If you suffered broken ribs after an accident, you might be experiencing pain and discomfort from even simple activities. Getting out of a chair, laughing, and sleeping can result in agony and distress. You deserve to recover compensation for your injuries. A personal injury attorney is here to help you get your life back after an accident caused by another’s negligence. Read on to learn more about fractured ribs after a crash and how commonly these injuries occur after an accident.
Symptoms of Broken Ribs After an Accident
Seek medical attention immediately after a car accident. You may feel fine or lucky that you escaped a collision injury-free. But the fact is that many injuries don’t become noticeable until hours, days, and even weeks after the actual event. Some of these injuries may become severe or permanent without proper medical intervention.
If you suspect your accident caused a broken rib injury, you may experience one or all of the following symptoms:
- Pain in the chest area,
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath,
- Pain when breathing,
- Visibly deformed chest,
- Coughing up mucus or blood, and
- Dizziness and lightheadedness.
The impact of a crash may have moved your rib bones out of alignment. While common, a broken rib can cause a severe risk of puncture and damage to your lungs, blood vessels, soft tissues, and organs.
Additionally, very rarely does one suffer from broken ribs after an accident without also suffering from back injuries, neck injuries, and possible head trauma. Obtaining a diagnosis and proper plan of action is essential to recovery from your injuries without complications.
Common Rib Injuries
Rib injuries may become life-threatening in certain situations. Therefore, seeing a doctor immediately after being involved in a collision is essential:
- Fractured or broken ribs—The impact of a collision increases pressure on the bones in the rib cage, causing fractures or breaks.
- Soft tissue injuries—A blow to the ribs often injures the soft tissues around the bones of your ribcage, making it painful to move and breathe.
- Bruising—Strain or injury to the tissue, cartilage, and muscles of the chest wall creates painful symptoms, including chest pain, swelling, visible bruising, and spasms in the chest.
- Costochondral separation—This injury occurs when the ribs separate from the cartilage connecting the ribs to the breastbone.
- Intercostal strains—Intercostal strains occur when muscles connecting rib bones stretch, pull, or tear.
- Flail chest injury—The most serious of rib injuries, a flail chest injury, occurs when multiple ribs are broken in two or more places.
A doctor may order an MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or bone scan to evaluate the area where you are experiencing pain carefully. These tests assist doctors in revealing rib fractures, damage to organs, punctured blood vessels, and damaged soft tissues.
Recovering from Broken Ribs
Unfortunately, there is often not much to do when recovering from fractured ribs after a crash.
Aside from various exercises and pain medication to ease discomfort, the standard advice is to rest. Your doctor may prescribe breathing exercises to strengthen your lungs. While you may be permitted to stay active, avoiding strenuous movements and participating in an activity that may result in physical contact is usually advisable.
Most common rib injuries heal after one to two months. However, more complex injuries may require a longer recovery period. Properly engaging in breathing exercises and minor activities prevent lung complications like infections.
Although complications from rib injuries are rare, they occur more commonly the more severe your damage. Pneumonia is a common complication of rib fractures and may prove particularly dangerous for older injured victims.
What Can I Recover in Compensation?
As you heal from broken ribs after a car accident, you may understandably wish to pursue compensation against the liable party. Kentucky law permits injured victims to seek financial relief through economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages represent tangible losses directly related to your injury:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Future loss of earnings, and
- Property damage.
Your attorney supports a claim for economic damages through documentary evidence like invoices, pay stubs, receipts, and bills.
Non-economic damages include subjective losses related to your injury. These losses affect injured victims emotionally and are meant to address the mental pain and anguish resulting from their injuries:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Permanent scarring, disfigurement, or impairment;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Compensatory damages intend to make the injured party whole again or place the injured party in a position as if the injury never occurred. You may be unable to work until your injury completely heals. You may be concerned about long-term medical treatments and an inability to perform the same job you held before your injury. These damages compensate a person for their injuries and losses, and you deserve to recover money for these financial stresses. Kentucky law does not impose any caps on compensatory damages and allows for recovering all expenses.
In some situations, you may be entitled to punitive damages. Your attorney may advise you to pursue punitive damages if the liable party’s conduct equated to malice, oppression, or fraud.
Punitive damages represent a rare and unique category of damages that punishes the wrongdoer for their conduct. In addition to punishing the liable party, they also deter future bad behavior by the responsible party and others. Kentucky law does not impose a cap on punitive damages.
At Gladstein Law Firm, Seth Gladstein knows the shock and trauma you must feel as you recover from injuries after a car accident. Anger may arise shortly after you realize that someone else’s negligent conduct caused your injuries. We understand this confusing mix of emotions and are here to help you through the process. You can use your emotions to energize you and provide you with a desire to pursue the justice you deserve. When you select Gladstein Law Firm, you are picking a firm just as passionate about your claim as you are.