Car accidents can be overwhelming events. Not only do you have to cope with the injuries that occurred during the accident, but you can also face financial hardships and issues dealing with the insurance company for car repairs and medical care.
The chaos that comes with vehicular accidents starts the minute that the accident occurs. One injury from car accidents that often is overlooked is injuries to the chest area. Chest wall contusions may not be visible injuries, but they are often severe. This is why it is important to receive a medical exam after an accident instead of dismissing the discomfort you feel as just stress from the event.
What Is A Chest Contusion?
A chest contusion is an injury that is caused by blunt force trauma to the chest area. The most common causes of these injuries in a car accident are airbag deployment, seatbelts, and impact with the steering wheel.
Chest pain from airbag deployment may be much more than just being sore from the airbag hitting you. The pain may result from injuries to your internal organs or rib cage that need immediate medical care.
Chest contusions do not have to break the skin or even bruise the skin for injuries to have occurred. This is why if you feel any chest pain after airbag deployment or being in a car accident in general, you should have a full medical exam.
Types of Chest Injuries From Car Accidents
A chest contusion from a car accident can actually be several different types of injuries. The most common injuries to the chest area after an accident include:
Broken ribs are very uncomfortable, and there is little that the doctors can do to help the injury heal better. A brace may be used to help you refrain from moving too much, but time is the only thing that can heal a broken rib. Broken ribs can take months to heal, and during that time period, the injury victim may be more susceptible to pneumonia. Victims with broken ribs may also have additional chest injuries, such as a collapsed lung.
Pneumothorax is the medical term for a collapsed lung. A collapsed lung can occur when fluid or air forms between the chest wall and the lung. This is a serious injury that can lead to other complications. A hemothorax, or pooling of blood, is also common when a lung collapses.
Myocardial or Pulmonary Contusion
Myocardial (heart) or pulmonary (lung) contusions are severe injuries. The bruising of your major organs can prevent them from working properly and may lead to life-threatening conditions.
Abdominal Organ Injuries
Chest contusions can also impact your abdominal organs such as your spleen, small or large intestine, liver, or pancreas.
These injuries can be in addition to other serious injuries. It is crucial to have a medical exam after a car accident, especially if the airbags are deployed or any impact on the chest area during the accident.
Causes of Chest Injury From a Car Accident
There are three main ways to suffer from a chest injury during a car accident other than the impact from the other vehicle.
Seat belts are designed to keep you safe during an accident. They prevent you from being thrown from the vehicle or bouncing around inside of the car. This safety feature tightens when the impact is detected.
Safety belts, however, have a flaw in their design because the tightening around the chest can lead to chest contusions.
Airbags are another safety feature that can cause some injuries to prevent greater harm. Airbags deploy with great force, and the impact can cause injuries. This is especially true if you are of a shorter stature or if you sit close to the steering wheel. You must seek medical attention if you feel any chest pain after a car accident from airbag deployment.
Even with other safety features in place, you may have direct contact with the steering wheel. The steering wheel can cause significant injuries to your chest area. If you are in an older vehicle without airbags, the steering wheel is the leading cause of chest injuries in a vehicle.
Florida Injury Lawyers At Landau Law
If you have been involved in a car accident where you suffered chest injuries, it is important that you speak with an attorney about your claim. Chest injuries often require extensive healing times and special medical care to make a full recovery.
Having a personal injury attorney manage your claim will ensure that you are not forced back to work too soon and that you receive all of the medical care necessary to make a recovery from your injuries.
If you or a loved one was injured in a Florida car accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Landau Law today to schedule a free consultation.