Car accidents don’t have to look bad to be bad. Sometimes people are seriously injured in a car accident and won’t register exactly how bad off they really are until hours or days later.
Blunt-force chest trauma, for example, can be one of those types of injuries. If the trauma isn’t actively hindering your breathing, you may not even realize that you’re seriously hurt. You may even dismiss increasing soreness, stiffness and pain when moving as just part of the healing process.
How serious is chest trauma after a car accident? It depends.
Did you have your seat belt on? Did you strike the dashboard with your chest? Did the airbag deploy with full force into your chest? Were you suddenly jolted into place by a seat belt? All of these factors can make a difference, so there’s no easy answer.
While you’re no doubt glad that you didn’t end up going through the windshield of the car, it’s important that you don’t dismiss chest pain after a car accident, especially if it seems to worsen:
- One-third of people who experience chest trauma need to be admitted to the hospital.
- Blunt-force injuries in the thoracic area of the chest account for as many as one-fourth of all deaths after a traumatic injury.
- Overall, chest trauma in general is considered a “contributor” in half of other post-trauma deaths.
- Some of the injuries commonly associated with blunt-force chest trauma include broken ribs, a fractured breastplate, esophageal ruptures, cardiac chamber ruptures of the heart and aortic ruptures — just to name a few.
Again, the lesson to bear in mind is that early recognition of the damage and early treatment is what’s necessary to keep the situation from becoming dire.
If you have even the slightest chest pain following a car accident, allow yourself to be transported by ambulance to the hospital and X-rayed for any obvious problems. If nothing is found, you can generally relax — unless the pain worsens or you develop problems breathing — in which case, head back to the emergency room and let the doctors know you’ve recently been in an accident that involved chest trauma.
If you are injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, an attorney can help. Our firm has attorneys who are experienced with car accident claims and can provide the advice you need. .