Chest Injuries After a Car Accident
Chest injuries are very common in car accidents. If you do not wear a seat belt, you can suffer serious or even fatal chest injuries as your body hits the steering wheel, dashboard, and door. A seat belt will likely save your life, but when it does so, it can bruise your chest or even break your ribs.
If you suffer a chest injury, you might only need first aid. But in some cases, you will need an X-ray to diagnose your injury and treatment to recover from it. As a result, you will incur medical expenses and lose income when you miss work.
If you’ve sustained a chest injury in a car accident in Houston, Texas, call Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation at (713) 500-5000 or contact us online to discuss your options.
How Our Houston Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You Pursue Compensation for a Chest Injury
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers is a Houston personal injury law firm dedicated to helping accident victims get fair injury compensation. Our personal injury attorneys have over 45 years of combined experience and have acquired tens of millions of dollars for our past clients.
Hiring our Houston car accident attorneys for help after sustaining a chest injury means you’ll have an advocate to:
- Investigate your collision and identify anyone who shares financial responsibility
- Gather evidence proving your case, including the severity of your chest injury and the value of your damages
- Negotiate with insurance companies and others on your behalf for a fair settlement
- Represent you in court proceedings if negotiations fail
Car accidents in Houston, TX can cause serious head, back, and chest injuries. Contact Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss the car accident injury compensation to which you may be entitled.
How Often Do Car Accidents Cause Chest Injuries?
In 2021, Texas had 552,224 total crashes. The state does not track statistics about exact injuries. But it does track injury severity.
Texas traffic accidents in 2021 caused:
- 4,489 fatal injuries
- 19,447 serious injuries
- 82,548 minor injuries
- 137,535 suspected injuries
According to one study, chest injuries accounted for about 25% of trauma-related deaths. Another study found that 80% of severe injuries were chest or head injuries. If these statistics are applied to Texas crashes in 2021, as many as 1,122 fatal injuries and 15,557 serious injuries could have involved chest trauma.
For minor or suspected injuries, chest injuries are very common due to the prevalence of seatbelt injuries. These injuries, like chest strains and bruises, often go unreported because they do not require medical treatment.
Types of Chest Injuries That Can Occur in a Houston Car Accident
Car accidents can produce chest injuries in a few ways:
- Blunt trauma is when something hits your chest without causing an open wound
- Penetrating trauma occurs when something pierces your chest
- Hyperextension trauma happens when your chest bends or twists unnaturally
Some examples of the chest injuries these forms of trauma can produce include:
Bruises result from blunt trauma that bursts blood vessels below the skin. You will experience discoloration, pain, and swelling. But bruises clear up within a few days without medical treatment.
Muscles between the ribs expand your chest so you can breathe. Hyperextension trauma can stretch or tear these muscles or the tendons that anchor them to your ribs.
Chest strain causes:
- Muscle spasms
Strained chest muscles and tendons will heal with rest and anti-inflammatory medication within four to six weeks.
Blunt trauma can fracture your ribs. Rib fractures cause pain along your rib rather than your back or sternum. They also produce swelling and may limit your range of motion.
A fractured rib will usually heal on its own in six to eight weeks. Doctors no longer wrap or tape your chest after a rib fracture because shallow breaths increase the risk of pneumonia.
Doctors do not operate to repair a fractured rib unless you fracture multiple ribs in multiple locations. These injuries produce a life-threatening condition called a flail chest, which requires emergency surgery. Even after surgery, you could suffer permanent lung damage or even death.
Blunt impacts or hyperextension trauma can crack or tear the cartilage in your chest. This cartilage connects your ribs to your sternum and each other.
Symptoms of torn cartilage include pain and swelling in the center of your chest. Torn cartilage can take several months to heal.
Chest Injury Complications
A chest injury can produce life-threatening complications. These complications often happen when you fracture a rib that punctures the chest wall and enters the chest cavity. They can also happen when you suffer penetrating trauma, and a foreign object pierces the chest cavity.
A collapsed lung happens when air or fluid fills the space surrounding the lungs. The pressure on the lungs causes them to deflate and prevents them from re-inflating. Without emergency treatment, you will suffer permanent lung damage or even die.
Cardiac tamponade occurs when fluid fills the membrane covering the heart. This situation can result from blunt or penetrating trauma. The fluid strangles the heart, causing an arrhythmia. Death can follow if you do not receive immediate care.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Houston Car Accident Attorneys To Discuss Your Chest Injuries
Chest injuries from a car accident can cause you to miss work while you get treatment and recover. Contact Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss the compensation you can seek for your chest injury.