If you are experiencing chest pains after a car accident, you should be concerned and take the matter seriously. Many people downplay their pain after an accident but its critical to receive a proper diagnosis. It could be a simple bruising or muscle strain, but it could also be a much more serious injury including broken ribs, fractured sternum, and even serious injury to internal organs. Don’t assume the pain will go away, go seek medical attention immediately.

Causes of Chest Pains From An Auto Accident

Regardless of the speed of the vehicle at the time of the crash, the rapid deceleration can propel your body in all different manners. You could get injured by the steering wheel, the front dashboard, seat-belts, airbags, or other objects that may be inside the vehicle.

You may think that seat-belts and airbags will prevent injuries, in many instances it can actually be the cause of your pain. It provides a false sense of security. Going through a car wreck is a traumatic experience and the shock of the event can take your breath away and the force of impact leaves your chest exceedingly vulnerable. Some of the possible injuries can include:

  • Serious injury to the sternum which could indicate problems with your heart, blood vessels or arteries, or even your esophagus. The sternum is located right in the middle of your chest or breast bone. It also connects to your rib cage via cartilage.
  • Trachea injury. This is essentially your windpipe, which is the tube that transports air to and from your lungs.
  • Internal organ injuries are also a possibility. Your kidney and spleen are vital organs near your chest and you want to make sure that these are functioning properly.
  • Bruising
  • Punctured lung
  • Soreness from the rapid deceleration of an accident
  • Muscle strain
  • Fractured Ribs is a major concern with this type of injury. If you experiencing sharp pain that is shooting discomfort in the upper body or chest area, it is very likely that you have 1 more fractured ribs. Fractured ribs that goes untreated usually leads to more serious complications including a punctured lung, heart, diaphragm, or other internal organs.
  • Soft tissue injuries

Don’t Ignore After Car Accident Chest Pain

Man experiencing chest pain after a car accidentMany of the most serious chest or sternum injuries are not noticeable to the human eye. Bruises and cuts are obviously visible, but the injuries that are the most dangerous may not be detectable by anyone besides a medical professional.

If you fail to get the proper diagnosis it could turn into something more serious that will delay your healing and treatment. Even if you don’t think you are hurt, you should always head to a doctor to get checked out.

What Are Some Signs That Chest Pain Can Be Serious?

The only way to determine if your chest pain is serious is to get an accurate diagnosis from a doctor. The shock you experience after the accident along with the adrenaline rush can leave you unaware that you are actually have serious injuries. Here are some symptoms or signs that you should look out for.

  • You are having trouble breathing
  • You experience difficult taking a deep breath
  • Discomfort in your chest or sternum
  • You have pain when you cough or sneeze
  • Pain during certain movements of your body

What Should I Do If I Experience Chest Pain After an Accident?

If you or a loved one is experiencing chest pain after a car accident you should follow these steps.

  • Seek an examination from a doctor immediately. Getting seen early gives you the best chance of a favorable outcome. The sooner you can get checkout, the sooner you can rule a catastrophic injury that could potentially be life threatening. As a personal injury law lawyer, I always recommend quick treatment which allows you get back onto the road of recovery. If you delay, you might end up making the injury worse and creating more obstacles in your recovery.
  • After getting medial treatment, try to get a referral for the appropriate imaging which will give you a much better idea of the injuries you’re dealing with. MRI’s, CT scans, and X-rays are invaluable tools. This way you can get the proper treatment without misdiagnoses or wasting time.
  • Another reason to get early medical documentation is to avoid future problems with your insurance company. Insurance companies will find any reason to not pay you the compensation that you deserve. If you don’t document your injuries, you are giving them the ammunition to deny your claim or say that you’re injuries are a sham and you aren’t really that hurt. Creating evidence from medical professional are hard to argue and this is the reason it is so crucial to do.
  • Another important aspect is relating your chest pain to the actual accident. If you delay seeing a doctor, the insurance company can claim that your injury was unrelated to the accident and therefore they should have to compensate you.
  • Don’t try to grit your teeth and “take the pain”. As an experienced car accident lawyer, there have been many instances where I witnessed people who didn’t want to complain and days/week later the injury presents itself and it’s something that won’t go away on its own.
  • Talk to an attorney who specialized in personal injury and auto accident litigation. Most attorneys who have experience have dealt with victims that have chest pain and will know how to help you. An attorney can help collect and review medical documents, make sure you are receiving the proper care, and ensure that bills are getting paid.
  • Whatever you do, DO NOT sign anything related your car accident. This includes settlements, releases, and even waivers. Always talk to your attorney before signing anything. Many people make this mistake and once you sign there is no turning back. You can seriously hurt your chances of receiving a fair settlement.

