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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Broken Ribs from Car Accident: What Can Victims Expect?

A car accident can lead to many different injuries. Even though not all of them are severe, it's important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible to address potential problems in the future. One of the most severe injuries someone can sustain after such an accident involves fractured or broken ribs.

People can get fractured ribs after a car accident because of certain impacts. If the driver hits the steering wheel after the crash, for example, the rib bones may get damaged.

Rib injuries can be extremely painful and could take months to heal. Seeking broken rib injury treatment tends to be expensive too, so it's critical to be prepared for these scenarios.

This page will walk people through the potential consequences of getting a rib fracture, as well as what to do if the car accident wasn't their fault.

How Does It Feel to Have a Broken Rib? - Common Symptoms

How Does It Feel to Have a Broken Rib? - Common Symptoms

One of the issues with broken rib injuries is that sometimes they're not noticeable. There are 12 pairs of ribs in a person's body, meaning there are 24 ribs that could get damaged from blunt force trauma.

Even though some injuries are minor, others could be life-threatening. In any case, cracked ribs can be painful.

It's important to get treatment for fractured ribs as soon as possible. Even if there's not too much pain, a broken rib could puncture and damage internal organs, including the liver, lungs, spleen, or kidneys. It could also damage a person's blood vessels and cause internal bleeding.

Some common symptoms of rib injuries include:

  • Chest pain

  • Tenderness in the affected area.

  • Chest tightness

  • Pain when twisting or bending the body

  • Deformed chest

  • Dizziness

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Fever

  • Bruising

It's also important to keep in mind that car accidents can lead to a wide range of rib injuries, including:

  • Fractures

  • Soft-tissue injuries

  • Bruising

  • Intercostal strains

  • Flail chest injury

  • Costochondral separation

How Can Someone Diagnose Rib Fractures?

As mentioned, it can be hard to diagnose a fractured rib right after a car accident, especially if there were other injuries involved. However, not getting a proper diagnosis for broken ribs could lead to severe complications and even death.

If a car accident victim suspects they have a rib fracture, they should visit a hospital immediately. Usually, the medical expert will order an x-ray to confirm whether there was a fracture.

Is a Fractured Rib Cage Treatable?

It depends on the case. In cases involving minor injuries, a doctor may advise the patient to wear a chest binder. It protects the person's ribs while they heal.

There are other treatment options available, including:

Breathing Exercises: They help keep the lungs healthy and free of potential infections. Even though breathing exercises could be painful for the person at the moment, they must follow through with the treatment plan.

Moderate Physical Activity: In most cases, the person will get ordered to rest and keep their physical activity to a minimum. The victim can also expect to take some time off work.

Physical Therapy: Moving while healing from a rib fracture will probably be painful. With physical therapy, the person will learn how to move without feeling too much pain. This also helps to deal with poor circulation problems while healing.

Medication: A person with rib fractures will likely get OTC pain medications recommended for their treatment. Pain medication and anti-inflammatories do an excellent job of keeping pain to a minimum. Unfortunately, if the pain is too severe and it doesn't go away with OTC medication, the person may need to get a prescription for stronger options.

Surgery: In the worst-case scenario, the car accident victim will need to get surgery to fix their broken ribs. This is common in cases where a portion of the person's rib detaches from the chest wall. Surgery is also needed if the broken rib punctures an organ.

To summarize, a broken rib cage is often treatable. It's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to lower the chances of experiencing life-threatening consequences.

Is It Possible to Get Compensated for a Broken Rib Injury?

If the accident wasn't the driver's fault, it's possible they may be able to file a liability claim with a personal injury attorney.

A victim who wins this type of case could earn enough money to cover their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.

However, the compensation awarded for these types of injuries will depend on different factors, including:

  • The circumstances surrounding the accident

  • The severity of the injuries

  • The type of insurance both parties carry

How Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

How Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

Building a personal injury claim takes a lot of time and dedication, so it's never recommended to let the victim do it on their own. Hiring a personal injury lawyer will always be the victim's best shot at winning.

By hiring a legal expert, the victim can focus on healing while the lawyer works to gather evidence, talk to potential witnesses, and negotiate with the at-fault party or their insurance company.

Lawyers also have extensive knowledge about the state's statute of limitations. They can also advise on a brain stem injury car accident.

In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is one year, meaning that victims only have one year to prepare and file their claims. Otherwise, they forfeit their right to get compensated.

Whether blunt force trauma car accident or regardless of what happened, it's essential to start preparing for the claim as soon as possible. Waiting too long will only cause more problems for the victim.

Bottom Line - Getting the Right Treatment and Support for "Broken Ribs from Car Accident"

Rib cage injuries can be devastating, no matter how minor they are.

It's never a good idea to wait until it's too late to seek treatment or file a legal claim for a fractured rib, so the victim should start their process as soon as they can.

The auto accident attorneys at Schuerger Shunnarah have experience with broken rib cases in Nashville, Tennessee, and they know how complicated it is to negotiate with insurance companies during these times.

It's not fair for the victim to go through this overwhelming process on their own, which is why the experts at this law firm are willing to "Go to war" for their clients and get them the compensation and treatment they deserve.


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