If you developed appendicitis or a ruptured appendix after a car accident, you need to to speak to a lawyer. These cases are very complicated both medically and legally. It is possible for a car accident to cause appendicitis or to rupture an appendix, but medical literature is divided on how common it is. That means that insurance companies have tremendous “wiggle room” to argue out of paying your claim—especially if the appendicitis was not diagnosed immediately after the accident.
If this has happened to you, the first thing you should do after you’ve received medical attention is talk to a qualified car accident lawyer.
What is appendicitis?
Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix.
The appendix is an organ located off of the intestines. In fact, it’s almost more of just an extension of the intestines than a separate organ at all—it’s about a 3 to 4 inch “tube” or pouch that grows from the large intestine. The appendix is unusual among all other organs because it does not have an obvious purpose. Some experts have suggested that it may serve as a sort of breeding ground for helpful gut flora, the “good bacteria” that help us digest food and keep up a strong immune system.
However, while these bacteria are helpful in the intestines, they are dangerous if they get into surrounding tissue—and that can happen if an appendix becomes so inflamed that it ruptures.
The appendix is also unusual in that it can be safely removed from the body with no long-term affect. In other words, the body doesn’t really seem to need it. Thus, if the appendix is inflamed, it is almost always best to surgically remove it.
How does a car accident cause appendicitis?
Every year, many car accident victims end up reporting pain in the abdomen that turns out to be appendicitis. This is believed to be related in most cases to seat belt compression. Seat belt compression means that the force of being thrown forward in the car and restrained by the seat belt caused the seat belt to exert pressure on the abdomen area, leaving bruises or a “seat belt mark”—and potentially other damage as well.
In some cases, if the seat belt was positioned over the appendix, the appendix itself can be harmed and may start to become inflamed. This will manifest as increasing pain in the abdomen, and will usually lead to a rupture of the appendix if not treated. In most cases, the appendix will have to be removed.
In many cases, the appendicitis does not develop right away. It may take time for inflammation to set in and then become pronounced enough that the victim feels pain. Even a delayed case of appendicitis can potentially be covered by your insurance claim.
Don’t Let Your Insurance Claim Be Denied
Insurance companies may turn down appendicitis claims because they deny they were caused by the car accident at all. Or, they may claim you didn’t get medical attention fast enough and try to pawn off the cost of treatment on you.
You don’t have to stand for this. Let us connect you to some of the best accident lawyers in Atlanta. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.