When two vehicles collide on a Virginia highway, the chance that someone will suffer a serious injury depends on many factors, including speed, trajectory and the safety features in the car. While some injuries, such as broken bones, are relatively easy to assess, catastrophic injuries are not always evident right away. One such injury, a ruptured spleen, may be life-threatening.
The spleen is located under the left side of the ribs, and its job is to help the body fight infections. It is a fragile organ, and a traumatic blow can easily damage its delicate, capsule-like covering. When this happens, the spleen may begin to bleed into the abdominal cavity. This can be quite painful for the victim, but more seriously, the victim may lose a critical amount of blood before doctors are able to diagnose the injury. In fact, doctors may forgo certain diagnostic tests if they fear the internal bleeding is placing the patient’s life at risk.
Minor injuries to the spleen may heal themselves, but a rupture typically requires emergency surgery. Often surgery results in the removal of the damaged organ. This not only leaves a patient with a surgical injury from which to recover, but it also opens many patients to serious and lifelong complications since the spleen is an important factor in fighting off infections.
To suffer such catastrophic injuries due to the negligence or reckless actions of another can be frustrating. Medical bills for tests, surgery, medications and hospital stays are often astronomical, and it may be difficult to afford those expenses if an injury keeps an accident victim from working. This is why many choose to pursue financial compensation through the Virginia civil courts for their pain, suffering and other documented monetary damages.