Chest pains are commonplace after people get involved in car accidents. Unfortunately, chest pains from the trauma caused by the accident can be severe or could be caused by muscle strain. However, should you be concerned about feeling pain or discomfort in your chest after an accident?
Sometimes post-accident chest pain does not seem bad at first. However, it could be a sign of a severe injury. Seek treatment for chest injuries after a car accident and contact Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers to pursue compensation for your damages.
What Are the Major Causes of Accident Chest Pain?
Most chest injuries are caused by blunt force trauma to the chest during an accident. When you hit something with your car, the force causes the passengers to collide with several objects in the vehicle, including the dashboard, airbags, the steering wheel, and the seatbelt. Any of these can cause chest injuries.
Seatbelt chest injuries
Seatbelts are known to save lives. They prevent your body from flying off and hitting other things during an accident. They are designed to lock up whenever a jolting force is applied to the passengers.
Depending on the stopping force, this mechanism may cause injuries like bruises, cuts, or fractures to the sternum. Broken bones can be life-threatening as they may cause problems with breathing or puncture essential organs such as the heart and lungs.
Airbag-related chest injuries
Airbags deploy quickly and are known to save countless lives. However, if you were too close during the airbag deployment, the impact can cause chest injuries such as abrasions, contusions, broken ribs, and lacerations. Always sit at a safe distance from the dashboard or steering wheel — about ten inches away.
Why Do Car Accident Chest Injuries Take Longer to Reveal Themselves?
You may notice that chest pain may be delayed so that it does not hurt much after the injury. There are two reasons why this is the case: adrenaline and swelling. Adrenaline hormones mitigate pain for a period to enable the body to adjust to the condition. Unfortunately, you start to feel pain soon after it wears off in the blood.
On the other hand, swelling comes about when the white blood cells move to the injured area to protect it from further damage or promote healing. Given that it takes time for the swelling to become apparent, you may not feel the pain until a day or more.
You should not ignore any pain, even when it comes days after the accident. It may have been delayed due to any or both of these factors.
Possible Car Accident Chest Injuries
You could suffer one or more injuries to your chest when you get restrained by seat belts or hit the airbag, steering wheel, or dashboard. Here are some common chest injuries:
The sternum is the front of the rib cage, or breastbone, which protects organs like the esophagus, heart, and large blood vessels. When it is damaged, it may pierce any of the organs with near-fatal consequences.
Your trachea is the windpipe that connects to your lungs to deliver air and remove carbon dioxide. It is a sturdy hollow pipe made of cartilage. If it is damaged, it may collapse and cause breathing difficulty.
Broken ribs and punctured lungs
You may get blunt force trauma on the side of the rib cage and break one or more ribs. The fractured ribs may pierce the lungs and cause them to collapse. A collapsed lung seeps air into the chest cavity, which is life-threatening.
Injuries to the kidney and spleen
The kidney and spleen are located on the back and lower sides of the chest, respectively. If you get a blow to the back of the chest, you are likely to get kidney damage, while one to the lower side is likely to result in a ruptured spleen.
Symptoms of a Car Accident Chest Injury
Several symptoms may point to you having suffered a chest injury.
You may feel soreness beneath or at the side of your ribs when you breathe. You may also feel pain when you cough, laugh or make sudden movements. These symptoms could point to a damaged chest wall.
In addition, you may notice bruising and swelling over the area where pain occurs. A fractured sternum may also make a crunching sound when the broken ends rub against each other.
If your trachea is damaged, you may make a wheezing sound when you breathe. There may also be shortness of breath, difficulty, or rapid breathing. You may also cough profusely or be hoarse. On the other hand, if your lungs are damaged, you may have all the symptoms, plus added chest pain when you breathe.
Injuries to the kidneys cause blood to be present in your urine. There may be low abdominal pain, swelling, and muscle guarding. Damage to the spleen causes tenderness in the upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness, and confusion.
Seek immediate medical attention for any of these injuries or symptoms.
Get Compensation for Accident-Related Chest Injuries
You can claim chest pain compensation after you are involved in an accident by filling out an application for health-related benefits in your accident plan. According to the no-fault laws in Florida, the insurer is tasked with paying your medical bills and lost wages if you cannot return to work.
Your insurance company can pay for your chest pains without any legal proceedings. However, most companies tend to pay the absolute minimum, and others may refuse to pay for chest pain-related treatments. A personal injury attorney can assist in getting the rightful payment and negotiate the same with the insurer.
If the insurer refuses to pay the full amount or makes quite a small payout, your attorney can sue them on your behalf to get the rightful compensation. An attorney can also defend you if the other party you were involved in an accident sues. Therefore, it is good to involve a lawyer in all cases.
Contact Our Florida and Alabama Car Accident Attorneys
If you have recently been injured and are experiencing any of the above symptoms, reach out to Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers. We will walk you through the process of filing claims with your insurance provider and pursuing any legal procedures necessary if the company fails to offer fair compensation. Contact us for guidance with medical treatment and submitting a claim following a chest injury.
Car Accident Pain FAQs
Can I be compensated for chest pains after an injury?
Yes. Your insurance provider is required by law to pay medical benefits in your plan in case of an accident. You must file for claims to get the benefits.
Do I need a lawyer to get compensated after an accident?
A lawyer helps you get just compensation for the injury. They can also sue the provider for compensation or defend you if you are sued in relation to the accident.