Yes, unfortunately a car accident can cause injuries to the bladder and the urethra, which can range from painful to life-threatening. Although uncommon, bladder problems after a car accident are often a sign that the bladder has been injured and has either ruptured, started bleeding internally, or is leaking urine into the surrounding abdominal region. All of these are very serious and require emergency medical attention.
The Most Common Bladder Injuries After a Car Accident
To understand bladder injuries, it helps to visualize the bladder itself. The bladder is surrounded on both sides by the pelvic bones, giving it a highly sheltered and fairly safe location within the body. Normally, it is not injured unless the pelvic bones themselves are damaged. While this is rare in car accidents, it can happen to motorcycle accident victims, as well as to pedestrians and cyclists hit by cars. If the pelvic bones are fractured, it is possible for a fragment of bone to puncture the bladder. This is an emergency situation and your ER team will likely check for signs of internal injury anytime the pelvic bone is broken.
For most car accident victims, however, bladder injuries are less direct and do not involve a pelvic bone fracture. The most common bladder injuries in an accident are:
- “Deceleration injury” or damage from a seatbelt. If you are wearing a seatbelt and the bladder is fair full, it’s possible for the pressure of the seat belt to dig into the bladder, damaging it or even rupturing it. This is a very severe internal injury that requires emergency treatment. Any abdominal pain, bladder pain or difficulty urinating after an accident should be treated as a potential emergency. The same is true of blood in the urine.
- Injury to the urethra. Sometimes the injury isn’t the bladder itself, but the urethra, which is the tube that conducts urine out of the bladder during urination. Although uncommon, if the urethra is injured it could cause pain when urinating, blood in urine, or even issues with the bladder itself. Urethra injuries are more common in men than in women, because the male urethra passes through genitals and is more susceptible to external trauma.
Symptoms of a bladder injury after a car accident include:
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Difficulty urinating or inability to urinate
- Painful urination
- Blood in urine
- Bruising on the abdomen
- For men, any signs of direct injury to the penis or to the area immediately behind the scrotum (the perineum) could indicate a potential urethra injury as well
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
The first thing you should do with any bladder problem is see a doctor. The second thing is talk to a lawyer. Your lawyer can help you determine if you have a valid car accident claim and get the true amount of money you deserve—often car more than the insurance company is offering. We can help you. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.