identify them and document them. You have important rights – and you need to know how to pursue them.
At Maguire Law Firm, we aren’t afraid to take tough cases, and win. If you’ve suffered internal injuries from a car accident in South Carolina, our attorneys in Myrtle Beach can help you get the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today to talk about your case.
What Are Internal Injuries?
An internal injury is trauma to the organs or cavities of the body. It is damage that occurs inside the body and is usually not visible by sight. (Medical Dictionary)
What Causes Internal Injuries?
Internal injuries result from blunt force trauma or penetrating trauma. Blunt force trauma is a strong sudden trauma to the body. Penetrating trauma occurs when an object cuts into the body. (WebMD)
What Internal Injuries Are Common Following a Car Accident?
Common internal injuries following a car accident are:
- Traumatic brain injury, concussion
- Spinal cord injury, nerve damage
- Internal bleeding
- Tears in the heart, lungs and blood vessels (abdominal aortic aneurysm)
- Bone fractures, including fractured ribs
- Damage to the kidneys, liver and spleen from lacerations or perforations
- Rupture of the diaphragm
Signs of Internal Injuries
Some warning signs of internal injuries are:
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- Trouble breathing, shortness of breath
- Stomach pain and swelling
- Skin that turns purple
- Headaches, loss of consciousness, seizures
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
How can you protect yourself when it comes to internal injuries from a car accident?
When a car accident occurs, you may want to get on with your day as quickly as possible. However, it’s important to seek medical attention to rule out internal injuries. Because you’re in a heightened state of alert following a crash, your body may not be able to tell you that you have serious injuries.
Even once the shock of the accident has subsided, your body may not yet be showing symptoms of injury. The symptoms may seem minor even though they are serious.
You can protect yourself by appreciating the fact that serious internal injuries may not show symptoms following the accident. Seek medical attention to evaluate if you have internal injuries. Getting treatment early can stabilize injuries and even save your life. Once internal injuries are diagnosed, carefully follow your course of treatment and preserve records of your care so that you can chart your progress.
Why do internal injuries occur in car accidents?
A car accident puts tremendous force on the body. It is a force that the body is not naturally able to withstand. The result is that the body absorbs the brunt of this force even though the skin may not tear. Internal injuries are the result of the extraordinarily large, blunt force that the body endures when a car accident occurs.
Can internal injuries be used to claim financial compensation for a car accident?
Yes. Internal injuries can be the basis of financial compensation for a car accident. An internal injury is a personal injury and may be grounds for a claim for compensation.
See Sullivan v. Davis, 454 S.E.2d 907 (S.C. Ct. App. 1995). A victim suffered internal injuries in a car crash including severe internal bleeding. He brought a legal claim for damages that was submitted to the jury, returning a verdict for compensation. Johnson v. Jackson, 735 S.E.2d 664 (S.C. Ct. App. 2012).
The victim brought a claim based on external and internal injuries including nerve damage and head injuries.
Getting Fair Compensation for Internal Injuries in a Car Accident?
A car accident claim that involves internal injuries is likely to rely heavily on medical and expert testimony. When injuries are visible, the jury doesn’t need convincing that they are real and that they are painful. The jury can connect the dots themselves and draw those conclusions.
When the injuries are internal, the jury is likely to need more help from an expert. Under the South Carolina Rules of Evidence Rule 702, an expert can testify to help the trier of fact understand the evidence or determine a relevant fact.
The expert can speak to any of these important questions:
- What internal injuries does the victim have?
- How did these injuries result from the trauma of the car accident?
- Are the injuries painful?
- Do the injuries limit the victim’s life? If so, how?
- Can the injuries be expected to continue to cause pain and suffering in the future?
- What is the course of treatment? What medical care is the victim going to need in the future?
- How do the injuries interfere with the victim’s work and career?
An expert witness can be especially crucial in a case involving internal injuries. They can answer a lot of the jury’s questions and help them make sense of the evidence, drawing the appropriate conclusions to reach the right result.
In addition to expert testimony, medical records are also particularly important.
The jury can’t see the injuries by looking at the victim, but they can look at x-rays, medical imaging and treatment history. They can learn about surgeries, physical therapy and other rehabilitative measures that the victim has undergone.
The victim must carefully gather and present this evidence. It’s likely not enough to simply talk about injuries. Admissible scientific evidence is critically important to prove the claim.
A Lawyer Can Help With Internal Injuries After a Car Accident
If you have internal injuries following a car accident, our experienced lawyers can represent you throughout your claim. You can receive compensation, but you must take the right steps to receive justice. Our lawyers are experienced in claims involving complex medical evidence.
Contact us today for a consultation and to start your case today.