Car crashes are traumatic and victims can suffer most of the damage in their chests. This can happen when a seatbelt cuts deeply into their chest. And even an unbelted passenger or driver can also sustain a chest injury when they slam into the dash or steering wheel. A chest injury can also happen when a person is thrown from their car. While some of these injuries can be minor, others can be life-threatening. If you have suffered a chest injury in a car accident, you must hire an injury attorney from a reputable auto accident law firm. Your attorney can discuss with you any potential compensation you might be able to get. Below are the common chest injuries that can result from a car accident:
Broken or Bruised Ribs
A person’s ribs can bruise because of a seatbelt. Bruised ribs present symptoms such as pain and tenderness, particularly during breathing.
Broken ribs can result in intense pain. Some sufferers may develop pneumonia, which can be fatal. The risk increases when they are suffered by seniors. Broken or bruised ribs require time for healing. However, recovery can become complicated because of an inability to immobilize their rib cage. To promote healing, patients must keep track of their symptoms and minimize their physical activity.
The sternum is located in the middle of the chest, connecting to the ribs through cartilage. This breastbone tends to move when a person breathes. The sternum can be fractured during a car accident. The patient can feel the symptoms every time they breathe, cough, or laugh, resulting in pain.
The majority of fractures to the sternum require rest, so the bone can heal; however, patients must manage their pain and swelling. Extreme sternal fractures will require surgery for setting the bone.
During a car accident, soft tissue in the body can tear or stretch. The patient may feel pain that can become more serious when they lift something. A patient can recover from muscle strain by icing their injury to minimize swelling and resting.
A collapsed lung or pneumothorax can also be suffered by those involved in a car accident. The entry of air into the space around the lung will increase pressure. Often, sufferers may experience chest pain and tightness, elevated heart rate as well as shortness of breath. Victims who experience these symptoms must get prompt treatment to prevent more complications that can lead to death.