What Should I Do if I Have Chest Pain After a Car Accident?

Posted on July 6, 2021 by Personal Injury 360

There are many reasons why someone could experience chest pain after a car accident. The person could have a chest injury. On the other hand, the person could be experiencing a panic attack because of a car accident.

Chest pains could be an indication of a severe injury. Therefore, any chest pain after a car accident should be evaluated by a medical professional. It is usually best to go to the emergency room immediately if you suffer from chest pains after a car crash.

Chest Pains Are Symptoms of Many Different Types of Car Accident Injuries

Chest pains are common after a car accident. A person may feel pain as the seat belt tightens across their chest or as the airbag hits their chest. Also, there could be chest pain because the person slammed into the steering wheel or dashboard. 

As stated above, chest pains could be caused by anxiety and panic. However, the pains could also be a symptom of chest injuries. Several car accident injuries could present with chest pains.

Chest pains could be a symptom of one or more of the following injuries:

Rib Fractures and Bruising

The force of the impact from the collision could cause one or more ribs to bruise, fracture, or break. Broken and cracked ribs are serious car accident injuries. They can puncture internal organs and blood vessels, causing life-threatening conditions.

Symptoms of rib injuries include:

  • Extreme chest pain
  • Increased chest pain when taking a breath
  • Increased pain when coughing, twisting, or laughing
  • Highly sensitive and painful when touched

Some individuals could experience a dull ache in the chest and mild symptoms. If you have any chest pain, it is best to have an x-ray, CT scan, or MRI to ensure that you did not sustain rib injuries after a car accident. 

Internal Organ Damage

Chest pains could indicate damage to one or more internal organs, including the heart, stomach, lungs, kidneys, liver, and spleen. Other symptoms may include extreme bruising, loss of bodily functions, blood in the urine or stool, and coughing up blood. Internal organ damage can be life-threatening. 

Cardiac Contusions and Heart Attacks

Cardiac contusions, or myocardial contusions, is the term used to describe a severe bruise to the heart muscle. 

Symptoms of this injury include:

  • Racing heart
  • Coughing up blood
  • Increase in chest pain when taking deep breaths
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Feeling faint

A cardiac contusion is often caused by blunt force trauma and rapid deceleration when a car is in a collision. 

The same symptoms of a cardiac contusion may also indicate a heart attack. Along with the above symptoms, the person may experience cold sweats, fatigue, aching in the arms, abdominal pain, heartburn, or indigestion. 

Lung Injuries

Chest pain is a common symptom of lung injuries. The lungs could be punctured, bruised, or collapsed because of a car accident. 

If you experience chest pain, difficulty breathing, uncontrollable coughing, or shortness of breath, you should see a doctor immediately. 

Ruptured or Torn Arteries and Veins

The force of the car crash could result in tearing or rupturing of the veins and arteries. As a result, a person could bleed to death if they do not seek prompt medical attention. 

Muscle Strain and Damage

The supportive tissue, muscles, and cartilage surrounding the ribs and chest can become strained or torn during the collision. The strain or tears can result in chest pain. 

Sometimes, the chest pain may be intense. However, a person may only experience a dull ache or pain when moving a certain way or lifting objects. However, because of the seriousness of chest pain, it is recommended that a physician evaluate even the slightest chest pain after a car accident. 

Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Car Accident

If another driver caused your injuries, you could recover compensation for your damages. Seeking immediate medical treatment for chest pain after a car accident is the first step in recovering compensation for your injuries.

You must be able to prove that the car crash caused your injuries. Therefore, you need medical evidence that your chest pain was a symptom of an injury sustained in the car crash. Waiting too long to seek medical care for chest pains after car crashes could jeopardize your health and car accident claim. 

After receiving medical treatment, talk with a personal injury lawyer about your case. First, an attorney evaluates your case. Then, the lawyer explains your legal rights and the steps you should take to hold the at-fault driver liable for your injuries and damages.