If you fall down a staircase or you’re in a serious car crash, you won’t always have visible signs of trauma. But you may have internal injuries that you don’t discover for months that can cost you years of pain. Internal injuries can also result in costly medical bills that you didn’t expect.
If someone’s negligent actions caused your internal injuries, a Fort Myers internal injury attorney at Viles & Beckman can help. Our lawyers listen to your version of an accident and evaluate your potential for recovering damages. We take steps to protect your legal interests while you focus on getting well.
Common Types of Internal Injuries
Serious or minor trauma sometimes damages your internal organs and causes internal bleeding. Hemophiliacs, people taking blood thinners, older people, and those with certain existing conditions are usually more at risk for serious bleeding. When left untreated, internal bleeding diminishes blood flow to the body parts that need it.
Internal damage can affect single or multiple organs, such as:
- Hemothorax: Internal damage that causes bleeding around the lungs
- Hemopericardium: Bleeding around the heart
- Damaged blood vessels: A tear of a major vessel or vessel group, including the aorta
- Abdominal organ damage: Damage to liver, kidneys, or spleen
- Lung damage: A fractured rib or piercing object can puncture and collapse a lung
- Head trauma: Brain damage, including mild (concussions), moderate, and severe TBIs, may cause intracranial bleeding and pressure, which leads to further damage
If your injury isn’t listed above, our Fort Myers internal injury attorneys can review your injuries after you receive medical care. Then, we can verify if your injury qualifies for an internal injury claim.
Recognizing Internal Injury Symptoms
For a number of reasons, an injured person won’t always recognize that they have internal injuries. They see no blood, lacerations, or other visible signs. The symptoms they do recognize—nausea, mild pain, headache, and light-headedness—are also symptoms of non-threatening conditions.
If you undergo trauma in any type of accident, you should never attempt to self-diagnose your condition. You must pay attention to all your symptoms and explain them to a medical professional who can provide an accurate diagnosis.
Diagnosing an Internal Injury
Internal injuries also present diagnostic challenges for medical professionals. They use ultrasound, CT scans, and other tools to simplify the process. Emergency surgeons rely on diagnostic surgeries to identify internal injuries, repair any damage, and control bleeding when necessary. Types of diagnostic surgeries include:
- Abdomen injuries: Exploratory laparotomy
- Head/brain injuries: Craniotomy
- Heart/lungs injuries: Thoracotomy
- Legs/thigh injuries: Fasciotomy
After a doctor diagnoses you with an internal injury, the documents related to your injury will serve as valuable pieces of evidence. We’ll use medical records to show the severity of your injury when you file your claim.
What Types of Accidents Cause Internal Injuries?
Internal injuries happen when the head or body endures blunt trauma or penetrating trauma. Injuries often occur when the body sustains a crushing injury or an object connects forcefully with the body or penetrates the flesh. For example, severely fractured ribs cause internal damage when they pierce or lacerate internal organs and tissue.
A number of accidents cause the types of trauma that lead to internal injuries:
- Slip and falls: A person slips or trips and falls to a concrete floor or some other hard surface.
- Falls from one level to another: A person falls from an elevated area, such as a staircase or a construction site platform.
- Motorcycle accidents: A vehicle impact throws a cyclist from his bike into a stationary object, or the bike overturns, pins the biker, and causes crushing injuries.
- Vehicle accidents: A serious accident crushes a vehicle or causes a metal intrusion into the passenger compartment. A steering wheel, dashboard, or seatbelt sometimes pushes into a driver’s or passenger’s abdomen. A severe body jolt or head trauma sometimes causes internal damage to the brain.
- Pedestrian accidents: Pedestrians sustain multiple injuries when a vehicle strikes them or throws them into a stationary object.
- Medical negligence: A physician accidentally cuts or otherwise injures a patient during a surgical procedure.
- Product liability: A defective product causes head or body trauma.
This is not an exhaustive list of the accidents that can result in an internal injury. Our internal injury lawyers in Fort Myers can assess your accident and let you know if your accident is one that we cover for internal injuries.
Statute of Limitations for an Internal Injury Claim
In Florida, according to Fla. Stat. § 95.11, you have four years to file a claim against the negligent party for your internal injury. It’s best to file as soon as possible to show that your intentions are genuine so that you and your lawyer can begin building a strong case.
If you don’t file within the statute of limitations, you risk not getting the maximum amount of settlement or any settlement at all. While the time to file a claim is four years, each case is different. The only way to know the exact amount of time you have to file is to meet with a personal injury lawyer.
Who Is Responsible for an Internal Injury?
When someone causes or contributes to the circumstances that injured you, they are responsible for your damages. Depending on the accident, more than one person may share liability for your injuries.
Some people who can be responsible for your injuries include:
- Vehicle drivers/owners: When a negligent driver causes an accident, the vehicle owner is also liable for your injuries.
- Truck drivers/transport companies: When an employee/driver causes an injury while operating a commercial vehicle, the company, owner, shipper, loader, and maintenance contractors may share liability. An employer may have a separate liability exposure based on negligent hiring or negligent entrustment of a vehicle.
- Product manufacturers: If a defective product causes an injury, the designer, manufacturer, and sometimes the distributor share liability for injured victims. This is also true for vehicle manufacturers.
- Property owners: Property owners and their maintenance/repair contractors are responsible for negligent and defective conditions on their property.
- Medical professionals: A physician who causes an internal injury is sometimes responsible for a patient’s damages. The standards for evaluating medical negligence are different from those used to measure traditional negligence cases.
If you are unsure if a person was negligent in their actions, our internal injury attorneys offer a free case review. We can take a look at the person in question’s actions and see if you qualify for a case.
What Damages Can I Recover From an Internal Injury Case in Fort Myers?
After an accident, there’s a high chance you may feel stressed out about paying medical bills for your injury. We understand that unanticipated accidents can put a financial strain on your life. We are passionate about getting you the compensation that you deserve. You may be eligible to receive the following damages:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Loss of wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- In-home care services
Our internal injury attorneys in Fort Myers will fight for justice and your compensation. We’ll even find damages that the negligent party may not want you to know about. We’ll defend your interests while you focus on recovering from your injury.
Finding the Best Fort Myers Internal Injury Attorney
Internal injuries are serious. You need an attorney representing your legal interests as soon as possible, and we are here to help. Our dedicated lawyers know their way around internal injury cases.
At Viles & Beckman, we offer a free case review where we’ll review your accident and your injuries. Our Fort Myers internal injury attorneys will explain your legal options and discuss any time constraints that might apply. If you are suffering from an internal injury, call us or fill out the form on our contact us page to start your free case review today.