Internal injuries are among the most serious injuries that a person can suffer in a car accident. They often require surgery and hospitalization. Even with proper care, many internal injuries still require a long and painful recovery. A victim may be left permanently disabled.
Under New York law, auto accident victims can have their “basic economic loss” covered by the “no-fault insurance” they have purchased. However, if they can show that they have suffered a “serious injury,” they may be able to go beyond no-fault coverage and seek compensation for their pain and suffering.
An internal injury may very well meet the “serious injury threshold.” This is why you should seek help immediately from an experienced injury lawyer if you or a loved one has suffered internal injury in a crash caused by another driver.
The attorneys of Powers & Santola, LLP, have been working with auto accident victims in Albany, Syracuse and throughout New York State for nearly 30 years. We can guide you through your options and seek compensation to pay for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and more. Call or connect with us online today to get started.
Common Types of Internal Injuries in NY Car Accidents
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, you will likely be transported right away to the hospital by emergency responders. However, not all injuries are immediately apparent.
This is why you should go to the emergency room or see your personal physician as soon as possible after a crash – even if you do not believe you are injured. You may not realize that you are suffering from internal injuries.
Schedule a follow-up visit as well. This is because it may take a few hours or days for signs of some internal injuries to develop.
Internal injuries that may occur in a car accident and meet New York’s serious injury threshold include:
- Brain injuries – A blow to the head in a crash can lead to a concussion or other serious harm, including a contusion (a bruise of the brain tissue), hematoma (pooling of blood outside a damaged blood vessel) or hemorrhaging (bleeding caused by a rupture of a blood vessel).
- Chest injuries – Blunt or penetrating trauma to the chest may result in cardiac arrest, collapsed lung (where the lung is punctured and air floods the chest cavity) or a pulmonary contusion (a bruise of the lung that causes swelling and restricts the ability to breathe).
- Fractured ribs – A broken rib can move and damage blood vessels or puncture a lung, which creates a medical emergency. Multiple adjacent rib fractures can cause part of the chest wall to separate from the rest of the thoracic cage, causing respiratory difficulty that requires use of a ventilator.
- Abdominal / bowel injuries – Damage may occur to the abdominal wall or internal organs, including the stomach, small intestine, colon, ureters and bladder. Blunt or penetrating injury that affects intra-abdominal structures may also damage the spine, pelvis or heart. Serious abdominal / bowel injuries may cause massive bleeding.
- Liver damage – The liver is one of the most commonly injured organs in abdominal trauma. In many cases, a liver injury is repaired only through lengthy, complex surgery. If the liver cannot be saved, the patient will require a transplant in order to survive.
- Damage to the spleen – If the liver has been injured, the spleen may be damaged as well. A splenectomy – surgery to remove the spleen – often accompanies surgery on an injured liver. A person without a spleen faces a high risk of suffering infections.
- Kidney damage – A direct blow to the abdomen, side, or middle-to-lower back can cause damage or a tear to a kidney. Kidneys remove waste products and help balance water and salt and other minerals (electrolytes) in the blood. Permanent damage that prevents the kidneys from performing their job means the patient will likely require dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Compensation for a Serious Injury in a NY Car Crash
If you have suffered a serious injury in a car crash such internal organ damage, you may be able to seek a recovery for your pain and suffering through the at-fault driver’s liability policy. In New York, the minimum amount of liability insurance that drivers must carry includes:
- $25,000 for bodily injury/$50,000 for death of one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury/$100,000 for death of two or more persons.
If the driver has no insurance or the driver’s insurance fails to fully cover your damages, you may seek a recovery by turning to your own uninsured / underinsured (UM / UIM) policy.
Depending on the type of car accident, seeking punitive damages may also be a possibility after an accident that has caused internal injuries.
Contact Our Albany Car Accident Attorneys
The legal team of Powers & Santola, LLP, can help you to document the full extent of your internal injuries after a crash and aggressively seek just compensation, including pain and suffering damages.
We have been helping car accident victims and their families in Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout New York State since 1987. We can get to work on your case right away. Simply call or reach us online to receive a free consultation.