Millions of Americans experience car accidents each year. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident and sustained injuries during the crash, such as chest injuries you deserve to understand your rights to compensation. Countless car accident victims suffer in silence thanks to a fear of navigating the legal system, but that doesn’t need to be the case.
Chest injuries can range in severity, but even minor injuries often require medical attention, which can quickly become expensive for car accident victims who are likely already struggling to pay for other damages caused by a crash. Partnering with an empathetic and reliable car accident attorney can help increase your chances of receiving the damages you’re owed AND will help make the legal process easier. Discuss your case today with the Stewart J. Guss legal firm.
Chest Injuries: A Common Car Accident Experience
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published data that indicates chest injuries are amongst the most commonly reported injuries by car accident victims. As many as 80 PERCENT of injuries sustained during and reported after car accidents impact the head or chest. This NHTSA report also presented a handful of unique statistics; have you ever wondered just how likely YOU are to sustain a chest injury in a car accident?
Your age and the type of crash that you’re involved in directly influence how likely you are to sustain a chest injury during a car accident. Statistics indicate that the younger the driver, the less likely they are to suffer chest injuries from a car accident. Drivers who are under twenty-four are the least likely demographic to sustain a chest injury.
Unsurprisingly, data concerning driver chest injuries showed heavy correlation with the type of crash that occurs. Drivers who experience rollover car accidents are far more likely to experience chest injuries than those in non-rollover accidents. Many non-rollover car accidents with left-side impact also leave drivers horrifically injured.
What Is a Chest Injury?
Chest injuries are bruises to the skin, muscles, or ribs, and they often lead to pain and swelling and, in some cases, mask much more insidious injuries lurking beneath the surface. These injuries are almost always caused by blunt force trauma to the victim’s chest.
The two primary symptoms of chest contusion are pain at the trauma site and purpling or bruising of the skin nearby. Many victims experience pain while they breathe or talk, and may even wheeze, but these symptoms aren’t required for diagnosis. The type of contusion that you experience will also impact your symptoms and the recovery process. Bone contusions, for example, are FAR MORE severe than skin contusions.
Common types of chest injury include:
- Subcutaneous injury occur just below the skin of your chest. This is the type of bruising with which most of us are familiar.
- Muscle injury occur when an injury is impactful enough to reach below the surface of your body. Many victims mistake muscle contusions for sprains or strains. Some cases lead to a hematoma or swelling caused by the collection of blood. Your doctor may need to drain a hematoma if one appears.
- Bone contusions are the most severe types of contusions. Victims report that they feel similar to fractures, but they do not involve broken bones. Any area of a bone—whether it’s hard exterior or soft interior—can be bruised during a car accident. Remember that many chest injuries CAN involve rib fractures – another important reason to ALWAYS get checked out after an accident.
Common Causes of Chest Injuries
Individuals involved in a car accident may receive chest contusions in several ways. The risks outlined below make up just a handful of the potential causes of injuries like these. While other drivers’ NEGLIGENCE AND RECKLESS DECISIONS are usually at the root of an accident, you may be surprised to find out that your vehicle’s own protective systems can also cause your individual injuries.
Just because your injuries were caused by objects inside your vehicle, it does not mean IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER that you are responsible for the crash or are unable to seek compensation. You have no control over how or when your airbags deploy or whether you’re launched forward against your steering wheel. Even if your primary injury was from a proper airbag deployment, he accident that resulted in your chest contusions was still the result of another party’s negligence and potentially illegal behavior, and you still have the right to pursue damages.
It’s a bit unfortunate that seatbelts, which were specifically designed to keep vehicle passengers safe, are one of the leading causes of chest contusions. Nobody wants to believe that their vehicle’s safety equipment may HARM them during a car accident, but occurrences like these are actually common! It is, however, VERY important to note that while a seat belt may cause an injury during an accident, the injuries they PREVENT are generally MUCH more severe so remember – ALWAYS, ALWAYS BUCKLE UP!
Seatbelts are specially designed to tighten against your body in the event of a sudden stop. In an ideal world, this would only serve to keep you safe. Seatbelt’s ability to tighten once a car brakes can help keep a passenger inside a vehicle and sitting in their seat in an emergency. Without seatbelts, countless drivers would be ejected from their vehicles during car accidents.
The unfortunate flipside to seatbelts lies in the potential danger that they pose. When a seatbelt tightens against your chest abruptly, particularly against the sheer force of a vehicle collision, it can of course lead to injuries like contusions.
Contact with Side Panels
Some car accidents are so severe that a car’s panels fold inwards during a crash. Not only can this ACTUALLY TRAP PASSENGERS INSIDE, but it also has the potential to lead to serious injury. If you’re stuck in place when your vehicle’s panels fold in, they could begin to crush or otherwise harm you and lead to chest contusions, broken ribs, or even more severe injuries; more importantly, emergency responders may have difficulty removing you from the damaged vehicle!
