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Common Types and Causes of Chest Pain After a Car Accident

March 2, 2023
chest pain after car accident

A motor vehicle accident can be terrifying and stressful to recover from. Chest pain after a car accident can be extremely concerning, especially if you don’t know what injuries you have.

After a car collision, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Your healthcare provider can diagnose your injuries and determine the treatment plan that is appropriate for you.

If you were injured in a car accident, you might be entitled to recover compensation for your expenses and losses. At Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C., our knowledgeable attorneys have decades of combined experience helping people injured in car accidents get the compensation they deserve.

Please contact us online or call (800) 433-2408 today for a free consultation.

Typical Kinds of Chest Injuries in Car Accidents

After a car accident, there are numerous types of injuries a person may sustain. There are a few types of injuries that commonly cause chest pain after a car accident.

Internal Organ Injuries

Internal injuries might not be noticeable right after a wreck because they might not produce immediate visual signs of injury. 

Internal organ injuries might consist of the following:

  • Spleen damage,
  • Liver injuries, and
  • Heart injuries.

Internal injuries can be life-threatening if left untreated. That’s why seeking a medical evaluation after a crash is crucial. 

Rib Fractures

Broken ribs are also a common occurrence in auto accidents. With a rib fracture, luckily, you often don’t need surgery. Nevertheless, it can take weeks or longer to heal. While you might not need surgery, you might require other medical treatments and have to take time off work to recover.

Flail Chest

Flail chest occurs when multiple ribs next to each other break in several areas. This can also happen when a couple of ribs on either side of the ribcage detach from the sternum. A flail chest can change the shape of the chest wall and result in lost protection for your heart and lungs. 

Bruised Sternum

You might experience bruises to the sternum in a car accident. The sternum is the flat bone in the center of your chest, which helps protect your vital organs. This can happen due to not wearing a seatbelt or because a seatbelt was too tight. Sternum bruises can also be caused by hitting the steering wheel or by an airbag when it deploys.

Common Causes of Chest Injuries in an Auto Collision

An auto accident can cause injuries to the chest in a number of ways. However, there are a few causes of chest injuries in car accidents that are more common than others.

The Steering Wheel or Dashboard

Colliding with the steering wheel or the dashboard can result in significant injuries due to the force of impact involved. If the crash was at high speed, you might suffer fractures in your ribs. You should not ignore any chest pain after a car crash, even if you don’t immediately see obvious signs of injury. 

The Seat Belt

While a seat belt does tighten in a crash to prevent death, the thick material can cause bruises and other injuries. This is because a seat belt can dig into your hips, chest, and other areas of the body during a collision. A seat belt injury to the chest can be painful, but wearing a seat belt is still important because it can save your life. 

The Airbags

While airbags are there to prevent injuries and death, they can also cause bruising or even break bones. Rib fractures and sternum bruising are common airbag injuries that can cause chest pain. If you were hit by an airbag, chest pain might be a sign that you’ve suffered an injury, and you should seek medical attention.

Symptoms of Chest Injuries 

Getting medical treatment will be the best way to determine the extent of your injuries if you are experiencing pain in the chest after an auto accident. However, there are several other symptoms of chest injuries that you should watch out for. 

Some of those symptoms include:

  • Swelling,
  • Bruising,
  • Coughing up blood,
  • Trouble breathing,
  • Tenderness in your chest, or
  • Pain that worsens with sneezing.

If you notice pain or any of these other symptoms, including delayed chest pain after a car accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. 

What Should I Do After Suffering from a Chest Injury?

First, if you notice your chest hurting after a car accident, get to a doctor right away. Call 911 if you think you have severe or life-threatening injuries.

Even if you feel like the injury is not significant, there could be underlying problems that adrenaline from an accident may mask. You should get to a qualified healthcare provider as soon as feasible for evaluation and treatment. 

How We Can Help You

Since 1984, Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway has been dedicated to protecting the rights of injured people and helping them get the compensation they need and deserve.

We have helped our clients recover millions of dollars of compensation, and we can help you recover damages for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses.

When you work with Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, you are working with experienced advocates who are passionate about championing your best interest. Contact us online or call (800) 433-2408 today for a free consultation.