Key Points in This Article:
- A car crash that causes a person to hit the steering wheel, be slammed against the dashboard or have a seat belt strain the chest during impact, can cause serious and lasting injuries including, cardiac damage.
- Cracked or broken ribs, punctured lungs, myocardial (heart) contusions, organ damage and permanent injury to the sternum and chest wall can be common after an accident.
- Although essential safety features, seat belts and airbags can also be the cause of chest injuries.
- Even if injuries are not initially noticed, being evaluated by a doctor immediately after an auto accident and having the right medical documentation will help recover compensation for your chest injury.
What to Do If You Experience Chest Pain After an Accident
Surprisingly, some of the most severe car crash injuries may not be immediately apparent, including those to the chests of both drivers and their passengers. Whether caused by a seat belt, airbag, steering wheel or even stressors leading to heart attack, chest-related injuries can create long-term problems that trigger other health conditions. Family caregivers can also become heavily impacted.
Chest injuries can be common after a crash and range from less critical to serious. Anyone who has sustained a blow to the chest or experiences chest pain symptoms should receive a medical evaluation at the first sign of discomfort.
Common Signs of Chest Injury After an Accident
Pain tolerance can be subjectively personal and visible injuries to the chest may not be initially noticed. And even if you have already been seen and treated for other accident-related injuries, a doctor should be notified of any new symptoms.
Never ignore these signs of a chest injury.
- Difficulty breathing and abnormal wheezing
- Failure of the chest to expand normally
- Crunching sounds in the ribs
- Coughing up blood
- Pain in the chest that gets worse with any movement
If serious injuries are caused to the chest, you may require compensation for medical bills, loss of income or pain and suffering to move on from your accident. The right documentation and timely diagnosis from a medical professional will be vital to present your personal injury case.
A medical professional most often determines that the cause of accident-related chest pain may be:
- Muscular:A car accident may cause strain to the chest muscles. While rarely a life-threatening injury, a physician should be informed and treatment and ongoing evaluations may be necessary.
- Sternum and rib fractures:If the ribs or sternum are bruised after a car accident, there may also be chest pain. Bruising or cracked bones can happen when the area around the chest hits the steering wheel, or a seat belt restricted the breastbone at the time of the accident.
Even without an obvious or painful injury, significant internal damage to the heart or other organs such as the lung, spleen or liver can also occur. These often require immediate medical diagnosis and treatment.
Heart Attack Can Result from a Car Accident Chest Injury
Cardiac damage can present late after road accidents and also manifest into arrhythmias, heart rupture, septal rupture, and other types of cardiac problems, according to the National Institutes of Health. Know the signs of heart attack provided by the Detroit, Michigan division of the American Heart Association including:
- Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes – or it may go away and then return. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath. This can occur with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs. Other possible signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
If you have suffered a heart attack caused by a motor vehicle accident injury in Michigan, you may be entitled to compensation to help cover related medical costs, income loss, and recovery needs.
How Do I Prove the Other Driver Was at Fault for Causing My Chest Injury?
Proving fault for your accident-related chest injury is necessary but can be difficult. Under Michigan law, a person can only obtain pain and suffering compensation if they prove the other driver was at least 50% at-fault for causing the crash. If you are more than 50% at-fault for causing the accident, then you cannot make a claim.
As a result, you must talk to the responding police officer at the accident scene and share why you believe you were injured during the crash, caused by the other driver’s actions. If that is not possible, make sure you follow up with the police as soon as possible, even if that is a telephone call from a hospital bed.
- The police use these statements to complete a traffic crash report or UD-10 report, and these reports become incredibly important because the police officer will use the report when testifying later on in the case.
- The police should perform accident reconstruction work while at the accident scene. This can include looking at skid marks, property damage and video surveillance if possible, to evaluate and determine the cause of the crash.
Our team of legal professionals can deploy our accident reconstruction professionals in any Michigan community to ensure the best outcome for our clients. These experts will use the police report and the police department’s accident reconstruction report merely as a starting point.
Please keep these strategies in mind so we can assist you in the most beneficial recovery.
Talk to a Michigan Car Accident Attorney
The Law Offices of Lee Steinberg, P.C., can help you get the compensation you deserve for your chest injury or other serious car accident injury. Please call Lee Free and speak to our car accident or personal injury attorneys at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form.
And remember, you pay nothing until we win or settle your car accident case.
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