No matter how intense the collision, car crashes always send adrenaline rushing through accident victims’ bodies. However, that sudden burst of hormones rushing through the bloodstream often distracts them from the first symptoms of pain or discomfort, which can be the result of a more serious internal problem.
In many cases, they walk away feeling unscathed, only to discover delayed pain 24 to 48 hours later. From certain injuries, that pain may be delayed even further, developing days or weeks after the crash.
George Salinas Injury Lawyers, a San Antonio-based law firm focused on personal injury law in Texas, warns that even though chest injuries are common after car accidents, they should not be ignored. The pain can be a symptom of several things, including a hematoma, muscle strain, fractured ribs, or an injury to internal organs.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) logged 5,250,873 reported car accidents in 2020, amounting to 14,386 accidents daily. Unfortunately, automobile crashes are on the rise, meaning crash-related injuries are as well.
Ironically, drivers can sometimes incur injuries from the equipment that keeps them alive, such as seat belts and airbags. In other cases, they sustain injuries due to their nearness to the dashboard and steering wheel. Often, these injuries are to the chest and abdomen.
The symptoms of chest pain can range in severity. Sometimes, accident victims feel pain even when they remain completely still, while others may only feel discomfort when pressure is applied to the area. Some experience pain with any movement, such as coughing, sneezing, or laughing. No matter the specific case, it is always wise to seek immediate medical attention.
An accident victim’s chest pain can result from something as simple as bruising or muscle strain, but could also be a sign of life-threatening injuries to the heart or other internal organs. For this reason, a timely and thorough medical examination is critical. On his website, George Salinas shares the following seven tips for accident victims who discover chest pain after a car accident:
- Do not attempt to endure chest pain.
- Get examined by a physician.
- Obtain a diagnosis for the pain and medical treatment.
- Keep copies of all documentation from the physician.
- Reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney.
- Inform the insurance company about any chest pain occurring after the accident.
- Refrain from signing documentation from the insurance company related to the injury or accident.
Many times, accident victims suffer injuries due to no fault of their own. They protect themselves by wearing seat belts, following all traffic laws, and driving responsibly. When people are injured due to another driver’s negligence or carelessness, they have the right to initiate claims for benefits with the responsible insurance company.
In addition to filing for financial compensation for medical bills, accident victims can file to receive assistance with other expenses related to their chest pain. On his website, Salinas explains, “If your insurer refuses to pay or cancels benefits related to chest pain after you suffer a car accident, then you may be able to sue for unpaid medical bills and even lost wages if your injuries have prevented you from returning to work. You may also sue the at-fault driver for compensation due to pain and suffering as a result of injuries related to the crash.”Though car accidents can happen in seconds, their resulting injuries can have life-long effects, so the steps accident victims take during the first moments after the crash are critical. Obtaining a qualified medical diagnosis and experienced legal counsel sets people on the path to receiving justice from the legal system and proper compensation from insurance companies.