A car accident can inflict great force and trauma upon the bodies of the drivers, passengers, and pedestrians involved. In some auto accident cases, the outside of the body may not be damaged, but injury to internal organs, as well as internal bleeding, may result. Crushing or pinning injuries at the waist or abdominal level, as well as injuries caused by seat belt placement, can result in extensive internal organ damage for car accident victims.
In an auto accident, an internal injury can occur if the steering wheel or another hard object hits the stomach or chest of the driver or passengers. When the stomach is severely compressed, the abdominal aorta may rupture. This is a very serious auto accident injury that is life-threatening for the victim in many cases. Broken ribs are a common car accident injury that can also lead to serious internal injuries. For example, a fractured rib may puncture a lung or other internal organ.
A strong blow sustained during a car accident may result in the rupture of the spleen. Damage to the spleen may result in symptoms such as severe internal bleeding, low blood pressure, a weak pulse, and upper left abdominal pain that may spread to the left shoulder. In the event of an injury to the spleen, urgent spleen removal is often required.
The kidneys, liver, and bowels may also be injured in a car accident and cause medical complications for the victim. Kidney damage can usually be detected by the presence of blood in the urine. Signs of liver damage include pain in the upper and upper right region of the abdomen, significant blood loss, a distended abdomen, and a weak pulse. Symptoms of an injury to the bowels include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, muscle tenderness, and shock.
Auto accident internal injuries are not limited to these organs, and any accident that results in an internal injury may put the victim at risk for significant bleeding and even death. It is important to note that internal organ damage may be difficult to identify in the aftermath of the accident. If a car accident victim experiences any symptoms of internal bleeding, such as abdominal pain, fatigue, lightheadedness, and thirst, he or she should seek medical care immediately.