Why Car Crash Victims Should Never Ignore Chest Pain

Someone dealing with chest pain.

You should never dismiss pain in your chest after a car crash, as it might indicate severe injuries, from broken ribs to punctured lungs or even heart trouble.

Below, our experienced Lafayette car accident lawyers delve into the types of car crash injuries that can cause chest pain, along with accompanying symptoms. Additionally, we discuss the steps victims should take if they sustain chest injuries and types of compensation that they may be eligible for in an injury claim.

If you have any legal questions following chest pain from a car crash, contact Galloway Jefcoat. We offer our legal services without any upfront costs, and our clients do not pay unless they receive compensation.

Call our office to schedule a FREE case review. Turning Wrong Into Right. 337-984-8020.

What Crash Injuries Could Cause Chest Pain?

Crash victims often sustain injuries from blunt force trauma, including impacts to the chest. For example, if your chest hits the steering wheel or a deployed airbag, it could cause a painful injury.

Your seatbelt could also cause a chest injury when it stops your forward movement. When you combine the seatbelt with suddenly stopping, there is a high risk of a severe injury. Crash victims also tense up just before the collision, increasing the possibility of injuries.

Sometimes, hitting your chest in a car crash only results in minor damage, such as bruises and muscle strains. This may happen in a low-speed collision.

However, there is potential for more serious injuries that could take a long time to heal, and possibly threaten your life.

These are some examples of the more severe chest injuries that could occur in car crashes:

Fractured Ribs

You could get hit so hard in the chest that you break your ribs. This is a dangerous injury, as your ribs protect vital organs, including the lungs.

Severe rib fractures often damage surrounding organs and tissues. For instance, a broken rib could pierce your lungs, impairing your breathing.

Internal Organ Injuries

Blunt force during a car crash can damage the heart or kidneys, potentially causing internal bleeding or severe tissue damage. This is one of the main reasons to never take car crash chest pain lightly. There is no way you are going to know what is causing the pain. You need to be examined by a qualified medical professional.

Muscle Strains

The force of the impact can stretch and even tear muscles. This can happen when your body abruptly jerks forward or backward. Victims are likely to experience swelling and inflammation.

Punctured or Bruised Lung

This may happen if your ribs break and pierce your lungs. This can cause fluid to build up in your lungs, which makes it harder for your body to get all the oxygen it needs.

Chest Pain Symptoms

It is important to define the type of pain you may feel after a chest injury. There are other symptoms that may occur with the pain, further indicating your need for medical care:

  • Dull ache
  • Throbbing pain
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid breathing
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Low heart rate
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Increased pain when you sneeze, cough or laugh
  • Sharp pain, particularly when you move your chest or arms or if you apply pressure to your chest

What Should I do If I Have Chest Pain?

Ignoring chest pain or self-diagnosing it as a minor injury and deciding not to get treatment can make your injuries worse.  It is best not to assume these symptoms will go away on their own. You may have a severe injury and you should go to the hospital right away.

Chest pain may not be immediately apparent due to adrenaline, which your body releases in high-stress situations. If you begin to feel pain in your chest, you need to get to the hospital as soon as you can.

The sooner you go to a doctor, the sooner treatment can begin, which may prevent an injury from getting worse and becoming harder to treat. Delaying medical treatment can be life-threatening, particularly with internal organ damage. Prompt medical attention not only facilitates recovery but also strengthens compensation claims. Seeing a doctor immediately after a crash provides clear evidence of the injury’s connection to the accident, which is critical for insurance claims.

Delaying a medical consultation can lead insurance companies to question the severity of your injuries or their relation to the crash.

After visiting a doctor, it is important to seek counsel from a knowledgeable attorney that can help you pursue compensation. If you were injured due to another driver’s negligence, his or her insurance should cover the damages related to the crash.

Treating Chest Injuries

The first step a doctor will take to diagnose your injury is performing a physical assessment to check for tenderness, swelling or deformities in the chest area. Doctors are likely to use chest X-rays, ultrasounds or CT scans to learn more about your injury and what is causing your symptoms.

If you have serious injuries like internal organ damage, you may have to undergo surgery to repair the damage. Surgery may also be necessary to repair fractured bones. However, for other injuries, some victims may need to restrict physical activity while they heal. Doctors may also prescribe pain medication and anti-inflammatories to keep the swelling down.

The recovery time varies depending on the injury type. Doctors often recommend limiting certain movements to manage pain and ensure proper healing.

What Types of Compensation May I Be Eligible for After a Chest Injury?

If your crash was caused by another driver who engaged in negligence, his or her insurance may be liable for various damages. The types of compensation and their value is determined on a case-by-case basis, as every accident is different. These are some of the types of compensation that victims may be eligible for:

  • Medical expenses: This type of compensation could cover the cost of physical therapy, prescription medications, surgery, hospital stays and other related medical expenses. If you need ongoing care, these costs can be included in your claim.
  • Lost wages and income: If your injuries caused you to miss work, you may be eligible for compensation that covers your lost wages.
  • Pain and suffering: This type of compensation covers the non-economic impact of your injury, such as physical pain and emotional distress.
  • Disability and impairment: If your chest injury results in permanent disability or impairment (like lost mobility or function), you may be eligible for compensation. Property damage: Property damage covers damage to victims’ vehicle or any other property. In some cases, victims may have to repair or replace their property.

Call Galloway Jefcoat if You Have Been Injured in a Crash

If you are unsure about the next steps after a crash, speaking with an experienced lawyer can be an important step.

Galloway Jefcoat’s experienced lawyers have been securing compensation for car crash victims in Acadiana for many years. We have the experience and legal knowledge to handle the legal process. There are no upfront costs and we do not get paid unless we win compensation for you.

Call our office today to discuss your potential case. 337-984-8020