What Causes Chest Pain After a Car Accident?

Car accidents are scary situations that can cause a wide array of injuries. Some of the most common car accident injuries include lacerations, broken bones, internal organ damage, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, musculoskeletal injuries, and many other possibilities. Some car accident victims experience chest pains after accidents, and this can be alarming. Some may instinctively equate chest pains with heart problems, but this isn’t always the case. It’s wise for anyone experiencing chest pains or any other kind of distress after a car accident to see a doctor immediately.

Potential Problems with Seat Belts

It’s a proven fact that seat belts save lives in car accidents by preventing drivers and passengers from flying through the windshield or tumbling around inside the vehicle’s cabin. However, the way seat belts accomplish this can cause other problems. Once a driver applies the brakes, the seat belts tighten to prevent the momentum of the vehicle from jarring the passengers. If a driver slams on the brakes, this happens very quickly and the seat belts secure the driver and passengers against the backs of their seats. Unfortunately, the tightening of the seat belts can actually cause injuries, including abrasions, bruises, and even broken bones.

The ribs or sternum (breastbone) may crack from the pressure of the seat belt under the force of the crash. Broken chest bones are not only excruciatingly painful, they can also complicate breathing and even damage the lungs or other organs if they break completely. Even if the ribs or breastbone do not completely break, the ligaments and connective tissues between them might tear. These are also extremely painful injuries that take weeks or longer to heal. During recovery from broken ribs, a broken sternum, damaged chest tissues, or a combination of such injuries, the victim may have difficulty speaking and breathing, and doing so can cause severe pain.

Potential for Long-Term Medical Issues

Rib and sternum fractures can sometimes cause spinal injuries as well. The ribs wrap from the breastbone around the body and connect to the spine, so damage to these bones can cause back problems as well. Spinal cord injuries are severe issues that can sometimes require extensive recovery. If the spinal cord suffers damage, the results can be permanent. The spinal cord is the thick cluster of nerves running from the brain down through the spinal column, transmitting neural signals throughout the body. The spinal cord cannot repair itself after an injury, therefore any damage is permanent. Spinal cord injury victims sometimes face partial or full paralysis, including loss of mobility, loss of control over bodily functions, and may even lose the ability to breathe unassisted. Contact a Kansas City spinal cord injury attorney if you have suffered loss of mobility after an auto accident.

It’s crucial for anyone involved in a car accident to seek prompt medical attention, especially if they experience any type of chest pain. Such pain could indicate a bone fracture, ligament or connective tissue damage, or internal organ injuries. Any delay in seeking care can make these issues worse. A doctor can identify the extent of a chest injury and develop a treatment plan for the patient. Victims will also need to document their medical reports following chest injuries if they intend to hire a Kansas City car accident lawyer and pursue personal injury claims against negligent drivers.

Contact a Kansas City Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries as a result of a car accident not at fault of your own, our attorneys are here to help. For a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case, call us at (816) 268-1960 or submit our free online contact form.