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What If My Car Accident Causes a Ruptured Spleen?

Car accidents can lead to serious and debilitating injuries. Some of these require emergency care, complicated surgeries, and months or even years of therapy. Injuries like a ruptured spleen can lead to complications and the need for extensive medical treatment. What are your options if a car accident causes your spleen to rupture?

What Is a Spleen?

A spleen is a small abdominal organ that rests in the upper left quadrant of your abdominal wall, next to the stomach. It varies in shape and size depending on the person, but it’s about the shape of a fist and around 4 inches long. You probably will never feel your spleen unless it becomes enlarged, since the rib cage protects it.

The spleen plays several important roles throughout the body. First, it serves as a filtration system for your immune system, recycling old red blood cells and storing white blood cells. Second, the spleen also helps fight certain types of harmful bacteria that cause serious conditions including meningitis and pneumonia.

What Happens When a Spleen Ruptures?

Though the rib cage protects the spleen, a traumatic event such as a car crash can lead to broken ribs that can puncture the organ – or jostle it with such force that it ruptures spontaneously. Unfortunately, a ruptured spleen is a life-threatening emergency. Most victims of a ruptured spleen require an emergency splenectomy (removal of the organ), which can be an extensive and expensive surgery.

Signs and Symptoms of a Spleen Injury

Following a car accident, be on the lookout for these symptoms of spleen injury:

  • Pain on the left side of the abdomen, radiating to the left shoulder
  • Tenderness or rebounding pain upon touching the left side of the abdomen
  • Feeling hard to the touch.

If a spleen becomes ruptured, the victim will experience symptoms of internal bleeding. These include:

  • Dizziness
  • Mental confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Fainting

If you experience any of these symptoms following a car accident, seek emergency medical treatment immediately.

Your Actions Following a Car Accident

If you sustain injuries in a car accident, we recommend taking the following actions:

Seek Appropriate Medical Care

Don’t worry about the cost of your care or how you’re going to pay for it – this is what insurance companies and personal injury claims are for. Seek the care you need and follow all your doctor’s orders to get on the road to recovery.

Ask to Provide a Statement for the Police Report

When you’re feeling up to it, contact the police station and ask to provide a statement for the accident report. If you suffered a ruptured spleen, you likely did not have a chance to speak to the responding officer at the scene. Provide details about the nature of the accident but stick to the facts – don’t become emotional or angry at the other driver’s actions.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

Last, contact a personal injury attorney who can represent your rights and fight for fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and the intangible losses associated with your accident. A personal injury attorney will negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies and will not settle for less than you deserve.

A ruptured spleen is a life-threatening emergency that requires surgery and a long recovery. Even after the physical wounds heal, the victim may have to deal with the lifelong consequences of living without the organ, such as increased risk of certain types of infections. With a personal injury claim, you can hold the negligent driver responsible for the medical bills and other expenses associated with your accident. Take care of yourself to recover from your injuries and get in touch with a personal injury attorney who can help you file a claim.

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