‘Law & Order: SVU’: Mariska Hargitay Once Sustained a Serious Injury While Filming

It’s hard to imagine Law & Order: SVU without the amazingly talented Mariska Hargitay. She’s been with the series since the beginning, and it’s now about to premiere its 22nd season. It seems like the perfect time to reminisce about Hargitay’s past on the show. She was once hurt on set in a serious injury. We have all the details below.

Mariska Hargitay was hurt on set performing her own stunts

Mariska Hargitay
Mariska Hargitay and Nazneen Contractor | Bauzen/GC Images

Hargitay spoke with Redbook in 2009 about a time on set that she sustained a serious injury. In 2008, she was hard at work performing her own stunts for an episode, and she was jumping onto some pads, but she was injured during the second take. According to the publication, a small bleed occurred in her lung at the time.

“On October 16, I was doing a stunt chasing a bad guy,” Hargitay explained. “I’d always insisted on doing the stunts my own way, although I don’t feel so strongly about that anymore. I jumped and landed on pads, but on the second take something happened — I just landed wrong. I got up and felt that something inside was not quite right. At first I thought I had the wind knocked out of me. I was angry with myself. Later, I thought maybe I’d pulled a muscle, but I didn’t focus on the injury and kept expecting it to get better.”

Hargitay’s lung had collapsed by 50 percent

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Three months would pass before it was obvious to Hargitay that something was “really wrong.” She thought she was on the mend, but an additional few weeks would go by before she started to experience chest pains accompanied by shortness of breath. She was concerned, considering her grandfather lost his life to a heart attack at only 34-years-old.

Then, Hargitay recalled feeling a “sharp pain,” and she also couldn’t catch her breath. Obviously, something was wrong. “They took an X-ray and found that my right lung was 50 percent collapsed,” Hargitay continued. “I began to panic. I was so scared. I had a procedure hoping to stave off more serious surgery, but it didn’t work, and I ended up in surgery about two weeks later.”

However, that isn’t the last of the problems for Hargitay. She went back to work, but her lung collapsed in the same way for a second time on March 5. According to Hargitay, statistically, she was one out of 1,000 for that to happen to.

Hargitay now utilizes stunt doubles

Thankfully, Hargitay survived, and went on to continue her work on the series. But she confirmed to Access Hollywood in 2009 that she now uses a stunt double. “I’ve got a stunt double,” she said while attending the Gracie Awards in New York City. “I’ve got like three!”

Mariska Hargitay will be back for season 22 of Law & Order: SVU when it premieres on Thursday, November 12, at 9 p.m. E.S.T. Hopefully, there won’t be any more injuries in Hargitay’s future, and we can continue to watch her take down the bad guys on the hit series.