Can You Seek Compensation For Secondary Injuries From a Car Crash in South Bend?

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on August 7, 2023

. Updated on January 4, 2024


female doctor reviewing x-ray image of spineSerious car accident injuries can cause a variety of health problems. Sometimes the primary injury causes a secondary injury that could have serious repercussions. For example, a secondary brain injury could be fatal or cause permanent impairment.

We discuss secondary car crash injuries below, including common types of secondary injuries, how they occur and including these injuries in a claim for compensation.

If you were injured in a South Bend crash, our South Bend car accident lawyers are prepared to help you seek compensation for all the injuries and damages you suffered. We take cases on contingency, which means no upfront costs.

No fees unless you receive compensation. Call us today: (844) 678-1800.

What Is a Secondary Injury?

A secondary injury is one that was caused by another injury. That means they only exist because of the primary injury the victim suffered.

Secondary injuries are caused by changes in the victim’s body that were initiated by the primary injury. Sometimes these injuries do not show up for days, weeks or months after the accident.

Some secondary injuries can be thought of as complications of the primary injury. Doctors need to aware of the potential for these types of complications, as they may be able to take steps to prevent them.

Types of Secondary Injuries

These are some examples of secondary injuries that car crash victims may experience:

  • Ongoing leg pain after breaking a bone in your leg
  • Structural damage, such as damage to tendons and ligaments surrounding the injured area of your knee
  • Mental health issues, such as depression as you try to cope with the fact that your life will never be the same again
  • Reduced blood flow to the brain following a brain injury
  • Oxygen deprivation because of inflammation affecting the spinal cord – inflammation could limit the spinal cord’s ability to move oxygen throughout your body
  • Straining your back because of a knee injury that limits your ability to lift heavy objects

How Do Secondary Injuries Occur?

One way that secondary injuries occur is through compensating for an injury by using other body parts in an unnatural way. For example, you might try to lift something heavy in an unnatural way because of an injury to your legs. This could cause damage to your back because it was not meant to be used in the way you are using it.

If you suffer a hip injury it will affect how you walk. If you overexert yourself and walk too much while dealing with a hip injury, you could suffer secondary damage to your back.

There is a significant risk for a secondary injury to your brain if you suffered a primary injury in a car crash. For example, a brain bleed can put pressure on the brain, potentially leading to a lack of oxygen. This can result in permanent brain damage if it is not caught quickly.

Secondary injuries could also occur during a surgical procedure. For example, you could develop an infection or suffer excessive bleeding.

Physical therapists could potentially cause secondary injuries by providing ill-fitting prosthetics or medical equipment.

Dangers of Secondary Brain Injuries

While many secondary injuries can have serious consequences, secondary brain injuries may have the most severe consequences. Secondary brain injury could cause physical and chemical changes in the brain that could result in permanent or even fatal damage.

For example, bleeding in the brain can create significant pressure that could damage brain tissue. Doctors often need to open the victim’s skull to relieve the pressure and lower the risk of further damage.

The primary injury could cause a release of neurotoxic substances that further damage brain tissue.

If you suffered a brain injury in a South Bend car crash, watch for these symptoms of a possible secondary injury:

  • Headaches that increase in frequency and intensity
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Seizures
  • Blurry vision
  • Struggling with balance and coordination
  • Changes in your sleeping patterns
  • Changes in behavior, such as increased irritability, anxiety or depression
  • Trouble remembering things or concentrating
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Becoming hypersensitive to touch

Can You Include Secondary Injuries in a Claim For Compensation?

If you were injured in a crash caused by a negligent driver, you have the right to seek compensation for all the injuries you suffered in the crash.

While secondary injuries were not directly caused by the crash, they are related to the primary injury, and you are going to need treatment for them. You should be able to include these costs in your claim for compensation.

However, you need to make sure to report symptoms of a secondary injury as soon as they arise. This should help to link these injuries to the car crash.

If you wait to seek treatment, the insurance company may claim you failed to mitigate your damages. This is a responsibility injury victims have during the legal process.

If you have questions about your legal options following a car crash, you should contact a licensed attorney for assistance.

Call Pfeifer, Morgan and Stesiak After a Car Crash Injury

Car crashes are incredibly traumatic experiences, both physically and emotionally. Sometimes the primary injury results in a secondary injury that causes debilitating symptoms.

At Pfeifer, Morgan and Stesiak, we know how devastating a car accident can be. We are here to help, and there are no upfront costs with our services.

Experienced Lawyers. Millions Recovered. Call (844) 678-1800.

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases