Blunt force trauma injuries can be devastating for both the victim and their family. At the law offices of Michael J. Vergis, our Bossier City personal injury attorneys understand the physical, financial, and emotional toll that a traumatic injury like this can have on accident victims. That is why we fight aggressively to make sure you obtain the highest quality care and maximum compensation to deal with your injuries and the accompanying problems that the responsible party has caused you.
What is Blunt Force Trauma?
Blunt force trauma is a type of injury where the body hits a hard object or surface, typically one without a sharpened edge, and causes serious injury. In some cases, these types of injuries can be extremely dangerous, as they do not indicate a severe or overt sign of injury needing attention. For example, if you were to hit something, but it does not pierce or break a bone, you might think you are fine, but you may actually have internal bleeding if the impact was hard enough.
There are four classifications of blunt trauma: contusions, abrasions, lacerations, and fractures.
- Contusions are a result of blood capillaries rupturing in a certain area of the skin, leaving a bruise behind.
- Abrasions occur when the skin has been scraped, leaving a rough surface or scab behind.
- Lacerations are the irregular or jagged tearing of skin that leads to an open wound.
- Fractures are complete or partial breaks within the bone, regardless of the state of the skin.
How Serious is Blunt Force Trauma?
The severity of the injury depends on the amount of momentum, or kinetic energy, that is delivered onto the body. This severity can change depending on the force, but also on the location of the impact. If a lot of force impacts a larger surface area, there will likely be significantly more tissue damage and a much greater cause for concern. If a small amount of force is applied to a smaller region, the effects on the tissue will be less damaging.
The severity of the blunt trauma also depends on the strength of the bodily region to withstand or minimize the impacting damage. For example, if a strike of an object like a pole or stick on a softer area such as the head or neck vertebrae, more damage will result than if the same object and force were applied to a stronger area of the body like the pelvis.
Overall, it is relative to the individual whether the force is enough to cause severe damage or concern for fatality. There are incidents where a person can endure a traumatic injury such as being hit by a moving vehicle in a pedestrian accident better than an individual who takes a fall.
What Causes Blunt Force Trauma?
Most often, blunt force traumatic injuries occur through auto accidents where the driver or passenger hits the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, back of a seat, or seatbelt with enough force to cause contusions or ruptures of internal organs. Almost all transportation accident deaths are due to blunt force trauma, especially causing injury to the brain or head. Other common causes of blunt trauma are falls, pedestrian accidents, sporting incidents, bicycle accidents, and physical assaults, to name a few.
Blunt force trauma is also known as “non-penetrating trauma.” Penetrating trauma is when an object encounters the body with force and does indeed pierce it, causing an open wound. Of course, blunt trauma does not actually pierce the skin.
What is Blunt Force Trauma to the Head?
Head injuries are serious injuries regardless of the presenting scenario, force, or appearance of damage. This is because many times, there can be more hidden damage than expected. That is why it is important to always exercise extreme caution after receiving a blunt trauma injury to the skull or when tending to such injuries, as there is always the risk of internal injury. If you experience any type of head injury, do not be dismissive of it if you cannot see any obvious signs of damage. Always take proper care and seek medical attention immediately.
Head injuries can cause swelling to the soft tissues of the brain. But because the skull entraps the brain, there is little room to allow for swelling. As such, any pressure created by swelling inside the skull can lead to brain damage. The following are some, but not all, of the different types of head injuries resulting from blunt trauma:
- Concussion – A concussion is an injury to the head area that may cause instant loss of awareness or alertness anywhere from a few minutes up to a few hours after the traumatic event.
- Skull Fracture – A skull fracture is a break in the skull bone. There are four major types of skull fractures, including Linear skull fractures, Depressed skull fractures, Diastatic skull fractures, and Basilar skull fractures.
