Secondary injuries are the injuries that emerge from other injuries. If you have been in a car accident, you most likely noticed injuries that occurred immediately following the accident (called primary injuries). However, some people may see new injuries days, weeks, or even months after their accident, which are referred to as secondary injuries. These types of injuries are due to bodily changes that occur from the initial injuries.
Individuals who have been involved in a car accident may experience various secondary injuries depending on how the accident occurred and the medical treatment plan they are pursuing. A few examples of secondary injuries from car accidents include:
- Stroke: If you have a head injury, the vessels in the brain may be damaged. As a result, they may rupture later on, causing a stroke. This is very dangerous, which is why your physician should be monitoring your head injury to prevent strokes from occurring.
- Blood clots: Whether you have a brain injury, broken bone, severe bruises, or blunt force trauma, you are at risk of forming blood clots. The reason for this is because the blood around the injuries can start to stick, forming a clot easily. The doctor must keep an eye on your injuries and create a treatment plan that will prevent the formation of blood clots in the future.
- Oxygen deprivation: If you have a back or spinal cord injury, you most likely have swelling and inflammation around the injury. This places a great amount of pressure on your spinal cord, which can prevent it from moving adequate oxygenated blood throughout your body.
- Chronic pain: When you have a fractured or broken bone, chronic pain is known to follow. This type of pain is described as excruciating, persistent, and long-lasting. In fact, many people suffer from chronic pain for several months after their accident.
- Tissue damage: When you have any type of injury after a car accident, your tissue, muscles, ligaments, and tendons may all become damaged around that specific injury. This can lead to other serious issues as you may no longer have feeling in that area, which may lead to numbness, tingling, or even burning.
- Reduced blood flow: Depending on the location of your injuries, you may experience reduced blood flow. Individuals who have traumatic brain injuries can typically experience reduced blood flow, which may prevent the brain from recovering. This is a very serious matter that your doctor should be looking out for.
- Secondary brain injury: A secondary brain injury occurs after the initial brain injury. This causes severe damage to the brain and can result in death. The reason for this is because the tissues and cells in the brain become destroyed, and individuals are unable to recover from this. Therefore, if you suffer from a brain injury, your healthcare provider should be ready and prepared to prevent any secondary injuries from occurring if possible.
Can secondary injuries be prevented?
Most physicians are experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to determining potential secondary injuries that an individual may face. Therefore, they should begin treating you for your initial injuries but also taking the proper steps to reduce your chances of suffering secondary injuries. If you have symptoms of a secondary injury, you should let your doctor know immediately. This will allow them to begin managing and treating your symptoms before they become severe.
However, if a doctor fails to take reasonable care of your injuries, you may have an additional claim medical negligence. Negligent physicians should be held accountable for their medical errors, including the ones that emerge when treating or failing to treat the patient’s original injuries. However, in order to successfully recover compensation for your losses, you must be able to prove that your secondary injury was caused by the doctor’s negligence.
If you need help determining if your secondary injuries are a result were caused by the initial accident/incident or your doctor's negligent behavior, contact our Maryland medical malpractice attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, PA at your earliest convenience. We will listen to your experience, gather evidence to support your claim, and work hard to prove liability for your damages. To find out more information about this type of claim and what it entails, contact our office to set up a free consultation. You can also visit one of our many offices around Maryland to begin speaking with our team of knowledgeable injury lawyers.