Why Chest Contusions Are Serious Injuries
A contusion is another word for a bruise, which might not sound like a terribly scary injury to suffer in a car accident. But chest contusions can be very dangerous, sometimes even deadly. Immediate medical attention is necessary to give the injured motorist a good chance of recovery. Because medical care is expensive, injured victims should pursue all avenues for receiving compensation, especially bringing an insurance claim against an at-fault motorist.
Chest Contusions are Often Invisible
The most obvious contusion is a skin bruise that many people experience. A plum-colored circle shows up where a person suffers a traumatic blow because blood is pooling just below the skin.
But some of the most dangerous contusions are invisible because they affect organs inside the body. For example, a motorist could suffer a contusion on their ribs, lungs, muscles, esophagus, or heart. Any serious blow, such as the chest hitting the steering wheel or dashboard, can lead to an internal contusion.
If you have been involved in a car accident, you might not know whether you have suffered a contusion simply because you cannot see it. Unfortunately, too many people delay getting appropriate medical care.
Airbags Cannot Always Prevent Chest Contusions
Many people assume that with the arrival of airbags, chest contusions have decreased. However, air bags can also cause chest contusions when they forcibly deploy. Some airbags deploy with far too much force, which can cause a serious chest injury.
Other airbags malfunction, allowing the chest to slam into the steering wheel or another object. And if a motorist is not wearing a seat belt, they could fly sideways in the car and collide with another passenger.
Chest Contusions Can Be Fatal
Some of the more serious chest contusions include:
- Myocardial contusion. This is a contusion on the heart. In severe cases, a person can suffer an immediate heart attack. Other myocardial contusions can lead to blood clots, which can cause a heart attack later. If you experience pain in the heart area, you might have suffered a myocardial contusion.
- This condition is a collapsed lung, which can lead to low levels of oxygen in the blood.
- Pulmonary contusion. Any bruise to your lung tissue can cause this injury. A person can suffer pneumonia as a result, and symptoms might take 24 hours or more to manifest.
Even if your airbags deployed, you should go immediately to the hospital if you feel any discomfort in your chest. A doctor can diagnose whether you have suffered a chest contusion using a chest X-ray or CT scan.
Your treatment will depend on the location of the bruise and its severity. Minor contusions might only warrant a cold compress and some anti-inflammatory medication. More serious contusions may require targeted intervention. For example, if you suffered a pulmonary contusion, you could receive oxygen therapy for days to help you get ample oxygen to your brain. Your doctor can also prescribe exercises at home or physical therapy to aid in healing.
Speak with an Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyer
Chest contusions are serious injuries, and victims need an attorney committed to protecting their legal rights. Call the Indianapolis car accident attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP today for a free consultation.