If a car accident involves flying debris, vehicle passengers risk injury caused by that debris making impact somewhere on their bodies. Countless things could break, shatter, or simply be thrown from their typical positions during a car accident.
Some chest injuries are the result of shattered window glass literally impaling passengers in the chest. Others are caused by belongings flying. So many objects have the potential to cause harm during accidents that listing them all is impossible.
It’s not difficult to imagine how a steering wheel could cause serious injuries or chest contusions. These large, solid objects are meant to help drivers navigate busy roads, but they can cause serious damage to the human body during a car accident.
Drivers are meant to sit back from their steering wheels and leave ample space in front of them in case a car accident occurs. Drivers who sit too close to their steering wheels may place themselves at greater risk of injury during an accident. The impact of a car accident can send a driver forward and crush their bones against their steering wheel. Even drivers who sit back from their steering wheels risk injuries like these.
Another safety measure that can cause collateral damage is your vehicle’s airbag system. Airbags are meant to protect vehicle passengers in the event of a car accident, but in the course of doing their job and saving a life, they may end up causing serious chest contusions and other injuries. Airbags often prove lifesaving, but they can cause SERIOUS injurious, too.
Chest Injury Compensation: Receiving the Damages You’re OWED
Chest injuries are just like any other injury or damage sustained during a car accident. If you’ve had to funnel your hard-earned money into staying on top of medical bills, repairing your vehicle, and trying to stay afloat as you recover, you should understand your RIGHT to pursue compensation. You should never need to suffer or lose out on money or the enjoyment of your life due to other drivers’ negligence.
Many chest injuries have a deep impact on the way that car accident victims engage in and enjoy their lives. Healing from a chest contusion can prove to be an emotionally-taxing and painful experience. If you or your loved one sustained a chest contusion during a car accident, you already understand just how deeply injuries like this can impact a victim’s life.
Your contusion may take days, weeks, or even MONTHS to heal. The recovery process is often accompanied by pain, emotional turmoil, and a loss of ability to work or make money as usual. All of these factors can begin to meddle and spiral quickly. If you’re experiencing severe pain, you can’t work, and you’re struggling to emotionally cope with your chest contusion, remember that THERE IS HOPE!
Those who have sustained chest injury during a car accident may be legally entitled to compensation to mitigate damages. Some examples of recoverable damages include:
- Medical expenses, such as those for hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, or medication. If you received emergency transport from the scene of your car accident, the costs associated with transport are also recoverable.
- Lost wages to make up for funds you would otherwise have earned from your employer during the time after the accident. You must be able to prove that your injuries are the reason that you cannot work.
- Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life to account for the emotional and physical pain that you experience due to your chest contusions or other injuries. These damages are intended to soften the negative impacts that the accident has on your overall well-being
- Disfigurement or scarring, in some cases, open the door to collect further damages. If you’ve been permanently scarred or disfigured as a result of your car accident, you’ll be able to pursue appropriate damages to account for your experience.
- Disability if the accident left you unable to walk, run, or move in the same way you were able to prior to your accident
The Importance of a Trustworthy Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has sustained chest contusions during a car accident, you deserve to feel at ease during the legal process. Your injuries, caused by the POOR DECISIONS of other drivers on the road, should not leave a lasting negative impact on your life. That’s one reason that seeking compensation may prove crucial to your healing process; JUSTICE works wonders for the morale.
This pursuit of compensation can’t be carried out solo, though; you’ll need a seasoned professional to stand by your side and inform you of the best ways to seek damages. That’s where a car accident attorney comes in.
You should look for firms that retain large teams of experienced, knowledgeable car accident attorneys. Practices that maintain teams like these can draw on DECADES worth of collective experience to ensure that you have the best chance of successfully securing compensation.
Your attorney will be able to guide you through the legal process from start to finish. Many car accident victims underestimate just how far-reaching and extensive this process can be. Before they know it, they’re stuck struggling to stay on top of paperwork and fighting with doctors over what qualifies as a severe injury. A car accident attorney will stick by your side and guide you through:
- The process of collecting documentation
- Ways to increase your chances of success in court; many car accident lawyers will locate and retain qualified experts, like doctors, in cases that require it to help the jury understand your case.
- What to say and do during interactions with insurance companies and the other parties involved in your accident
The right car accident attorney for you will ALWAYS keep YOUR best interests in the forefront of his or her mind. Having somebody like this ready to support you at a moment’s notice offers more than just peace of mind; it means you’ll NEVER need to worry about battling to protect your rights alone!
Since starting his firm in 1999, Stewart J. Guss has had the honor of representing clients from all over the world, helping them recover from even the most catastrophic injuries.
Today, thanks to a strong belief in those values of compassion, respect, and approachability, the firm has grown to employ over 120 legal professionals in numerous offices across 4 states, with nationwide reach.