Many car accidents in Portland, Oregon, produce chest injuries. These injuries can range in severity from minor to fatal. For example, your body striking a seat belt can bruise or even strain the muscles in your chest. But a bruise may heal on its own within a few days or weeks.
A more serious injury could result from a violent impact on your chest. In this case, the blow could hurt your heart or lungs. This kind of injury can permanently damage your organs or even kill you.
Read on to learn more about chest injuries after a Portland car accident and what Tillmann Law Personal Injury Lawyers can do to help you pursue compensation from the at-fault party. Contact our Portland law office at (503) 272-8986 for a free consultation today!
The Portland car accident attorneys at Tillmann Law Personal Injury Lawyers have over 17 years of experience fighting for our clients. Since our firm’s founding, our lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in injury compensation for accident victims in Portland.
We stand by clients as they go through the injury claim process by providing:
A chest injury after a car crash in Portland, OR, can damage your organs and reduce your life expectancy. Contact Tillmann Law Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss the compensation you can pursue for these and other effects of a chest injury.
The likelihood of a chest injury varies based on the type of crash you experience. According to a study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the likelihood of a minor chest injury is as follows:
The same study shows that the likelihood of a severe chest injury is:
In Portland, the most common type of crash is a rear-end collision. These crashes have a relatively low risk of minor chest injuries, but over 40% of accident victims could suffer a serious chest injury in these collisions.
Chest injuries can take different forms depending on the type of injury and the tissues that the injury affects. Chest injuries after a Portland car accident can include the following:
Muscles cover your chest and sit between your ribs. Chest strain happens when you hyperextend the muscles or tendons in your chest. When these tissues stretch or even tear, you will experience:
A strained chest will usually heal in four to six weeks. Doctors typically do not operate on a strained chest, even if the muscles or tendons tear. After you heal, you may need physical therapy to regain your flexibility and strength.
Your ribs protect vital organs and give your chest structure. A blow to the chest can fracture a rib. A broken rib can cause pain and swelling.
Broken ribs will usually heal on their own in six to eight weeks. For a simple fracture, doctors generally prescribe rest and to avoid strenuous activity.
If you fracture at least two ribs in at least two places, you have “flail chest.” Flail chest has a high mortality rate for broken bones. According to one study, between 10% and 36% of patients with flail chest die from their injury.
Cartilage connects your ribs to your sternum and each other. A blunt impact to your chest can tear this cartilage. When the cartilage gets damaged, your ribs move unnaturally and produce pain, particularly when breathing.
Torn cartilage will often take a few months to heal. During this time, your doctor will prescribe rest.
A collapsed lung can happen when an object pierces your chest. Air rushes into the chest cavity surrounding the lungs. The air pressure squeezes the air from your lungs and prevents them from re-inflating. You will struggle to breathe since you cannot inhale.
Without emergency treatment for a collapsed lung, you will suffer permanent lung damage or even death.
The pericardium surrounds the heart to protect it from infection. But when you suffer a chest injury, internal bleeding can cause the pericardium to fill with fluid. The fluid-filled sac strangles the heart and prevents it from beating regularly.
Doctors need to monitor your condition. If your heart has too much difficulty beating, doctors may need to drain the fluid from the pericardium.
A chest injury can cause significant pain. It can even threaten your life. Reach out to Tillmann Law Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation with an experienced Portland car accident attorney. We’re here to help you understand your legal rights and best course of action.