The chest is a large portion of the body that covers some of the body’s most important organs. If you recently suffered a chest injury in a car accident, slip and fall, or another accident, you may be entitled to pursue compensation.
Read on to learn the basics of chest injuries and the legal process of pursuing compensation for these injuries.
Overview Of Chest Injuries
Chest injuries include any injury between the neck and the abdomen, excluding the arms. Damage may be to the chest wall or the organs inside the chest. Chest injuries can range from relatively minor injuries such as bruising or abrasions to the chest to serious injuries that require immediate medical intervention.
Here is more information to know about chest injuries:
What Are Common Types Of Chest Injuries?
There are many different types of chest injuries, including:
- Fractured ribs – Broken or fractured ribs are one of the more common chest injuries. Impact to the chest can fracture a rib. In some situations, a fractured rib can cause other injuries, such as a collapsed lung.
- Flail chest – Flail chest is a condition that can occur when several ribs next to each other are fractured. A flail chest is a life-threatening situation with the injured portion of the chest wall moving separately from the rest.
- Heart injuries – Blunt injury to the heart or to the aorta can also be life-threatening.
- Lung damage – Pulmonary contusions and other damage to the lungs can make it difficult to breathe and can cause other complications.
- Esophageal injuries – Injuries to the esophagus, trachea, or diaphragm can also cause complications.
These injuries may present with different signs and symptoms.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Chest Injuries?
The signs and symptoms of chest injuries can vary, depending on the injury. However, potential warning signs of a chest injury include the following:
- Pain when inhaling
- Pain that worsens when you laugh, cough, or sneeze
- Problems breathing
- Bruising or swelling
- Coughing blood
- Tenderness to the chest
Carefully watch for these warning signs after a chest injury and seek prompt medical attention if you are experiencing them.
What Are Common Causes Of Chest Injuries?
Most chest injuries are caused by one of the following:
- Blunt injury, such as from a punch, fall, car accident, or sport
- Penetrating wound, such as from a gunshot or a knife
Either type of injury can be serious and require medical intervention. Many of these injuries are caused by someone else’s negligence, so you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you have suffered. The first step to holding the party responsible for your losses is to seek medical treatment for your injuries.
How Are Chest Injuries Diagnosed?
There are a number of methods that may be used to diagnose chest injuries, including:
- Imaging tests, such as X-rays, ultrasounds, or CT scans
- Oxygen blood saturation monitoring
- Heart monitoring tests, such as an EKG
- Lung function tests
- Physical exams
- Dysphagia tests
- Pleural fluid analysis
The particular methods that are used to diagnose your chest injury will depend on the symptoms you are having and the situation that led to your chest injury.
How Are Chest Injuries Treated?
The treatment you receive for a chest injury will depend on the type and severity of your injury. Emergency treatment for a chest injury may include:
- Call 911 and request immediate emergency medical assistance. Even if there is no external wound, there may be internal damage that is serious and can cause complications.
- Begin CPR if the person is unresponsive, is not breathing, or is gasping for air.
- Cover open wounds with gauze, cloth, clothing, or other available items. Cover at least two inches beyond the open wound.
- Do not attempt to remove any item that penetrated the chest. This should only be done by healthcare providers in medical facilities that can respond quickly to the situation.
- Apply pressure to the wound to control bleeding. Apply additional dressing on top of the old one if blood seeps through the covering.
- Place the person on the injured side or sitting up to facilitate breathing.
- Apply CPR if the person’s breathing becomes weak while waiting for help.
Once the person is stabilized, additional medical intervention may be necessary, which may include surgery, a tracheotomy, or a blood transfusion. Serious injuries may result in admittance into the hospital and additional treatment and monitoring.
What Is My Chest Injury Case Worth?
Every chest injury case is different, as is its value.
The potential value of your case can be estimated by adding together all of the damages you suffered because of the chest injury, including:
- Medical expenses, which include past, present, and future medical expenses. They include emergency ambulance costs, emergency treatment, hospitalization, imaging and diagnostic tests, medication, primary care visits, specialist visits, and rehabilitation
- Lost income, which includes lost wages while you were out of work for your injuries. They also include reduced earning capacity if your injuries affect your long-term earning potential
- Property damage expenses to repair or replace your personal property
- Pain and suffering damages, which compensate for the personal, non-financial losses you’ve experienced.
Additionally, many factors can potentially affect the value of your chest injury claim.
Factors That Affect The Value Of Chest Injury Claims
There are several factors that can affect the value of your chest injury claim, including:
- The type of injury you suffered
- The severity of your injury
- The type of medical care you need
- How the injury has affected your life
- The defendant’s actions
- Whether your own negligence contributed to your injuries
- Where the injury occurred
- The available insurance to cover your injury
If you would like more information about the potential value of your claim, contact an experienced chest injury lawyer.
How Long Do I Have To File A Chest Injury Lawsuit In State?
Texas’ statute of limitations generally gives claimants two years after an accident to file a lawsuit against the negligent party responsible for their chest injuries.
Contact Our Texas Chest Injury Lawyers For A Free Consultation
If you suffered a chest injury in an accident caused by someone else, you could be entitled to financial compensation. The experienced Texas chest injury lawyers at George Salinas Injury Lawyers can help. Contact our firm today or call (210) 225-0909 for a free consultation.