Due to the differences in size and weight between a commercial truck and a smaller passenger car, an accident victim involved in a crash with an 18-wheeler is likely to suffer severe blunt force impact to the abdomen and other parts of the body. Such vehicle accidents account for three-quarters of all internal abdominal trauma injuries.
Hemorrhaging and peritonitis can threaten the life of a truck crash victim who might not even be aware of an injury. The gallbladder, liver, pancreas, and spleen do not swell or turn the skin red when they’re injured, so damage to internal organs can be hard to detect. If internal injuries go untreated, they often become critical.
Internal Injuries Suffered in Truck Accidents
Because an internal injury occurs, by definition, inside the body, external symptoms of some internal disorders might not surface for days or weeks after a wreck. Common internal truck crash injuries include:
Cracked ribs are extremely painful and make it difficult for you to do almost anything, including breathing, moving, or even lying down. A broken rib can also puncture a lung or damage other organs.
Even though the brain, lungs, and heart are somewhat protected by shields of bone, those shields can crack in a truck crash, and jagged edges of bone can puncture the major organs of the body. Other internal organs like the spleen, bowels, and liver, which have no bone protection, are delicate and easily bruised, crushed, or punctured in a wreck. Even the incorrect use of a seatbelt can damage these sensitive organs. Repairing or removing the damaged organ generally requires high-risk surgery.
Head wounds sustained in a truck crash can cause the brain to bleed and limit the flow of oxygen to the body, putting pressure on the brain and resulting in long-term or lifelong damage.
A lung that’s punctured can collapse, filling the chest cavity with air, which is fatal.
If the stomach is compressed or crushed in a truck crash, a resultant rupture of the abdominal aorta can be fatal.
Blunt force trauma to the lower back in a truck crash can cause the kidneys to bleed. If they’re permanently damaged, dialysis or a transplant might be necessary.
If the spleen ruptures and bleeds internally, the abdomen fills with blood, requiring surgery and sometimes resulting in death.
The impact of a truck crash can tear the liver, resulting in internal bleeding. Without immediate surgical repair, a torn liver can be fatal.
The blunt force from a truck crash can traumatize and even perforate blood vessels and internal organs. The excessive internal bleeding that results could cause you to bleed to death without ever spilling a drop of blood outside your body. If an artery is cut or punctured internally, you could be dead within seconds. Symptoms of internal bleeding are:
- Breathing difficulty
- Extreme thirst
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in urine
Diagnostic tests like X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and angiography can reveal internal injuries that are not externally symptomatic. An Extended Focus Assessment with Sonography (EFAST) utilizes ultrasound procedures to pinpoint internal bleeding and fluid accumulation that are not externally visible. Even if you feel all right, it’s very important to seek medical treatment and testing immediately after a truck accident. A minor internal injury with no external symptoms can be fatal if left undiagnosed and untreated.
Holding Multiple Defendants Accountable
A truck crash differs from a car crash not only in the severity of the resultant injuries but also in the number of defendants who might be liable for your injuries: the truck driver, the trucking company, the truck owner or a leasing agency, a manufacturer of trucks or replacement parts, a mechanical repair service, or cargo-loading personnel. Two or more of these parties might share liability for your damages: medical expenses, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering. This means that you may have multiple insurance claims for differing percentages of fault against more than one insurance company. Calculating those percentages, filing multiple claims, demanding fair settlements, negotiating for reasonable awards, and filing multiple lawsuits if necessary are tasks best left to an experienced truck accident lawyer while you recover from your internal injuries.
Have You Suffered Internal Injuries in a South Dakota Truck Crash?
An experienced truck accident lawyer can investigate your accident to determine liability and file claims or lawsuits against multiple at-fault parties. Contact us online or call us at 605-644-5003 to schedule a free consultation. You pay no attorney fees until we win your case.