Chest Injuries After a Car Accident

In theory, having your seat belt on during a car accident should prevent injuries. In reality, seat belts may save lives, but they also frequently cause chest injuries. Chest injuries aren’t uncommon after an auto accident and can lead to serious health complications and significant medical debt.

If you’re struggling financially due to chest injuries sustained in a car crash, it’s a good idea to understand the potential long-term outcomes. When you need help recovering injury costs, a Nashville car accident lawyer may be able to help with your claim. 

The Risk of Car Accident Chest Injuries

The Risk of Car Accident Chest Injuries

When you think about car accident injuries, chest injuries probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. Spinal injuries, brain injuries, and even broken bones are typically regarded as more common outcomes of car crashes. However, chest injuries are a common, serious, and often fatal outcome of car accidents. 

A 2023 study found that chest injuries accounted for 35% of trauma-related deaths. Moreover, 80% of chest injuries happen due to motor vehicle accidents. This shows that a car crash is by far the most likely way to sustain a serious injury to the chest.

Chest injuries can happen in a few ways during a car accident. The victim might be crushed or thrown from the vehicle. In many cases, the seat belt holds the person in place against such a strong force that the seat belt ends up causing serious injuries to the chest. 

What Are the Common Types of Chest Injuries After a Car Accident?

Everyone knows what part of the body the word “chest” refers to. However, this isn’t a medical term. The region of the chest is composed of bones, organs, muscles, nerves, and soft tissues. An injury to the chest can involve any — or all — of these body parts. 

Lung Injuries

Lung injuries are the most concerning type of chest injury. The lungs rely on the surrounding body parts to work correctly to maintain function. When the structure or stability of the chest is compromised, it’s very easy to sustain a serious lung injury. 

Collapsed or punctured lungs and bruised lungs are common types of car crash injuries. These injuries often result in death, as the human body can only survive for a few minutes without breathing.

Heart Injuries

Heart injuries are another serious type of organ injury that can occur during a car accident. Heart injuries tend to be most common in cases where the chest suffers blunt force trauma. One common type of car accident heart injury is myocardial contusion. This essentially means a bruised heart muscle, which makes it difficult for the heart to function properly. 

Furthermore, individuals with underlying heart issues are at heightened risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke during a car crash. The shock of the accident may trigger these medical events, especially in older individuals. 

Bone Injuries

A significant portion of the chest is made up of bones. The chest contains the sternum, twelve pairs of ribs, and 12 thoracic vertebrae. Accidents that impact the chest result in a high risk of these bones being fractured or dislocated. This brings the potential for chronic long-term issues. When the spine also sustains injury, paralysis is a common outcome. 

In addition to the lasting health issues and chronic pain that can result from a bone injury in the chest, this part of the skeletal structure is responsible for housing the heart and lungs. Serious injury to the bones often puts these critical organs at risk, resulting in further injury.  

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries are another common type of car accident chest injury. The chest contains a complex system of soft tissues. 

These include: 

  • Muscles
  • Tendons
  • Ligaments
  • Cartilage

Injuries to any of these soft tissues can result in long-term symptoms like chronic pain, reduced strength, and limited mobility. Injuries to these tissues can also go on to compromise other areas, like spinal function, which can eventually result in additional health issues like a spinal injury.

What Complications Can Arise From Car Accident Chest Injuries?

Car accident chest injuries can be severe. However, the immediate injury is often not all that you’ll need to worry about. The initial injury frequently results in medical complications. These can be life-threatening and are nearly always costly to treat. 

After a car accident, some of the most likely forms of chest injury complications include: 

  • Infection
  • Sepsis
  • Respiratory failure
  • Heart failure
  • Pneumonia

Injuries involving organ damage, like heart and lung injuries, come with a heightened risk of severe complications. For example, a fractured rib is not typically a life-threatening event. However, if the rib punctures a lung, the injury can quickly become fatal. 

Chest Injury Costs and Car Accident Compensation

Car accident chest injuries often require emergency surgery. After that, there’s a long road to recovery that may include lengthy hospital stays, future procedures, and physical therapy. During this time, you can’t return to work. When injuries are severe, you may never be able to work again or might have to switch to a new career that doesn’t pay as well. 

Car accident lawyers are legal professionals who excel at helping injured individuals maximize the amount they’re able to recover through an insurance claim. 

With a skilled lawyer on your case, you may be able to recover accident costs that include: 

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Physical and occupational therapy costs
  • Medical device costs
  • Attendant care or assisted living costs
  • Past and future lost wages and benefits
  • Pain and suffering damages

Case value is always unique after a car accident causes chest injuries. The best way to understand what you stand to gain by hiring a lawyer is to discuss your options during a free consultation. The right lawyer may be able to help you and your family recover life-altering personal injury compensation. 

Discuss Your Chest Injuries With an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Today

Depending on the severity, chest injuries can take a serious, long-term toll on your quality of life. These injuries can also leave you unable to return to work as you struggle to pay off extensive medical bills. Labrum Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers may be able to help. 

Our client testimonials allow you to see firsthand the life-altering difference we make in the lives of our clients. If you need car accident compensation in Nashville, TN, you can’t go wrong by choosing Labrum Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers.

Call our law firm today at (615) 685-8546 to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced Nashville car accident attorneys.