Car Accident Chest Injuries
Chest injuries are some of the most painful—and potentially fatal—injuries you can suffer in a car accident. Although motor vehicle safety has improved considerably over the past 30 years, the reality is that many people continue to suffer serious, disabling chest injuries in car wrecks. If you were involved in a rear-end collision, head-on crash, or T-bone, you could end up in the hospital with the type of pain caused by a chest injury.
Contact Karnas Law Firm, PLLC today. Our Tucson car accident lawyer has helped many people suffering from these injuries obtain fair compensation to cover their medical and other expenses.
How Do You Suffer a Chest Injury?
Motorists should be protected in the event of a collision. Nonetheless, you can suffer a chest injury due to:
- Seat belts. A typical seat belt is made from sturdy polyester, which can cut into the chest and injure your muscles or even force your sternum backward.
- Airbags. Don’t be surprised if your airbag deploys during an accident. It is designed to prevent you from going through the front window or crashing into the dash. However, the bag generates a considerable force that can injure you. Also, some airbags expel plastic and other hard materials, which can strike your chest.
- Steering wheels. If you aren’t wearing a seatbelt, then it’s highly likely your chest will slam into the steering wheel, even at relatively low speeds. This type of blunt-force trauma causes many chest injuries.
Some people wrongly believe they should not wear seat belts to protect their chests. However, the evidence is clear that seat belts save lives. Wear a seatbelt—but also go to the hospital following an accident if you feel pain.
Common Chest Injuries
The first sign you have an injury is that you will feel chest pain. Pain is a sign that something is wrong with your body. Although you shouldn’t immediately assume you are having a heart attack, you also want to receive prompt medical attention. Go to the hospital to be diagnosed.
The following are some of the most common chest injuries caused by Tucson car accidents.
The pectoral muscles lie across the front of the rib cage and are responsible for moving your arm in front of your chest. There are two pectoral muscles—a major muscle and a minor one. Either can tear in a violent car accident. You might experience immediate pain, bruising, and weakness. Although some tears heal with conservative treatment like rest and physical therapy, others require surgery. A pectoral tear can prevent someone from working for months.
Rib fractures are a common car accident injury, usually caused by trauma to the chest. You can experience intense, shooting pains which make it hard to breathe.
Treating a rib fracture is complicated, since the ribcage expands with each breath, so doctors cannot immobilize a rib the way they can a broken leg. Rib fractures also carry a high rate of complications, especially for the elderly who can develop pneumonia.
You might suffer pneumothorax, the medical term for a collapsed lung. With this condition, air leaks from the lung, which puts pressure on it and limits the lung’s ability to expand. The most common symptoms are sudden trouble breathing, as well as pain.
To treat a collapsed lung, a doctor might insert a need to remove the excess air in the chest cavity. This could be a life-threatening event, so go to a doctor if you experience shortness of breath following a crash.
One of the most serious injuries is a myocardial contusion or bruise to your heart. Striking your chest on the steering wheel can push the sternum inward and directly against the heart muscle. Symptoms for a heart contusion usually mimic those of a heart attack: chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and dizziness.
There is no specific treatment for a heart contusion. Instead, your medical team will probably recommend rest so that the bruise can heal on its own. When the contusion is life-threatening, you might need to be admitted to the hospital to receive oxygen and fluids or even be fitted with a pacemaker.
You Deserve Compensation for a Chest Injury
Many of our clients who suffer chest injuries must stay in the hospital for weeks or else recuperate at home. The person who struck you should pay compensation to cover the costs of your medical treatment, as well as replace your lost income. It is unfair for accident victims to suffer this financial distress.
Call Karnas Law Firm today. One of our car accident lawyers can review the facts of your case in a free consultation.