What Injuries Can Be Serious or Fatal?

Thursday, June 30, 2022

What Injuries Can Be Serious or Fatal?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

Injury claims can stem from many types of incidents, including vehicle accidents, falls, and more. Life-threatening injuries might require costly emergency treatment to help someone survive, though they might ultimately result in the tragic death of a loved one. Individuals with catastrophic injuries or families who suffer this type of sudden loss should speak with a personal injury lawyer in Chicago about their rights as soon as possible.

So, what injuries can be life-threatening?

Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury occurs when the spinal cord or nerve endings in the spinal canal sustain damage. For instance, if a passenger experiences a sudden impact from another vehicle, the body can vibrate, resulting in a spinal cord injury. In addition, a traumatic spinal cord injury may occur following a sudden blow or cut to the spine. 

Spinal cord injuries can be complete, where victims lose all sensory and motor function in affected body parts. In less severe incomplete cases, the injury partly affects the sensory or motor functions. Some signs of a life-threatening spinal injury include:

  • Impaired breathing
  • Extreme back pain or pressure in the back, head, and neck
  • Loss of bowel control
  • Paralysis of a body part

Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic head injury occurs when a blow occurs to the head or penetration through the skull into the brain. Consequently, the brain can suffer torn tissues, bruising, or bleeding. Severe cases can result in life-long complications or death.

Below are examples of traumatic brain injuries:

  • Brain Contusions: A brain bruising resulting from leaking or broken small blood vessels. Contusions can occur during car accidents, slips, falls, or sports-related accidents.


  • Anoxic Brain Injuries: Anoxic brain injuries occur when the brain does not receive enough oxygen for normal operations. It can also occur due to severe trauma, heart attack, or stroke. Unfortunately, the brain can begin to die within four to five minutes.

Chest Injuries

The chest cavity protects vital organs like the lungs, heart, major arteries, and blood vessels. A penetrating chest injury can mutilate the heart or blood vessels leading to excessive bleeding and death.

When a sharp object penetrates the lung cavity, it produces localized tissue damage along the path. Any laceration in the lung is life-threatening and requires an emergency procedure. In addition, any blood vessel mutilation results in fatal bleeding without urgent medical care.


Fractures and broken bones are common injuries in most accidents, and they are often recoverable. Unfortunately, a broken bone can pierce a vital organ, increasing the risk of death. For example, a fractured skull can tear small blood vessels in the brain, or a fractured rib can puncture a lung.

Get in Touch With a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you’ve lost a loved one due to a fatal injury due to the negligence of a third party, you’re entitled to compensation. An injury lawyer can establish the liable party, how the accident led to the death, and facilitate the claim process. Contact us at Malman Law for a free consultation.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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