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Lexington, South Carolina
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Our Lexington Car Accident Attorneys Fight For Bruise Compensation

Crash bruises are painful and may be a sign of a more severe underlying injury

Bruises are not usually considered a major injury, but after a car accident, these “black and blues” can be incredibly painful and a sign of a more serious underlying injury.

Car accident contusions, aka bruises, can take months to heal. They may cause permanent and disabling damage. At Johnson + Johnson, Attorneys at Law, our Lexington car accident attorneys know that crash bruises are serious injuries. That’s why we always fight to get you maximum compensation for the pain and losses these common injuries cause.

If you sustained bruising or were otherwise injured in a South Carolina car accident, contact Johnson + Johnson for a free case evaluation. At no cost to you, a member of our legal team can listen to the details of your case, estimate the value of your claim, and help you decide what to do next. Our personal injury law firm serves injured accident victims in Lexington, Columbia, Red Bank, Oak Grove, and throughout South Carolina.

For more information about car accident bruises and compensation, read on.

Is bruising normal after a car crash?

Bruising is quite common after a car accident and  can happen anywhere on the body. Where someone suffers bruising will depend on the circumstances of the  accident. For example, bruised ribs might occur due to the impact of the seatbelt or steering wheel, resulting in tenderness and discoloration around the chest area. Leg bruising can happen if the legs hit any part of the car's interior during the collision. A seatbelt bruise is also possible  due to the force applied to restrain the body. Sometimes, bruising might not immediately appear. Delayed bruising could surface hours or even days after an accident.

Car accident bruises, contusions, and hematomas

In everyday terms, “bruise,” “contusion,” and “hematoma” are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are differences.

  • “Contusion” is a medical term that basically means “bruise.” (Technically, a contusion is the trauma that causes the bruise.) A bruise is a painful, swollen, and/or sensitive spot on the body where small blood vessels have ruptured and discolored the skin. Bleeding has occurred, but it has not broken the skin’s surface.
  • Hematoma can look like a bruise. Both may appear as discolored, swollen spots on the body. But a hematoma is when blood pools where it isn’t supposed to – usually under the skin and muscle. Unlike bruises that typically heal over time on their own, hematoma may need to be drained by a medical professional.

In a car accident, bruises and hematoma can be caused by contact with the steering wheel, windshield, window, roof, or airbag; ejection; getting hit by debris; seatbelt restraint; and the overall destabilizing effect crashes have on the body. Despite the risk of bruising, you should still wear your seatbelt. Buckling up saves lives.

Types of car accident bruises

Basically, there are three types of bruises – subcutaneous (below the skin), intramuscular/intermuscular (tears within the underlying muscle), and periosteal (bone). They are categorized 1-3, with 3 being the most severe – and are usually due to being struck by something.

To diagnose bruising after a car accident, doctors typically conduct simple physical routines that test your range of motion and pain level to make a bruise diagnosis. They may use radiographs, MRIs, and other body imaging equipment, too, but many soft-tissue injuries cannot be detected this way.

The following are just some of the types of bruising you can sustain in a car accident.

  • Internal bruising. Most bruises form under the skin, but the damage can go much deeper. Internal bruises may occur within the muscles, in the leg or back. Bruising is dangerous when it occurs on or in your internal organs. The organs most likely to be damaged in a crash include your brain, liver, and heart.
  • Brain bruising. Headaches and scalp hematoma can be a sign of brain bruising. In a crash, the most frequently damaged parts of the brain are the frontal lobes and temporal lobes. Bruises to the brain caused by car accidents occur when rapid, unnatural, jerking movements whip and neck and head around. This motion knocks the brain around inside the skull - stretching, tearing, and/or bruising the organ. When a brain sustains two bruises from hitting one side of the skull, and then the other, it's called a “coup-contrecoup” contusion.
  • This medical condition happens when a deeply bruised and damaged muscle releases chemicals into the blood that are harmful to organs. This can cause permanent disabilities as well as death. “Rhabdos” are rare but very serious when they happen. Symptoms include severe pain that increases over time, red urine, decreased urine, and general weakness.
  • Multiple ecchymoses. Swelling in more than one spot on the body.
  • Bone bruising. This type of contusion is frequently the most painful and requires an extended recovery period. Unlike most other bruises, periosteal contusions may be observed with an MRI. Bone contusion can cause damage deep into the skeletal structure. If left untreated, they can heal incorrectly, leading to further damage and chronic pain.
  • Chest contusions. Typically caused by a blunt force hit to the torso, a bad chest bruise may occur in an accident when a person is thrust forward into the steering wheel, seatbelt, dashboard, or other cab component. Sometimes chest bruises run very deep, affecting the heart or lungs. This type of organ damage can be life-threatening and requires urgent medical care. Symptoms of a heart (myocardial contusion) or lung (pulmonary contusion) bruise include extreme pain above the ribs, crackling sensation in the ribcage, abnormal chest movements, shortness of breath, nausea, and coughing up blood.
  • Knee or quadricep contusions. The knee is a delicate structure held together with tendons and ligaments. To avoid muscle spasms and bleeding, a doctor may have you keep your bruised knee elevated to heal. If the injury has reduced your knee’s range of motion an orthopedic surgeon may be called in for a consultation.
  • Abdominal contusions. Bruising over the abdominal wall should be evaluated for ecchymosis (swelling out of proportion with the injury), distention, and decreased bowel movement. These are signs of serious intra-abdominal injuries. Bruises from seatbelts can develop on the abdomen, chest, and torso.

Always see a doctor for a thorough medical examination after a car accident. Walk-in emergency trauma medical service is available throughout South Carolina. In Lexington, providers include Prisma Health Baptist Hospital in Columbia and Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia, among others.

But even if the initial examination didn’t find anything, you may not be in the clear. Car accident bruises frequently do not become visible to the naked eye for 12-36 hours after impact. Sometimes, you can feel the pain before the bruise starts, other times the pain is delayed. Insurance companies often try to dismiss delayed pain injuries, like bruising and whiplash. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers know what it takes to make a case the insurance companies cannot ignore.

Can I get compensation for car accident bruises?

Yes. Negligent drivers are liable for the injuries they cause – everything from bruises to brain damage or death. Pain from car accident bruises can be difficult to bear at times. The injuries can last for weeks, even months. Some are in areas where the pain limits the ability to walk, run, work, eat, sleep, or do everyday tasks.

How much compensation you collect for your car accident will depend on several factors, including the type and severity of your bruises. Pain, medical treatment, recovery time, and long-term effects, among other costs, are considered in the calculation.

Get compensation for your car accident bruises

To get out of paying you the full settlement you are entitled to collect, insurance adjusters will downplay the seriousness of your crash bruises. They may even say your injuries are “not that bad” or accuse you of “faking” your pain.

This isn’t true or fair. At Johnson + Johnson, our Lexington car accident lawyers will stand up for you and fight for what is right. We know that your pain deserves justice and maximum compensation.

If you were injured or a loved one died in a South Carolina car accident, contact us for a free case evaluation to learn more about the value of your claim and your compensation options. Our law firm represents injured accident victims for a contingency fee. That means there is no upfront cost for our services. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.

Don’t let the statute of limitations on car accidents and wrongful death expire. Get started on your injury claim today. Contact us to schedule your free case evaluation right now.

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