Internal injuries after a car accident significantly impact your case due to their potential to cause permanent damage to your body. Untreated internal bleeding may result in organ failure, seizures, and hemorrhagic shock. One key to understanding how internal injuries may impact your case requires a breakdown of recoverable damages in your claim.
What Can I Recover?
So, who is going to provide compensation for your internal injuries? Liability of the at-fault party means that you can recover the compensation you deserve from their insurance company.
In Kentucky, a personal injury plaintiff may recover this compensation in the form of economic and non-economic damages. The purpose of compensatory damages is to make a plaintiff whole and put them in the position they would have been had the accident and injury never occurred.
Economic damages represent your direct financial losses resulting from your injuries. These losses include:
- Medical expenses—Economic damages cover the costs of past and future medical care and rehabilitation. Future medical costs are calculated by your attorney in situations where your injury is permanent and requires long-term medical care.
- Cost of living with a disability—If your injuries resulted in a permanent disability, you might need to renovate your living space to help you live more comfortably with your disability.
- Lost wages—Many of those injured are unable to work until they fully recover. Your lost wages are recoverable under the umbrella of economic damages.
- Loss of future earnings—If your injuries left you with an inability to work the same job you had before the accident, you might be able to recover a loss in earning potential if your new job pays substantially less.
- Property damage—You may recover the fair market value of any property damaged in the accident, including your vehicle.
Economic damages are supported by tangible evidence like invoices, pay stubs, bills, and other similar documents. Be sure to retain all copies of any expenses related to your injury for your attorney to calculate your maximum economic damage award.
Non-economic damages represent intangible losses that represent your personal losses. Non-economic damages are complicated to quantify because they vary significantly from person to person. For example, how do you put a price on being unable to play catch with your child due to your injury? These damages include the following:
- Pain and suffering—Pain and suffering include the emotional distress resulting from your injuries. Many feel myriad emotions, including fear, anger, depression, and loss of enjoyment of life, when recovering from such a traumatic event.
- Disfigurement—Many car accidents result in disfigurement and a permanent change to your physical appearance. This may cause substantial emotional distress and long-term psychological trauma for those suffering from this injury.
- Loss of consortium—Loss of consortium damages may be claimed by a spouse of an injured victim when their injuries result in the loss of emotional support in a marriage, companionship, sexual relationship, and affection.
With the proper legal representation, non-economic damages often amount to more than the purely financial losses. However, without an attorney to help you articulate your non-economic injuries claim, it may be impossible to receive this part of your deserved compensation.
What Are the Signs of Internal Bleeding?
Internal bleeding from a car accident could be the most severe injury you experience, even more dangerous than broken bones. Puncture wounds, lacerations, or contusions are usually conspicuous in the immediate aftermath of a collision. This is not the case with internal bleeding.
Dangerous internal bleeding occurs due to sheer force of impact. There may be no outwardly visible signs. For this reason, those who do not seek immediate medical attention may not notice or know they are bleeding internally until days after an accident.
Some signs that may help to identify if you are suffering from internal bleeding include:
- Blood loss,
- Broken ribs that punctured internal soft tissue or a collapsed lung,
- Loss of consciousness from blood loss,
- Severe abdominal pain, and
- Inability to use the restroom.
The body can lose blood at an alarming rate. Even if your internal injuries aren’t fatal, they can create complications resulting in extensive recovery times and permanent damage.
Common Internal Injuries After a Car Accident
Generally, two types of injuries may cause internal injuries after a car accident—blunt force trauma and penetrating trauma.
Blunt Force Trauma
Blunt force trauma occurs when cars collide at high speeds. The impact damages your blood vessels and causes internal bleeding. The outward signs of internal bleeding may not be immediately evident in these situations. The only way to identify what is going on in your body is an x-ray.
A collision causes a foreign object to pierce your body, which may be one cause of internal bleeding in addition to the apparent surface wound. Car accidents at high speeds often cause various shards of glass, metal, and other objects to fly around, causing extreme risk to those involved.
Other common internal injuries include the following:
- Broken ribs,
- Organ injuries,
- Ruptured spleens, and
- Traumatic brain injuries.
You should seek immediate medical attention after an accident. Due to the ease with which an internal injury may be overlooked, there is a higher chance of long-term problems or even death if you ignore common symptoms like swelling, bruising, and pain.
With a decade of experience working for the defense side of personal injury law, Seth Gladstein knows how defendants and insurance companies think. With a thorough understanding of the tricks and strategies used by these parties, Seth devises a plan to help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your suffering. At Gladstein Law Firm, we understand the range of emotions you may be feeling as you attempt to recover from your injuries. We feel those emotions too. We are just as passionate about your claim as you are and fight hard on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation to find out how we can help you.