February 13th, 2024|
Car crashes lead to serious injuries and fatalities every year. In the first half of 2023, 19,515 people died on the roads in the U.S. according to estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
According to the National Safety Council, around 5.4 million people seek medical attention for injuries suffered in motor vehicle accidents every year. In 2020 the average claim for injuries for those involved in crashes was more than $20,235, due partially to increasing medical costs.
Among the serious injuries caused by car accidents is renal trauma. The results of these injuries can be life-threatening or life-altering, such as internal bleeding, kidney failure, and lifelong medical treatment.
WHAT IS RENAL TRAUMA?
Renal trauma is when an exterior force injures a kidney. Although the kidneys are well protected by the ribcage and back muscles, damage to them may be caused by either blunt or penetrating trauma.
Blunt trauma is an impact that doesn’t break the skin but still causes damage to the kidney. Penetrating trauma is where the damage is caused by the object passing through the skin and entering the body.
Any kind of renal trauma may prevent a kidney from working correctly and carries the potential to be serious.
The kidney’s main purpose is to act as the body’s filter. It keeps us healthy by:
- Regulating blood pressure and red blood cells counts
- Removing waste through our urine
- Maintaining fluid balance
- Maintaining electrolyte levels
When the kidneys are damaged, these functions may be compromised, causing the body serious problems. In some cases, the accident victim may require dialysis.
HOW DOES RENAL TRAUMA HAPPEN IN A CAR CRASH?
The kidney is the most common injured organ in serious trauma cases. Renal blunt trauma may be caused in car accidents by an impact with any part of the vehicle’s interior, such as door handles or controls.
It may also occur when the body is jolted after being propelled forward quickly. Children are particularly vulnerable to this type of injury in a car crash.
Penetrating trauma may be caused by an object entering the body. This can be a part of the accident victim’s car, the other driver’s car, or another piece of debris involved in the crash.
Renal injuries are categorized on a 5-grade scale. Minor injuries such as bruising are grade 1. Grade 5 is the most serious, such as where the kidney is no longer connected to the body’s blood supply.
HOW SERIOUS ARE THE EFFECTS OF RENAL TRAUMA?
Suffering renal trauma can have an impact on your overall health. Possible symptoms of renal trauma include:
- Painful bruising to the abdomen
- Internal bleeding
- Increased heart rate
- Dizziness, or fainting
- Severe pain in the abdomen, made worse with movement
Treatment for minor renal injuries might include hospital rest until there is no blood in the urine. After leaving the hospital, the accident victim will have to stay alert for continued bleeding and high blood pressure.
Surgery is sometimes necessary when there’s a significant blood loss or the kidney is badly damaged. If the damage is too severe and the surgeon cannot save the kidney, they may opt to remove it.
The cost of kidney injury treatment in hospitals is substantial. A report by the Society of Hospital Medicine in 2017 found that acute kidney injury patients’ hospital costs were greater than those with heart attacks and were comparable with patients suffering from pancreatitis or strokes.
Medical costs incurred by rental trauma are a difficult financial burden at a very distressing time.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT
If you were injured in an auto accident, you need to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim for compensation. The information you need includes:
- Photographs of the accident site, your injuries, and damage to the vehicles
- The names and contact information of independent witnesses
- The other driver’s insurance details, license number, name, and address
- Notify your insurance company
- Medical records from your doctor
If you have been seriously injured in the accident, you may be unable to collect this evidence yourself. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, they can gather this vital information on your behalf.
TALK TO A CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER ABOUT YOUR INJURIES
Serious injuries like renal trauma can cause severe and ongoing financial problems for accident victims. You need California car accident lawyers to protect your legal rights so you can receive the long-term healthcare you require without worrying about how to pay for it.
Contact Berg Injury Lawyers to arrange a free consultation to discuss the details of your case. With our No Fee Guarantee®, you don’t pay any legal fees unless you win your case. Learn how we can help you recover the damages you are entitled to for your injuries.
Originally published December 27, 2021.