22 Feb

Cardiac Injuries & Accidents: Understanding The Importance Of Immediate Medical Exams

Personal Injury

cardiac injury

February is American Heart Month, so during this last week of February The Florida Law Group is taking time to discuss cardiac injuries that result from accidents: what they are, and why it is so important to get an immediate medical examination after you have been involved in an accident, even if you do not feel injured!

Most people think of accident injuries as broken bones, cuts, concussions, but internal injuries to the heart are also a frequent occurrence. Unfortunately, cardiac injuries resulting from chest or thoracic trauma are common in motor vehicle accidents (especially if the airbag deploys, if passengers or drivers are ejected from the vehicle, or if the impact is otherwise severe). These types of injuries also commonly present in slip and fall cases. However, symptoms may not appear right away, so the injured accident victim may not know that they have a heart injury. In some cases, this will not result in long-term harm, but many other cases can result in serious cardiac complications, including arrhythmias, heart rupture, and more. Even if there is not a significant impact, the fear and stress and trauma of an accident can trigger cardiovascular complications like a heart attack or irregular heartbeat.

One type of common cardiac injury in accident cases is known as a myocardial contusion – essentially, a bruised heart muscle. Most often, people who suffer this injury were in a car accident, fell from heights greater than 20 feet (a risk for roofers and construction workers), or received chest compressions during CPR. Depending on how severe the myocardial contusion is, victims may experience extreme pain above their ribs, increased heart rate, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, and other heart-attack-like symptoms. Doctors can diagnose this condition with a physical exam, imaging tests like X-rays, CTs, echocardiograms and electrocardiograms, and also with bloodwork. Treatment varies due to the specific nature of the injury, but may include anything from painkillers and monitoring to blood drainage, surgery, chest tube placement, or pacemaker placement.

If myocardial contusions go undetected/untreated, they can potentially be fatal, which is why it is so important to be examined right away following an accident! In some cases, adrenaline may be preventing injured accident victims from “feeling” how hurt they really are. After calling the police or emergency medical personnel, getting a full medical exam immediately could mean the difference between life or death if you have a cardiac injury.

One report described six cases of cardiac damage resulting from road accidents; in all six cases, the damage was not recognized at the time of the accident but presented itself two days to 17 years later. In one of those cases, the accident victim died due to their cardiac injury.

If you were injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault – perhaps you were hit by a drunk or distracted driver, or you were harmed by construction equipment – and you suffered a cardiac injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, you have legal options. That type of injury can be devastating, not only because it can negatively affect your lifelong heart health but also because the costs to treat your injuries can be extremely expensive. You may have to pay for costs associated with ambulatory care, hospitalization, surgeries, imaging tests, copays, medications, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and more. This can add up to equal hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. You should not have to carry that financial burden on your own, but unfortunately, insurance companies – even your own – will often try to avoid paying out the full amount you deserve because it protects their investments.

That is another reason not to wait to seek medical attention after an accident, even if you are not aware or do not suspect that you suffered a cardiac injury. The longer you wait to get a documented report of your injuries, the more likely it will be that the insurance company will attempt to blame other events for your condition. Say you start having heart problems 4 months after your accident; a commonly used tactic is for the insurance company to claim that something else happened in those 4 months that led to your injuries, and there is no way to tell for sure that the accident was responsible.

The Florida Law Group can serve as your advocate when you suffered a heart injury in an accident. We will help you understand what your case is really worth and explain your legal options; then we will work to relentlessly pursue maximum compensation for your injuries. Our trial attorneys know how to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf or take them to court, if necessary. We will never let you settle for less than a fair amount!

Our law firm is recognized as one of the top personal injury firms in the nation by prestigious legal groups like The National Trial Lawyers Top 100, The Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, The Trial Lawyer Board Of Regents, The National Association Of Distinguished Counsel, Florida Super Lawyers, Avvo, and more. Our lead attorney, Chris Limberopoulos, is a board certified civil trial specialist, a rare distinction that few lawyers have earned. We have recovered over $1 billion for injured accident victims across the state, and are currently expanding our locations to offer quality representation to more Floridians (you can find us in Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Lakeland, Plant City, Brandon, Largo, New Port Richey, Wesley Chapel, and virtually)! Call us today to schedule a free consultation. At The Florida Law Group, we proudly offer all of our legal services to cardiac injury victims on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you do not have to pay us anything unless and until we recover a settlement for you. Don’t wait – call now!