Seat belts and airbags exist in order to protect victims of car crashes from serious injuries or even death. The research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is clear that seat belts directly saved approximately 15,000 lives in 2017 alone. Similarly, airbags also save the lives of drivers and passengers involved in severe car accidents. Unfortunately, in some cases, the force of these safety devices against a person's chest can result in a life-threatening emergency known as an aortic dissection. Aortic dissections and car crashes are far too often linked together. If you, or someone you love, suffered an aortic dissection as a result of a car crash due to someone else's negligence, you may have the right to receive compensation and justice. Learn more about your legal rights by contacting the experienced car crash lawyers at Labrum Law Firm at (615) 338-9500 today for a free consultation.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, aortic dissection is a life-threatening emergency. The aorta is actually an artery that rises from the heart's lower left chamber. As this artery rises up towards the top of the heart it then bends down. The part of this artery that bends down is the isthmus. The isthmus is considered to be much weaker in nature than the rest of the aortic artery. As a result, if this particular area of the aorta ruptures or tears in any way, an aortic dissection occurs. When an aortic dissection occurs, the person may develop permanent and severe damage to other organs as well as damage to the heart. Even a small lack of blood flow to vital organs can lead to bowel infractions, dead intestines, kidney and liver failure, gangrene, amputations or hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and brain damage. Strokes and even death occur when aortic dissections happen, as reported by Baylor University Medical Center. If you experienced a serious car accident, you should always seek immediate medical attention as some life-threatening injuries may exist without full symptoms or warning.
Common Symptoms of Aortic Dissections
It is important again to state that some symptoms of aortic dissection after a car crash or other serious injuries may not fully present themselves due to the trauma experienced by a victim, shock, or the rush of adrenaline. As a result, every victim of a car accident should always receive a full medical evaluation and treatment for their health and safety. Some of the common symptoms of aortic dissection include:
- Chest pain
- Dizziness and/or fainting
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty speaking or walking
- Leg pain
- Rapid weak pulse
- Any symptoms that are similar in nature to a heart attack or a stroke
The statistics are harrowing and shocking. Almost 40% of all victims that have an aortic dissection will die immediately. However, aortic dissections and car accidents are common, and the risk of dying increases by approximately 3% every single hour following the accident without proper medical care and treatment. If you experienced a car accident, and already received a medical evaluation, you should return to a medical care provider as soon as possible if your symptoms worsen or you develop new symptoms.
Medical Treatments of Aortic Dissections
Every victim of a car crash that suffers an aortic dissection will have different sets of facts and circumstances. Some aortic dissections occur as a result of seat belts while others occur as a result of the impact of an airbag deployment. However, some of the medical treatments available to victims that suffer an aortic dissection from a car crash include the following:
- Emergency surgery to replace the damaged aortic area with a graft (fabric tube)
- Prescription medications including beta-blockers to lower heart rates and blood pressure
- Ongoing medical supervision to watch for the development of aneurysms and other heart issues at a later time
- Life-long prescription medications as necessary
- If other organ damage or failures occurred (such as kidney or liver damage, etc.), then the victim will also need medical attention regarding those additional medical challenges
While every person will have different medical treatments following an aortic dissection, it is always important to visit with a medical care provider immediately following your car accident for your own health and safety.
Impact of Aortic Dissections on Car Crashes Victims
The impact of aortic dissection on car crash victims cannot be overstated. Many victims will develop chronic medical conditions regarding their heart and other organs. Many victims suffer a loss of quality of life, the inability to return to work resulting in lost wages as a result of their injuries, and pain and suffering. Victims suffering from an aortic dissection may be told that they must curtail a great deal of their normal daily activities such as exercise in order to limit the blood pressure and stress on the heart. As a result, victims often suffer other medical complications from not being able to exercise and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, many victims of aortic dissections that occur as a result of a car crash die from their injuries. The families of a victim who died from an aortic dissection may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and receive compensation and justice. Consider visiting with an experienced car crash attorney at Labrum Law Firm if you, or your family member, suffered injuries or died as a result of an aortic dissection in a car crash in Tennessee.
We Can Help You Understand Your Legal Rights Today
Under Tenn. Code § 28-3-104, a victim suffering an aortic dissection after a car crash only has one year from the date of the accident in order to file a claim in court or lose their right to do so permanently. Time is of the essence. You may have the right to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, loss of future wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and even punitive damages. Learn more about your legal rights today by contacting our experienced attorneys at Labrum Law Firm at (615) 338-9500.