The moments after a car accident can be a whirlwind of activity, fear, confusion, and dizziness. If you have been injured, pain and uncertainty about the future can compound the situation. Certain injuries may be more evident immediately, such as a broken arm or leg, or lacerations from broken glass. Signs of other injuries, however, may not develop for hours or days after the accident even if you sought immediate medical attention. Among the most commonly delayed symptoms are neck and back concerns, including signs of whiplash, and the onset of chest pains that may be caused by a number of very serious conditions.
Possible Rib and Chest Injuries
While neck and back issues can certainly be causes for serious concern, the development of their related symptoms is rather unsurprising to most car crash victims. Chest pains, on the other hand, tend to raise many more questions as they are frequently associated with life-threatening cardiac conditions and episodes. Fortunately, after a motor vehicle accident, there may be several explanations for thoracic pain and discomfort.
Sturdy seatbelts and rapidly inflated airbags, without question, can reduce the likelihood of fatalities related to car accidents. That is not to imply, however, that their proper use completely prevents injury. In some cases, they may even contribute to injuries, particularly to the chest, ribs, and abdominal regions. Chest pains that develop hours or days after an accident are most commonly an indication of:
- Cracked or fractured ribs;
- Sternal fractures;
- Bruising to the ribs; and
- Soft tissue injuries and bruising.
Musculoskeletal injuries such as these can be very painful and are often associated with shortness of breath and respiratory discomfort. However, the injuries are able to heal with proper care, allowing an accident victim to recover fully.
Potentially Serious Concerns
Blunt chest trauma caused by a car accident can have even more devastating effects. Although such injuries are relatively uncommon, chest pains and shortness of breath may be signs of physical damage to the lungs and/or heart. While pulmonary (lung) or myocardial (heart) contusions are rather serious, a traumatic valve abnormality is even more so. A traumatic valve abnormality can result from an impact, for example, with a steering wheel, and is essentially a tear in one of the valves of the heart or the aorta where it attaches to an artery.
More serious cardiopulmonary issues are not particularly common after a car accident, but they can happen. Constant or worsening chest pains and shortness of breath are the most likely symptoms. If you are concerned about the possibility of such an injury, contact your doctor immediately even if you were examined after the accident.
Protect Your Rights after an Accident in Connecticut
If you have been injured in any type of motor vehicle accident caused by the actions or negligence of another party, you may be entitled to collect damages for your injuries. An experienced Hartford car accident attorney at Woolf Law Firm, LLC can help you recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call our office today at [[phone1]] to schedule a consultation with a legal professional dedicated to serving you.