Car accident injuries come in a variety of forms. While injuries like cuts and bruises tend to be clearly visible, more devastating ones like pulmonary contusions and rib fractures may take days to reveal. This underpins the importance of seeing a doctor as soon as possible following a car accident.
While chest pain after an auto accident can result from bruising due to the force of impact, it could also be a sign of something more serious. In fact, chest pain that is attributable to blunt force during the impact can escalate to potentially life-threatening complications if left undiagnosed and treated.
Here are some of the injuries that could lead to chest pain.
The chest area is made up of three layers of intercostal muscles whose primary function is to stabilize the body’s upper area. If these muscles are strained or sprained following the accident, you may experience muscle spasms, swelling or a sharp pain while inhaling. While muscle strain may not be serious, it is important that you see a doctor for a comprehensive examination and treatment.
Fractured or bruised ribs
Ribs offer the first line of protection for the internal organs during impact. If your ribs are fractured or bruised during impact, you will experience severe pain while breathing, sneezing, coughing, bending over or even laughing. Sometimes, you may notice swelling or redness around the fracture. While a bruised rib will often heal on its own, a fracture may require immediate medical attention. This is especially true if you’re experiencing severe chest pain or are coughing up blood as this could be a sign that the fractured your lungs or a blood vessel, which can be life-threatening.
A car accident can leave you with life-threatening injuries. Knowing your legal options and obligations can help you pursue the liable party for damages.