Chest Pain After a Car Accident

A car crash changes your life. It alters how you view driving – possibly making you more wary of other vehicles, drive the exact speed limit, and brake sooner than you used to. Being hit by another driver can also make it difficult to get back behind the wheel – physically and mentally. The memory of the collision may make you too anxious to drive or the injuries you suffered might make it impossible or painful to take the driver’s seat.

Chest injuries in particularly are common after a crash. These injuries can range from minor to serious, and even the less critical injuries can make it hard to strap on the seatbelt and face the road ahead.

There are numerous types of chest-related injuries that can happen in an auto accident. If you suffered a chest injury because someone else hit you, you should call a Chicago car accident lawyer right away. An attorney can advise you of your rights and help you recover from the accident – mentally and financially.

Injuries From the Seat Belt

You should always wear your seatbelt when driving or riding in a car. It’s there for a reason. It keeps your body from moving too much during an accident and reduces the chance you’re thrown from the car during an accident.

However, seatbelts aren’t perfect and come with their own risks. Because they’re meant to grip you and hold you in place, seatbelts can put significant pressure on your chest during a collision. The seatbelt can cause bruising and cuts, depending on what’s between you and the seatbelt at the time of the accident. If the force from the accident is significant, the seatbelt can fracture your sternum and break your ribs.

Additionally, wearing a seatbelt incorrectly increases the change the device will hurt you in an accident. If you put the shoulder under your arm, it’s more likely to break a rib. If you put it entirely behind your back, there’s nothing to prevent your chest and head from moving forward in an accident and hitting the airbag, steering wheel or dashboard. This could cause cuts, concussions, severe traumatic brain injuries, and other issues.

Consequences of a Sternum Fracture

Breaking your breastbone is a significant and painful injury. Signs that you’ve broken your sternum in a car accident include pain, tenderness, and a cracking or crunching sound at the time of the accident. The sternum may also be an incorrect shape. It can make breathing harder and more painful, and is often associated with injuries to other internal organs.

A physician will X-ray the chest or use a CT scan to determine if the sternum is fractured. It may not require hospitalization, unless the victim suffers from other injuries that require ongoing medical attention. Some fractures require surgical intervention to put the bone back in the proper place, particularly if the break caused there to be many bone fragments. If the injury doesn’t require surgery, the physician will work to reduce pain and swelling. Time and rest are major factors in recovering from a sternum fracture.

Injuries From the Airbag

Like seatbelts, airbags are an invention that save countless lives and prevent innumerable injuries. However, they can also cause injuries themselves. Because many people come into contact with an airbag with significant force, their chest, face, head, and brain can suffer.

Chest injuries that can occur due to colliding with an airbag include:

  • Abrasions
  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Bruises
  • Factures

Injured Internal Organs

Chest injuries are serious in and of themselves, but chest pain after a car accident can be a sign of internal organ damage. Being thrown against the seatbelt, airbag, steering wheel, or dash can cause blunt force trauma to the chest and organs, including the heart, trachea, lungs, liver, spleen, and kidneys.

A blow to the body can do significant damage inside, and there may only be subtle signs that something is wrong. That’s why it’s critical that anyone involved in a car accident seek medical attention as soon as possible. A physician will know where to look for secret injuries and will understand the signs of internal damage. If a victim has symptoms of more serious injuries than chest pain from bruises, the physician will run tests to determine the exact injury and the necessary course of treatment.

Contact a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer

In addition to seeing a doctor, someone who’s suffered chest or chest-related injuries from a car accident should also contact a lawyer. A doctor will treat your physical wounds, but an experienced lawyer will work to fix your financial injuries.

Following a car accident, you’ll be confronted with many bills. You’ll need to file claims with the other driver’s insurer and with your own health insurance. A lawyer can help you through this process. If you can’t negotiate a proper settlement with the insurance company, an attorney can advise you on your rights to go to court and sue the driver at fault directly.

If you want to learn more about recovering from a car accident, call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900.