Car crashes frequently cause chest injuries, which often involve bruising. But sometimes, a collision can also break bones and tear soft tissue. As a result, you could suffer from serious symptoms that limit your mobility and even prevent you from working.
In rare cases, chest injuries suffered during a car accident damage your vital organs. These injuries to your heart, lungs, or major blood vessels can kill you without emergency treatment.
If you need help pursuing compensation for chest injuries after a car accident in St. Louis, MO, contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers at (314) 400-0000 for a free initial consultation.
How Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You After Suffering Chest Injuries in a Car Accident in St. Louis, MO
Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers was founded over 20 years ago to help accident victims pursue personal injury claims against those who injured them. Our St. Louis car accident lawyers have over 30 years of combined experience handling injury claims.
We help you after a car accident in St. Louis, Missouri, by providing the following:
- A free consultation to learn about your accident and explain your legal rights
- A highly-rated legal team that has recovered over $70 million for injured clients
- The resources to stand up to insurers and take cases to trial to get a fair outcome
Your car accident injuries can leave you with mountains of debts and no way to pay them. Contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your chest injury and the compensation you can pursue for it.
How Many Chest Injuries Result from Car Accidents in Missouri?
According to the Missouri Traffic Safety Compendium, St. Louis had 13,130 total traffic accidents in 2022.
These crashes injured 5,229 and killed 76 people. These numbers included 250 people injured and 22 people killed in pedestrian and bicycle accidents. This means St. Louis car accidents caused 4,979 injuries and 54 fatalities.
Missouri’s statistics do not categorize injuries by type. But you can use statistics to estimate the number of chest injuries. According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), roughly 10% of minor injuries and as many as 50% of serious injuries involve the chest.
Applying these numbers to Missouri’s statistics, you can estimate that roughly 500 people were diagnosed with chest injuries after a car accident in St. Louis. But this number does not tell the whole story.
Many people suffer chest pain and stiffness after a crash due to bruises and mild strains. These accident victims might not seek medical attention and thus might not receive a chest injury diagnosis. For this reason, you can estimate that more than 500 people injured their chest, even if only 500 were diagnosed with a chest injury.
Causes and Symptoms of Chest Injuries
Chest injuries occur in three ways during car accidents:
- Your chest hits a blunt object like your seat belt, steering wheel, or dashboard
- You hyperextend your chest as you whip around during the collision
- A sharp object, like a shard of glass, punctures your chest
These different methods naturally cause different injuries. Common chest injuries after a car accident include the following:
A chest bruise happens when you suffer mild blunt trauma. The impact ruptures blood vessels without breaking the skin. The bleeding under the skin causes discoloration, pain, and swelling. Bruises are very common, but they almost always heal within a few days with rest.
Several chest muscles attach through tendons to the ribs, collarbones, shoulder blades, and spine. When these muscles and tendons hyperextend, you suffer a strain.
Symptoms of a strain include:
- Muscle pain and swelling
- Weakness and stiffness that limits your range of motion
Mild strains usually heal within about a month, and severe strains may take a few months. Doctors rarely operate on strained chest muscles.
Cartilage holds your ribs to your sternum, and ligaments hold the ribs to the spine. When the cartilage or ligaments tear, the rib can move out of place.
A dislocated rib can compress nearby soft tissues, causing:
- Pain in the center of the chest or back
- Limited range of motion
Cartilage and ligaments heal slowly. As a result, dislocated ribs can take several months to fully heal.
A broken rib can occur when you suffer a blunt impact on the chest. A cracked rib often produces chest pain when you inhale. It can also cause chest swelling.
Doctors no longer wrap the chest after a broken rib because the wraps restrict breathing and increase the risk of pneumonia. Instead, your doctor will likely prescribe rest and light activity until the rib heals in six to eight weeks.
The one exception is when you fracture multiple ribs in multiple locations. This condition, referred to as a flail chest, can kill you without emergency treatment to stabilize the injury.
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Schedule a Free Consultation With Our St. Louis Car Accident Attorneys To Discuss Your Chest Injury
A chest injury can cause pain and stiffness that disable you from working or engaging in daily activities. Contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your chest injury and the compensation you can pursue for its effects.