Hernia Complications Following a Car Accident
It’s no surprise to learn that a car accident can lead to serious injuries. Operating an automobile is dangerous, even when driving conditions are optimal.
Now, the most common type of injury from collisions is neck and back pain. This could be in the form of whiplash, spinal cord damage, or muscle sprains or strains. Further, hernias often develop from wearing a seatbelt. This is due to the force of being restrained, which can cause harm to the tissues underneath.
One treatment option for a hernia is applying what is known as a hernia mesh. A hernia mesh works by reinforcing the damaged tissue and preventing further openings where organs could bulge through. However, as with all medical devices, the patient may experience complications as a result of using a hernia mesh.
Overview of Hernias
Hernias occur when there is a bulging of an organ or fatty tissue through a weak spot in the surrounding muscles. There are several types of hernias. The most common types are those found in the groin and the abdomen.
The cause of hernias is typically a combination of muscle weakness and strain. Note that a hernia can occur quickly, such as those caused by a car accident. Or, they can develop more slowly over a period of time.
How Hernias are Treated
Now, sometimes hernias can heal on their own without medical intervention. In other cases, an individual can learn to live with the discomfort, provided the condition does not worsen. In these situations, it is important that the person monitor his or her health closely. Other times, surgery is required to correct the damage.
If surgery is required, the repairs may be done with sutures or surgical mesh. A surgical mesh is a medical device that provides support for the weakened tissue. The mesh is made from either synthetic materials or animal tissue. Note that the mesh can be absorbable or non-absorbable. Non-absorbable mesh does not degrade and will remain in the body permanently.
Signs of Hernia Mesh Complications
Sometimes there are complications with hernia mesh. These situations can be life-threatening and lead to infection, intestinal blockage, internal bleeding, and cause a perforation in the neighboring organs.
For that reason, it is important that you see a doctor immediately if you have severe or chronic pain following surgery. You should also look for signs of infection. These would include indications like fever, chills, and flu-like symptoms. Other signs pointing to a problem with the mesh would be a bowel obstruction or the recurrence of a hernia.
Note that some surgical mesh products have been recalled by the Federal Drug Administration. This is due to the product being considered defective and deemed unsafe for use with patients. However, keep in mind that this does not necessarily mean that these surgical mesh products are not still in use today.
If you are harmed by defective surgical mesh, you may have a claim against the manufacturer. Your lawsuit may be based on faulty product design or due to an issue that occurred during the manufacturing process. An example would be if the mesh was mislabeled or made from non-approved or low-grade materials. You might also have grounds to sue based on a manufacturer’s failure to warn of dangers associated with the product.
In some cases, medical professionals rather than the manufacturer are at fault for your injury. If this occurs, you may have a medical malpractice claim. For example, this might be the case if the mesh was applied incorrectly or another mistake was made during surgery. Because these types of lawsuits can get complicated, it can be helpful to reach out to a qualified attorney. He or she can evaluate the specific facts of your case and advise you on how best to proceed.
If you are successful in your case against the manufacturer or medical professional, you may be awarded money damages. This money can help compensate you for your injuries. Awards may cover your medical bills and even lost wages if you are unable to work.
Damage awards may also include amounts for any pain and suffering you endured. Further, in some cases, you may be entitled to what is known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the person or business at fault for your injury. These awards would be in addition to your actual damages and can get quite large.
Note that you may also have a legal claim against another driver. This would be the case if your hernia was caused by a car accident. However, your lawsuit may be limited to the initial injury and not hernia complications. These types of cases can be complex, so it’s best to call an attorney who specializes in car accidents to discuss your options.