An auto crash can cause serious injuries in different parts of the body, one of those being catastrophic heart injuries. The heart is an essential organ, and any injuries to the heart can expose the victim to serious health complications.
“In a crash, a lot of force is created, which can damage different body organs, including the heart. That is why it is crucial to be examined by a medical professional after an accident.” says personal injury lawyer Damien Smith from Price Benowitz Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP. Since the heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body, any damage to the heart can significantly impact the individual’s life.
A heart injury can significantly lower the patient’s quality of life. The injured victim is entitled to compensation if the injury results from a driver’s negligence. It is, therefore, ideal to consult with a qualified personal injury lawyer to help file a claim.
What is a Heart Injury?
The heart, as a delicate organ, comprises of several layers. The heart is also surrounded by the ribcage, various connective tissues, and thick muscles.
A motor accident can therefore cause severe damage to the heart and the connective tissues and muscles surrounding the heart. Serious injuries to the heart can lead to permanent disabilities and even death in some cases.
Types of Heart Injuries Resulting from Automobile Accidents
The following are the common heart injuries that motor accident victims may suffer from
1. Cardiac Rupture
In a collision, the force created can cause a rip or tear in the heart. This leak can result in serious complications for the victim. In extreme cases, the individual may run the risk of death.
A cardiac rupture is usually very complex to handle, and the tears are mostly large. However, in some cases, the tear may be small and, if caught on time, can be repaired through surgery. Individuals suffering from a cardiac rupture may experience chest pains and heart and respiratory failure.
2. Myocardial Contusion
This heart injury, also known as a cardiac contusion, occurs when a bruise occurs to any part of the heart’s right ventricle. However, bruises on other parts of the heart can also result in a cardiac contusion. This bruise that results in cardiac contusion is mainly caused by blunt trauma like a car collision.
The contusion may be major or minor. Diagnosing a cardiac contusion can be difficult because it is challenging to visualize the bruised part of the heart. Many other complications are associated with cardiac contusion putting the victim’s life at serious risk.
Since it is impossible to visualize the bruised part, the doctor may have to rely on symptoms to determine the possibility of a cardiac contusion. Some of the symptoms include:
- Consistent wheezing
- Severe pain when taking deep breathes
- Tenderness in the top ribcage
- Racing heart and fainting spells
- Shortness of breath
3. Aortic Dissection
The aorta is a transporter carrying blood from the heart to other body parts. An aortic dissection occurs when there is a tear in the victim’s aorta. This tear causes the middle and inner layers of the artery to split, causing blood to rush through the tear.
This can be very dangerous for the victim and may even result in death if not handled immediately. The best way to treat this heart injury is early detection which is very challenging as the symptoms are similar to other diseases.
Common symptoms of aortic dissection include shortness of breath, severe stomach pain, and chest pain. Victims may also experience difficulty walking, leg pain, and vision problems.
4. Aortic Rupture
A person suffers from aortic rupture when there is a tear in the aorta. However, unlike an aortic dissection, this tear causes the artery to pump blood directly from the heart into the chest cavity. This malfunction will limit the transportation of oxygenated blood to other parts of the body.
An aortic rupture usually occurs in automobile accidents with high-speed impact and requires emergency surgery. The rate of success recorded for such surgeries is low. However, early diagnoses will increase the injured’s chances of survival.
5. Atrial Fibrillation (A-fib)
A-fib occurs when the rhythm of the heart is irregular and rapid. This condition can result in the formation of blood clots in the heart. Victims who suffer from A-fib are also at risk of heart failure, stroke, and other complications.
There is a natural syn in the beating of the upper and lower chambers of the heart. During an A-fib episode, the beating of the upper and lower chambers of the heart becomes chaotic and irregular. A-fib can come and go and may be considered a minor heart injury but may result in stroke if not treated properly and promptly.
Accident victims suffering from A-fib may experience the following symptoms:
- Lightheadedness and fainting spell
- Vision problems
- Severe chest pains
- Dizziness and fatigue
- The fast pounding of the heart, also known as heart palpitation
- General weakness
Why You Need a Lawyer
Heart injuries resulting from an automobile accident can be severe. The victim may incur medical expenses that may run into thousands of dollars. Some heart injuries require the patient to undergo an extended recovery time.
When you suffer injuries due to another’s negligence, you will be entitled to compensation cover for the losses incurred. This is where an auto-accident attorney comes in. A lawyer will help give you the proper representation needed to get your due compensation.
Your rights will be better protected if you work with a lawyer who will use their legal knowledge to ensure you get the maximum compensation for the injuries suffered. A lawyer will handle negotiations with the insurance company and if you cannot reach an agreement, file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Heart injuries can be catastrophic, but with early detection and appropriate medical attention, the victim’s chances of making a full recovery are higher. When the accident resulting in the injury was due to negligence, victims can file a claim to get compensated.