- Intracranial Hematoma (ICH) – ICH is essentially a blood clot in or around the brain. There are several types of ICH that can occur. The different types are classified by the region of the brain that is affected. These can range from mild head injuries to quite serious and potentially life-threatening injuries.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – A mild TBI can cause temporary damage to your brain cells. However, bruising, torn tissues, hemorrhage, and other physical damage to the brain can occur with more severe traumatic brain injury. It is possible for these catastrophic injuries to result in long-term problems or death.
What is Blunt Force Trauma to the Abdomen?
Blunt abdominal trauma is an injury that is very common in car accidents. In fact, most blunt abdominal traumatic injuries are related to motor vehicle crashes and pedestrian injuries. When your abdomen is thrust into things such as a seat belt, steering wheel, or airbag, blunt trauma to the abdomen may occur, potentially harming your internal organs. The spleen, liver, bladder, kidneys, diaphragm, and large and small intestines are the most common abdominal organs harmed by blunt trauma.
Management of blunt abdominal trauma depends on the individual’s hemodynamic stability.
Blunt trauma injuries to the abdomen are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in all age groups. However, identification of serious abdominal blunt trauma is often challenging, as many injuries do not present themselves in the initial assessment and treatment period. This is why it is so important that those who experience an accident of any kind seek medical treatment immediately. Not only can it potentially save your life, but it can also be essential for you to establish a personal injury claim later on.
When Can You Recover Compensation for Blunt Force Trauma?
If you received blunt trauma injuries due to the negligence of another person, like from a Bossier City car accident, for example, you are entitled to compensation. However, in order to receive compensation for a blunt trauma personal injury claim, you must first prove negligence or intentional harm occurred.
Bunt trauma lawsuits can be founded on the basis of either an intentional tort or negligence. If someone causes your injury intentionally, it is an intentional tort. This typically appears in a physical attack such as assault and battery or shootings. So, on top of the criminal charges that person will likely suffer, you may also seek damages with a civil lawsuit.
In the case of a negligence-based lawsuit, the perpetrator’s carelessness caused you harm. These types of accidents may include anything from slips and falls to motorcycle accidents to even dog bites or animal attacks. There are three elements that must be established in a civil personal injury lawsuit: (1) the defendant owed you a duty of care, (2) the defendant breached the duty of care, and (3) the breach was the direct cause of your blunt trauma injury.
In addition, if the blunt trauma occurs in your work setting as a result of performing your duties, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Damages in Blunt Force Trauma Lawsuit
The goal of any personal injury claim is to make the plaintiff “whole” again or in a similar financial state as their pre-accident condition. This entails much more than just compensation for things like medical bills and property damage. The amount of damages you can receive typically depends on the extent of your injuries and the degree of negligence of the at-fault party. Injury lawsuits are also much more complicated if the injury led to a long-term or permanent loss of abilities and work performances or career change. For example, a head injury can present serious complications, and since the damages are considered greater, the settlements are typically greater as well.
The following types of damages can be sustained for blunt trauma injuries:
- Economic damages depict a monetary loss due to someone else’s negligence in an accident. This includes things like medical expenses (such as medical bills, prescription medication, physical therapy, checkups etc.), lost income, and property damage.
- Non-economic damages are compensation for non-monetary losses such as pain or suffering, emotional distress, or loss of consortium.
- Punitive damages are also available in the event that the act was intentional or grossly negligent. These are damages intended to punish the defendant and deter them from repeating their behavior, as well as acting as a warning for others.
Whoever you choose to represent you in your personal injury case plays a huge role in the amount of damages you are able to receive.
Call Personal Injury Attorney Michael J. Vergis for More Information About Blunt Force Trauma Injury Claims
If you have been injured by another person, it is imperative that you get in contact with an experienced Bossier City attorney as soon as possible. Louisiana’s statute of limitations only allows victims one year to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party. In addition, because of the complexities that often come with blunt trauma claims, it is critical that you hire an attorney who is well-versed in this area and can see to it that you receive the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled. If you’ve received injuries in the Shreveport or Bossier areas, call the office of Michael J. Vergis today at 318-698-3724 or complete the online submission form below to schedule your free consultation right away.