Blunt Force Trauma in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Blunt Force Trauma in Car AccidentsAfter a motorcycle accident, car accident, or even a truck accident, there is a strong possibility you suffered some type of blunt force trauma. These injuries may not have a lot of physical symptoms, but they are profoundly serious, and can lead to long-lasting or even permanent consequences. If severe enough, they can cause paralysis, disability, or death.

What is blunt force trauma?

Blunt force trauma is “an injury to the body caused by forceful impact, injury, or physical attack with a dull object or surface.” There is usually no penetrating wound with blunt force trauma, which means that most injuries are internal. Across America, blunt force trauma is listed as one of the main causes of death in both children and adults in motor vehicle accidents.

What are common blunt force trauma-related injuries?

There are several distinct types of blunt force trauma-related injuries that a person can sustain after an accident. A few of the most catastrophic blunt force trauma-related injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries: A victim may hit their head against the steering wheel, dashboard, or another object that enters the vehicle. As a result, they may suffer a traumatic brain injury. There are a variety of traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, contusions, diffuse axonal injuries, hemorrhage, hematoma, and coup-contrecoup injuries. However, when a person is diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, they often require immediate hospitalization, medical attention, and a treatment plan tailored specifically to their needs. Although you can potentially recover from these injuries, they can cause loss of cognitive function, memory problems, mental and emotional issues, and more.
  • Crushed or fractured bones: Blunt force trauma from a crash can cause multiple fractured or crushed bones. These can be crushed or fractured facial bones, arm and leg bones, ribs, pelvis, sternum, and more. Depending on how severe the breaks are, you may have trouble moving, walking, and getting around for the rest of your life. Some doctors may recommend multiple surgeries to help repair your bones. However, it is not uncommon for motor vehicle accident victims with severe fractures and breaks in their bones to end up with post-traumatic arthritis, which is when your joints experience recurring swelling after some injury or trauma.
  • Internal bleeding: Internal bleeding occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and begins to bleed inside the body. If the bleeding is not caught and stopped in time, the individual could lose too much blood, resulting in death.
  • Organ ruptures and damage: Blunt force trauma can also rupture organs and even cause permanent damage. When an organ ruptures, the individual must receive immediate medical attention. If not, internal bleeding, permanent organ damage, or even death can occur.
  • Chest trauma: Chest injury due to blunt force trauma is extremely serious. This trauma can cause cardiac contusions or bruises, tearing in the walls of the heart, or even damage to the valves of the heart. When this happens, the individual may experience heart attacks, low blood pressure, or have trouble breathing.
  • Spinal cord injuries: When blunt force trauma causes spinal cord injuries, the effects are often life-altering. For example, the injured victim may experience paralysis, respiratory complications, bladder and bowel issues, spasticity, and more. Individuals may never fully heal or recover from spinal cord injuries, so they must learn to adapt to a new reality.

Other common injuries might include:

  • Blood pressure issues
  • Shock
  • Blood clots
  • Aneurysms
  • Miscarriage (if pregnant)
  • Infections
  • Severe bruising and discoloration
  • Organ failure

Who can suffer blunt force trauma-related injuries in a Seattle motor vehicle accident?

In a motor vehicle accident, multiple parties can suffer blunt force trauma-related injuries, including:

  • Drivers
  • Passengers
  • Children in car seats or the back seat
  • Pedestrians, work crews, and bystanders
  • Bicyclists
  • Motorcyclists

Which organs are most at risk of blunt force trauma during a collision?

Even though all your organs are at risk of blunt force trauma during a collision, the abdominal organs are the most at risk. Your abdomen is the most common area to suffer force or impact from airbags, the steering wheel, the seat belt, or another part of the inside of the vehicle. A motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian could suffer blunt force trauma to the abdomen from striking the hard pavement. Some organs that may suffer blunt force trauma include:

  • Bladder
  • Diaphragm
  • Intestines
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Spleen

How do doctors diagnose and treat blunt force trauma?

When an accident victim arrives at a hospital, the doctors will begin looking for signs of blunt force trauma by conducting a physical examination. During this examination, they look at the individual’s breathing, circulation, disabilities, injuries, and more. They will order specific tests, such as an ultrasound, CT scan, MRI test, X-ray, blood work, and urine test to get a detailed look at what is going on inside the person’s body and find out whether any blunt force trauma is present.

If it is determined that you have suffered force trauma, the doctor may order fluids to ensure you are hydrated, transfuse blood to make up for any blood loss, clean your wounds, and provide medications to prevent infections and illnesses. If your blunt force trauma causes catastrophic injuries, surgery is likely recommended. Afterward, you will be closely monitored to see whether your injuries improve and how you respond to treatments.

The Seattle personal injury lawyers at Smith McBroom have decades of experience helping car, bicycle, motorcycle, truck, and pedestrian accident victims in Washington recover from blunt force trauma-related injuries. Our team has built a solid reputation for helping our clients develop winning legal strategies, and we are ready to do the same for you. Please call our office in Tukwila or complete our contact form to schedule your free initial consultation today.