Suffering a Ruptured Spleen in a Bike Accident Is Serious
Bill Allen | February 6, 2023 | Bicycle Accidents
Do you know what your spleen does?
Unless you’re in the medical field, you probably don’t. But despite the common misconception that it’s an unimportant organ, the spleen is a vital part of your immune system. You can live without it, but it’s difficult and significantly decreases your quality of life.
Unfortunately, unlike other important organs in your body, including your heart, lungs, and brain, your spleen isn’t well-protected from harm. It’s located just low enough in your abdomen that your ribs don’t fully protect it. Consequently, it’s possible (and even easy) to injure it if you strike your handlebars during a bicycle accident.
Spleen Injuries from a Bicycle Accident
Anyone who’s ever ridden a bicycle knows that there are several ways you can hurt yourself falling off or crashing a bike. However, colliding with another object is one of the most common sources of injury.
When you get into this type of accident, you’re typically thrown forward when the bike comes to a stop. If your bike is properly designed and adjusted for your height, there’s a chance that your abdomen could strike the handlebars at roughly the same speed you were traveling when the accident occurred.
When riding on a city street, bike riders routinely reach speeds of 15–20 miles per hour and sometimes as much as 30 miles per hour when going downhill. This speed is maintained when you’re thrown forward during a collision. You can suffer serious damage if the handlebars impact your spleen at such velocities.
Symptoms of a Ruptured Spleen
Any time you suffer an impact to your spleen, there’s a chance that it could be ruptured. A rupture is the most dangerous type of damage that can be done to a spleen. If your spleen is ruptured, you’ll need immediate medical attention, and likely surgery, to maintain critical bodily processes, stave off infection, and prevent death.
Unfortunately, while a ruptured spleen hurts, the pain often doesn’t feel life-threatening. Many people will assume they’ve just suffered a bad bruise or possibly confuse the pain with a cracked rib.
If you’ve suffered an injury to your abdomen, the safest course is to seek immediate medical attention, even if you think it isn’t serious.
However, if you choose to wait, keep a close eye out for the following signs of spleen damage:
- Intense, persistent pain under the left side of your rib cage
- Unexplained pain or numbness in your left shoulder
- Dizziness or fainting
- Difficulty focusing
- Blurred vision
Most of these signs of serious injury are due to the side effects of internal bleeding. The threat to your life doesn’t usually come from your spleen not doing its job but rather from this leakage of blood.
Medical Costs from a Ruptured Spleen
One of the main reasons that people die from ruptured spleens is that they don’t seek medical attention quickly enough. Internal bleeding can be controlled if a physician treats you right away. But if you wait too long, it may be too late to prevent death by the time doctors begin administering treatment.
Sadly, many people avoid going to the hospital due to fears of medical costs. You shouldn’t let this stop you from getting treatment if there’s even a remote chance that it could cost you your life.
Most hospitals have options to help people who can’t afford medical services. If another party was responsible for your bike accident, you might be able to sue for damages with the help of a lawyer. Such a payout can help cover the cost of your medical bills and resulting expenses.
Contact Our Bicycle Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, contact the bicycle accident lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: