Chest Injuries From a Car Accident
Car accidents can inflict a range of injuries, from whiplash to broken bones. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that almost 6 million automobile wrecks take place each year. And while some occupants walk away from the carnage unscathed, many aren’t so lucky and face severe wounds or an even more devastating outcome.
A common accident injury not often discussed is a chest injury. This page will inform you on these types of impairments, and how to seek professional care for them.
If you’ve recently suffered a chest injury from an auto crash in Connecticut, The Flood Law Firm wants to hear from you. With decades of combined legal experience, our team has the skills and knowledge to advocate for you. We’ll help you understand your best options for how to move forward, so you can focus on what’s important: your healing.
Contact us today by calling (860) 346-2695. We offer a no-cost, no obligation consultation. You’ve got nothing to lose.
Causes of Chest Injuries in a Car Accident
As stated, chest pains are often common following a wreck. These pains can be caused from numerous factors, but typically stem from one of the following:
- Seat Belts
- Steering Wheels
Even while seat belts can cause chest injuries or discomfort in a car crash, buckling up is the law and an injury is a small price to pay compared to risking your life. More than half of teens and adults aged 20-44 years who died in crashes were not buckled at the time of the accident, says a 2014 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Seat belts can (and do) save lives!
Seat belts can cause injuries when they lock up during a collision to secure the driver and passenger(s) in place, to avoid sliding around or moving forward. Seat belts are made of thick, durable polyester that can sometimes bruise the chest, ribs and shoulders, though bruising and soft tissue damage can mean the difference between a chest injury and death.
Steering wheels can also cause chest injuries for drivers, depending on the nature of the crash and the velocity of the impact. This often results in a rib fracture, which can cause sharp, sporadic and uncomfortable chest pains.
When the airbags are in working condition as they should be in any car, even a slight force should cause them to deploy. As with seat belts, airbags are a safety precaution meant to protect passengers. Still, the sheer force of impact against a deployed airbag can cause blunt chest pains, burns and other cardiac traumas with their quick and sudden release.
Types of Chest Injuries from Car Accidents
Following a crash, bruises, contusions and internal bleeding are all common chest injuries. Common chest injuries include the following:
- Fractured Ribs
- Bruised Ribs
- Muscle Strain
- Internal Organ Damage
At first, these injuries may not produce much pain, which makes seeing a doctor even more necessary. As well, those suffering from asthma may find chest injuries to be even more difficult to recover from.
Breaking or fracturing a rib causes sharp, shooting pains and can cause extreme discomfort. It is common for drivers to break or fracture ribs upon impact with the steering wheel during a car accident.
If you do not break a rib, you may bruise one or more instead as well as your sternum. A bruised sternum often produces dull and aching pains upon breathing that will vary with your movements, and will come and go.
Muscle strains also give dull, aching pains in the chest. Though the pain isn’t as severe as a broken rib, muscle strains in the chest should not be ignored. Without being properly examined by a medical professional, you could be unaware of a more serious diagnosis and possibly severe complications.
Internal Organ Damage
Of the chest injuries covered here, the most critical chest injury after a car accident is internal organ damage. Internal organ damage can be life threatening, particularly when it concerns to the heart. Chest pains caused by internal organ damage to the lungs or heart could indicate early signs of a heart attack. Don’t wait for the issue to advance – seek medical attention immediately.
Other common symptoms from chest injuries following a car accident might include fatigue, shortness of breath and/or dizziness.
What to Do If You’re Having Chest Pains After a Car Accident
If you are experiencing any sort of chest pain following a car accident – no matter how minor – you should seek medical attention immediately. While an injury may seem insignificant at the time, it could turn into something more severe. With injuries that can include mild soreness or bruising to severe organ damage, you should never take shortness of breath or headaches lightly, as these symptoms could develop and worsen if left untreated.
See a physician immediately after experiencing chest pains from a car accident, even if your symptoms subside. Not only can these symptoms return, but injuries can sometimes take several days to develop. Don’t risk your health – see a doctor.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Once you have sought proper medical care, you have a window of time to speak with an attorney to assess your legal options. This is called a statute of limitations. This means that there is a limited time following a car accident when you can pursue legal action against the parties who may be to blame for your injuries and losses.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, we at The Flood Law Firm offer our sincere condolences. We understand the pain and suffering you’ve had to endure, and we want to help you move forward with your life. While compensation cannot undo this difficult experience, it can help with hospital bills, damages and missed wages.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation by calling (860) 346-2695. We will handle all aspects of your case, from medical bills to phone calls. Your only concern should be your health, and getting well. Our Connecticut car accident attorneys are here for you – let us be your advocates!