Can I Sue For My Medical Bills or The Other Driver At Fault?

Yes you can. Many times, the insurance company will refuse to pay or cuts off your medical expense payments, attendant care, medical mileage, replacement services, and wage loss. If this happens to you, you have little options except to sue them and start a legal claim.

You can also sue the negligent driver of the accident. This is referred to as a 3rd party claim and will cover your pain and suffering. The severity of the injury will also play a factor as Michigan law states that you must experience a serious impairment of bodily function. This determination is usually highly contested and an experienced attorney can help you navigate this and get you the compensation that you deserve.

How Do I Start a Claim?

The way that it works in Michigan, is that you will fill out an application for no-fault benefits with your own insurance company. The insurance company responsible for you no-fault will be responsible for reimbursing your medical bills and wages loss if you are unable to work.

How To Treat Chest Pain or Sternum Pain

Treating your chest pain will depend on the severity of the injury. If the injury is relatively minor, simply resting can be enough to heal. If the injury is severe, the treatment will likely require hospitalization or even surgery. Injuries to blood vessels, arteries, and organs are especially dangerous and will require an in-depth treatment from multiple doctors.

Even if you think you were lucky and walked away from the accident scot-free, you should still get evaluated early on. Seeking medical treatment will help you get an accurate diagnosis, fast treatment, and documentation that will be crucial for you personal injury claim.

Injuries From Air Bags

Airbags are important pieces of safety equipment that required by all vehicle manufacturers but they can also have negative consequences. During deployment, the airbag is inflated with a chemical propellant. This happens in less than 5/100th of a second. At the same time this happens, seat-belts are also tightened. It’s easy to see why this deployment can result in a serious injury.

An unknown common cause of injury with air bags is actually burns. The combustion that happens during an airbag inflating can cause burns to the driver or passenger’s chest, head, neck, face, and arms. The strong force of the airbag can also cause major bruising or contusions of the skin, and the noise can even cause hearing loss.

How Do I Prevent Chest Injury and What Are My Legal Options?

Chest injuries can have a major negative impact on your life. If the injuries are serious enough, you may not be able to live the life that you are accustomed to. You might to change the way you live or get assistance for every day tasks. You might not be able to hold down a job and provide your family. You may not be able to enjoy exercise or hobbies that you love.

In many instances, there is no way to avoid a car accident that wasn’t your fault. Having said that, you can mitigate the dangers by choosing to be responsible by driving defensively, wearing your seat belt, and making sure that your car is in proper working order.

There are many things you can do to increase your safety, but the most important for preventing a chest injury is to sit at least 10 inches back from the steering wheel according the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. You should never deactivate your airbags unless absolutely necessary for a given condition.

Need Assistance For Chest Pain After a Car Accident? Call The Attorneys At The Clark Law Office

If you are experiencing chest pain after a car accident and would like to speak to a lawyer, you can call us or text us anytime at (517) 347-6900 or use the online chat function on this website and we will get back you right away. We offer free consultations to all potential clients and we work on a contingency fee which means you will be charged nothing unless your case is won.

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