Although many drivers do their best to drive carefully and cautiously in hopes of avoiding a car accident, accidents still tend to occur. Unfortunately, when they do occur, individuals are stuck with hefty medical bills, auto mechanic fees, and severe and painful injuries.
One of the most serious types of injuries after a car accident is chest and heart trauma, as this can cause permanent damage to some of the most vital organs within the body or even result in death. Therefore, if you are experiencing any type of pain in your chest following a Kennewick car accident, you should seek medical assistance from a licensed physician right away.
How do chest and heart injuries occur?
There are a variety of different chest and heart injuries that can occur after a car crash, which can lead to permanent heart or organ damage, lifelong complications, disability, and even death.
Heart injuries usually occur when any of the components of the heart experience trauma, which is common in motor vehicle accidents due to the force and impact of the crash. Some of these components include the three layers of the heart, which are called the epicardium, endocardium, and myocardium as well as the four chambers of the heart, which are the left and right atria and left and right ventricles. In addition, you also have an aorta, which is described by the American Heart Association as “the main artery that carries blood away from your heart to the rest of your body.”
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, chest injuries typically emerge from blunt force trauma or penetrating trauma. These injuries usually affect the organs or bones within the chest area, such as the heart, lungs, esophagus, trachea, thymus, ribs, sternum, and more.
What are common chest and heart injuries that result from car accidents?
There are various types of chest and heart injuries that may result from a car accident, such as:
- Heart contusions: Heart contusions, also referred to as myocardial contusions, occur when your heart experiences a bruise. These injuries are very common during car accidents, as they happen due to blunt force trauma. Your heart is secure and protected by the multiple bones and muscles in your chest, but with a lot of force and impact, heart contusions may form.
- Aortic rupture: An aortic rupture is a very serious injury that is known to be fatal. These injuries usually happen when there is a tear in the heart, causing the blood to escape and fill the chest cavity. This is very dangerous and must be caught and treated immediately with surgery.
- Aortic dissection: An aortic dissection is similar to an aortic rupture as it also consists of a tear. However, the tear may be very thin, causing blood to escape slowly. If it is left untreated, the tear will become bigger, leading to more blood leaking out. As a result, the layers of the aorta may split and cause an aortic rupture or even death.
- Heart rupture: A heart rupture usually occurs when a person has a heart attack. It causes the individual’s muscles, valves, and walls to detach and come completely apart. Since a person can have a heart attack during a car accident, a heart rupture can occur immediately, within a few days, or even a few weeks later.
- Sternal fracture: A sternal fracture, also commonly called a broken sternum, occurs when a person’s breastbone experiences a break. This type of injury happens when a hard object strikes a person’s chest very hard and with a lot of force.
- Broken ribs: Broken ribs are another common chest injury that occurs in car accidents. When an individual is diagnosed with a broken rib, this means that one of their ribs has a crack or a complete break. It is also not uncommon for ribs to move out of place during a collision.
- Punctured or collapsed lung: A punctured or collapsed lung, which is also often referred to as pneumothorax, occurs when a sharp object pierces your chest and lung, causing air to escape and the lung to collapse. This can happen from sharp, broken pieces within the vehicle, or it can also be caused by a broken or displaced rib.
How do Kennewick car crashes cause chest and heart trauma?
While occupants of vehicles are at risk of chest and heart trauma when an accident occurs, but individuals who are not driving or operating a car can also experience chest and heart trauma. Here are some of the various ways car crashes or other types of accidents can cause chest and heart trauma:
- The pressure from a seat belt: While seat belts are essential for safety, they can cause chest and heart trauma. The reason for this is because drivers and passengers are often slung forward during an accident, but the seat belt places pressure on the chest area to keep them from going through the windshield.
- Fast and sudden airbag deployment: Some people think that airbags are giant pillows that may release softly and gently. However, the truth is that airbags typically deploy very quickly and suddenly, striking individuals very hard in the chest area.
- Hitting the dashboard, steering wheel, or any other object in the car: During a car accident, it is common for the human body to be thrown around and collide with the dashboard and steering wheel, which can cause chest and heart injuries. In addition, sharp debris can enter or come loose in the vehicle, puncturing the chest area.
- Bicyclists hitting the handlebars or pavement: Bicycle accidents can cause chest and heart trauma with or without involving motor vehicles. For example, a bicyclist may fail to pay attention and realize that they are heading straight toward a big pothole, causing their chest area to slam into the handlebars. Bicyclists can also be slung over their handlebars and onto the hard pavement when drivers open their car doors in the bike lane, leading to significant chest and heart injuries.
- Pedestrians falling onto the pavement or being hit by a vehicle: Pedestrian accidents are another type of accident that can cause chest or heart trauma with or without involving a motor vehicle. For example, if a pedestrian stumbles and falls onto the hard pavement face forward because they were trying to dodge an approaching vehicle or the ground was slippery, they may experience a bruised chest, broken rib, or a fractured sternum. If there is something sharp on the ground, this can also cause a punctured lung. However, pedestrians can also be struck by a vehicle, leading to severe chest and heart injuries.
If you suffer chest or heart trauma after a car accident in Kennewick, you want an experienced and skilled car accident lawyer from Telaré Law to represent you. We will evaluate your claim and determine how much compensation you may receive for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Once we determine a fair and accurate amount for these losses, we will prepare to put up a good fight against the insurance companies and demand that you receive it. We have the trial experience you want on your side if negotiations fail, so you’re prepared no matter what. Contact our team today for friendly and helpful advice during a free consultation. From our office in Kennewick, we assist clients all over the state of Washington because we know how difficult these injuries are and want to take some of the burden off your shoulders. While you give your focus to healing and recovering, we will handle every obstacle or challenge that arises from your case.