Aortic Injuries And Car Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are often known to result in catastrophic injuries. One of the most devastating is an aortic injury. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), up to 90 percent of traumatic aortic ruptures are caused by motor vehicle accidents. Those who have been affected by aortic injuries and car accidents caused by another driver's misconduct or recklessness may have the right to financial compensation. If you or a loved one has suffered an aortic injury after a car accident, consider contacting an experienced Georgia car accident lawyer at The Mark Casto Law Firm, PC to schedule a free consultation today by calling (706) 940-4030.
What Are Aortic Injuries?
The heart's lower left chamber is connected to a large artery known as the aorta. The section of the aorta that turns downward is weaker than the rest of the aorta, leaving it at an increased risk for tearing or rupture in the event of a serious injury. If the aorta is torn and its layers begin to separate, victims can suffer from devastating injuries, including aortic dissection.
There are multiple types of aortic injuries that a person could experience as a result of a motor vehicle accident. Aortic injuries are classified as being one of the following:
- Aortic intimal tears are rare and most frequently involve a tearing of the thoracic aorta leading to a complete thoracic aortic dissection
- Aortic intramural hematomas occur when blood leaks through the innermost walls of the aorta, flowing between the inner and outer walls without leakage
- Aortic pseudoaneurysms occur when the aortic wall has been breached but the rupture itself is contained by the thin wall lining
- Aortic rupture, also commonly referred to as aortic dissection, occurs when there is a tear or breakage through all three layers of the aorta
How Car Accidents Cause Aortic Injuries
Car accidents have been known to result in catastrophic and life-threatening injuries. Although traumatic brain injuries and broken bones are common, debilitating internal injuries can include blood vessel damage, heart injuries, and aortic injuries. These injuries often occur in catastrophic car accidents involving commercial trucks, drunk driving, distracted driving, or other types of negligent driving. However, even seemingly minor car accidents, such as rear end collisions, have been known to cause critical aortic injuries and chest trauma.
Aortic injuries most often occur when vehicles come to a sudden stop and the driver or passenger is restrained by a seat belt. If the seat belt is not worn correctly, the body can experience significant force, which can lead to tearing in the aorta. Additionally, when the rib cage or chest is crushed by the steering wheel or dashboard, the aorta can be torn or broken.
Risks and Symptoms of Aortic Injuries
Aortic dissection and other aortic injuries can be life-threatening. Someone who suffers an aortic dissection is at risk for stroke, organ failure, gangrene, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, heart attack, and even death.
Because of these risks, it is important to watch for symptoms after a collision. Some of the more common symptoms associated with aortic injuries include:
- Intense pressure or pain in the chest
- Pain in the sternum
- Pain in the shoulder or neck
- Shortness of breath
- Week or rapid pulse
- Pain in the abdomen
- Stroke symptoms
- Paralysis on one side of the body
- Leg or hip pain
Recovering Maximum Compensation for Aortic Injuries in a Car Accident
Aortic injury victims who hope to get the most out of a car accident claim may need to be prepared to pursue both insurance and civil claims. In the vast majority of car accident cases, the at-fault driver will be represented by an insurance company. By filing a claim with the insurer, the accident victim may be able to recover certain types of damages.
Georgia is a fault state, so the injured victim will file a claim with the liable party's insurance company following a car accident. However, the amount of compensation that the victim can recover through an insurance settlement will be limited by the amount of coverage the policyholder purchased. Any remaining damages that the insurance company does not cover can often be sought through a civil claim filed against the liable party.
Recoverable Damages for Aortic Injuries
When someone has suffered debilitating injuries caused by another person's negligence in a car accident, the victim may have the right to be compensated for losses. Compensatory damages, which may include economic damages and non-economic damages, are meant to cover losses experienced by accident victims after aortic injuries and car accidents.
Compensation for economic damages encompasses a victim's financial losses and can be easily proven through financial records, bank statements, paystubs, hospital bills, receipts, and other supporting evidence. Some types of economic damages victims of aortic injuries and car accidents could recover as part of a car accident claim include:
- Hospital bills
- Ambulance fees
- Medical equipment
- Anticipated cost of future medical care
- Other medical expenses
- Loss of household services
- Diminished earning capacity
- Loss of income
- Property damages
Non-economic damages encompass emotional trauma, physical injuries, and the way a victim's life has been affected by the injuries and the car accident itself. According to the Georgia Code, the statute of limitations for each of these varies between one and four years. Some examples of non-economic damages for aortic injuries include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
- Reputational damages
- Disfigurement and scarring
Every person's case is different. Although aortic injuries may be common, they can impact every person's life differently. An experienced attorney at The Mark Casto Law Firm, PC can help you determine how much compensation you may be entitled to for car accident aortic injuries.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Georgia for Help Today
Aortic injury victims and families who are dealing with the loss of a loved one who suffered aortic injuries may have the right to be made legally whole. If you or a loved one has been affected by aortic injuries and car accidents, consider contacting an experienced Georgia car accident lawyer at The Mark Casto Law Firm, PC to schedule a no-cost, risk-free consultation and learn more about your legal rights by calling (706) 940-4030 today.