Organ Damage in Vehicle Accidents
Some of the most serious injuries in a car crash are those that aren’t visible. Damage to internal organs can cause extreme blood loss, shock, heart failure, and death. And a person involved in a crash may be unaware that they’ve suffered organ damage until their health takes a turn for the worse.
Organ damage can be mild to severe; in extreme cases, extensive hospital stays and surgeries may be necessary. If you’ve suffered such an injury, you could be entitled to compensation that covers the cost of your medical care, lost wages, and ongoing treatment. Don’t wait to ask for help.
Contact Bley & Evans today to request a free case consultation: 1-844-443-8385.
Organ Injuries and Costs
Early medical intervention is critical for anyone suffering from a crash-related organ injury. Many hospitals, however, are not equipped to handle severe internal injuries, especially if multiple organs are injured.
With severe internal injuries, a person may need to be taken to a Level 1 Trauma Center. Missouri has only a handful of Level 1 trauma hospitals, including one in Columbia: the University of Missouri Health Care’s Frank L. Mitchell Jr., MD, Trauma Center.
A trauma hospital has state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, surgeons with trauma expertise, and staffers with specialized training in rehabilitation and patient care. For organ damage victims, those factors hold the promise of recovery – but they also come at a price.
Trauma care is costlier than care at a typical hospital. And trauma patients are more likely to suffer complications from their injuries. According to a study released in 2008, complications have a significant impact on overall costs. The median trauma center charges (which are likely much higher today) were:
- $33,833 (with no complications)
- $81,936 (with minor complications)
- $150,885 (with major complications).
Treatment of Organ Injuries
The body’s five vital organs – those that are considered essential for survival – are the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs. A person can live with only one lung, and it’s possible to survive with no kidneys, if a person undergoes regular dialysis. But people who suffer serious vital organ injuries are at higher risk for health complications.
Injuries to any organ, including non-vital organs such as the spleen and gall bladder, can be fatal if they cause unchecked internal bleeding or infection.
Injuries to the liver and spleen are common in car accidents. When doctors suspect someone is suffering from one of these injuries, they may order a variety of tests to determine the severity of the injury. If the tests show the patient is stable, and the injury isn’t severe, surgical treatment might not be necessary. Even so, recovering from spleen trauma can take up to six weeks.
When possible, doctors prefer to treat liver injuries conservatively and without surgery. That’s because studies have shown that non-operative treatment is more successful than operative treatment, when it comes to complex liver injuries. If a liver is perforated or the injury is causing internal bleeding, doctors will have to perform surgery as soon as possible.
The skin is considered the largest human organ. Many people may think of burns as superficial injuries, but severe burns can actually cause other organs to fail.
When a car crash causes chemical, thermal, or friction burns over more than 40 percent of the body, the body may enter a hyper-reactive state that interferes with digestion, depriving injury victims of nutrients they need to heal. An accompanying spike in metabolism may also trigger organ failure.
Survivors of severe burns may require multiple surgeries. Sometimes, burns are so severe that underlying tissue and bones are no longer intact.
At least half of all traumatic brain injuries occur in vehicle accidents. TBI is a complex injury that can cause mild symptoms, complete or partial disability, coma, or death.
People who suffer a serious TBI will likely experience some type of impairment, whether physical or mental, that makes daily life difficult. For these people, the financial and emotional toll of TBI is significant. Family dynamics may change overnight, as family members become caretakers for their injured loved ones.
Compensation and Justice
It’s difficult to put a price on someone’s future – on all the experiences they will miss, due to their injuries. But an experienced personal injury attorney knows how to achieve the best possible outcomes for crash injury victims and their families.
If you’ve suffered organ damage in a crash, you might be able to get the compensation you need to make the most of a tragic situation. Contact the Columbia personal injury firm of Bley & Evans, either online or at 1-844-443-8385, to ask for your free case consultation.