If you experience chest pain after a car accident, get emergency medical help right away. It could be more serious than you think. Every year, thousands of New Yorkers get into auto accidents, and most of them end up surviving and recovering just fine. However, chest pain should not be taken lightly. It may be minor; it may be severe.
The dedicated Long Island accident attorneys of the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP want you to be informed and understand what chest pain might mean following a car crash.
Possible Reasons for Chest Pain After a Car Crash
Some post-accident injuries are obvious and easy to see, like broken bones, bruises, lacerations, and bleeding. Other injuries require medical diagnostics to determine the cause. There are a lot of reasons why you might experience chest pain after a motor vehicle crash. For instance, you may have trouble breathing or get pain when you inhale or exhale.
This pain may be directly beneath your ribs or in the middle of your chest at your sternum or diaphragm. While you may think you just bumped into something and the cause may seem obvious, do not take chances. Your chest pain could spell something far more serious.
Minor Causes of Chest Pain After a Car Crash
There are, of course, some typical and minor causes of chest pain after a wreck. These may include:
- General soreness from jolting inside the vehicle
- Inhalation of cornstarch from an airbag deployment
Of course, even these conditions can turn out to be more serious a week after a car accident. Consider the case of a man who suffered a chest wall burn from an airbag deployment, only to discover the pain was actually due to a more serious underlying sternum fracture.
In severe cases, your chest pain could mean:
- Fractured ribs
- Punctured lungs or other lung injuries
- Heart attack
- Injuries to your:
- Heart (myocardial bruising)
- Trachea (throat)
- Chest wall and cartilage
What Are the Symptoms of Chest Pain?
Depending on what triggers the symptom, there can be different sensations associated with chest pain. According to Mayo Clinic, heart-related chest pain may cause the following symptoms:
- Pressure, burning, fullness, or tightness in your chest
- Pain that lasts more than a few minutes
- Pain that goes away and comes back
- Activity makes the pain worse
- Cold sweats, dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath, or nausea/vomiting
Chest pain that is less likely to be connected to a heart problem includes:
- Pain that gets worse or better based on your body position
- Tenderness when you push on your chest
- Trouble swallowing
- Pain that is worse when you cough or breath in deeply
Don’t ignore the symptoms of chest pain. If you think you could be having heart issues, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
Seatbelts Causing Chest Pain
In many cases after an auto accident, the seatbelt can cause chest pain. While seatbelts are lifesaving in many accidents, the force against your chest can leave bruising or abrasions. In some instances, seatbelts have caused fractures to the sternum or ribs. There have also been cases where seatbelts have caused injuries to internal organs.
If you believe your chest pain is caused by a seatbelt, it is still important to have a medical professional examine a medical professional.
Airbags Causing Chest Pain
Airbags are also lifesaving tools in cars that could cause injuries. Per the Journal of Medical Case Reports, they have been known to cause significant chest wall injuries. In addition, because of the force behind airbags, they could lead to bruising and rib or sternum fractures.
While airbags have gotten safer through the years, they can still cause significant injury. Having your medical provider check you out after an airbag is deployed can rule out any significant injuries that need to be treated.
What to Do If You Have Chest Pain After a Car Accident
If you feel tightness, soreness, or pain in your chest, or you have difficulty catching your breath or pain on inhaling or exhaling after a car accident, seek emergency medical attention immediately. If it has been a day or two since the crash, and you are still experiencing these symptoms, you need to tell your doctor so that you can be thoroughly evaluated for more serious underlying problems.
Remember that many severe injuries may take time to fully show up. Do not delay getting medical care. In addition, we recommend you:
- Complete medical treatment: If your medical provider has recommended you complete ongoing medical treatment for your chest pain, follow their instructions.
- Document your injury: If your chest pain is ongoing after an accident, keep documentation of the pain you are going through. Each day, write down the severity of chest pain you had and how long it lasted.
- Talk to an auto accident attorney: An attorney who has handled similar cases will know the next course of action to take. If you have an ongoing chest pain injury after an auto accident, you could be entitled to receive compensation. Our attorneys have handled these types of cases before and will help you file a claim or lawsuit.
Damages You May Recover After Suffering Chest Pain in an Auto Accident
If you have chest pain from a car accident, you may be able to recover compensation. Although each case comes with its own facts and circumstances, common damages victims pursue include:
- Medical bills for past and ongoing care
- Lost income
- Reduced earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Property loss
When your attorney evaluates your damages, they may find that you are entitled to collect forms of compensation that we haven’t mentioned here.
Get Legal Help for Your Injuries From Our Trusted Car Accident Attorneys
At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, we take our mission seriously. We know that when innocent people are badly hurt in car accidents, all they want is to be treated fairly, get back to work, and get their medical bills paid. In short, they just want fair and reasonable compensation for their injuries. Big insurance companies make their money by refusing to pay claims.
If you have been injured and need help collecting the compensation you deserve, call the Long Island car accident lawyers today to schedule a free private consultation to discuss your options. We never charge for consultations, and we only get paid if you do. There is no risk and absolutely no obligation. Give us a call today at (516)-358-6900.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900