Accidents like falls or auto collisions can cause all kinds of injuries. Although rib injuries may not seem the most debilitating at first, they can substantially impact your daily life. If you experience rib pain after an accident and someone else is responsible, you may have the right to compensation.
To recover damages for rib injuries, get the medical treatment and care you need to improve your health. Then, speak to a local personal injury lawyer about holding the at-fault party accountable.
Accidents That Cause Rib Injuries
Nearly any significant accident can cause rib injuries. If the accident is bad enough, you could severely injure your ribs. Common accidents known for causing rib injuries include:
Types of Rib Injuries
Some rib cage injuries are more common after an accident than others. Typical rib injuries and the symptoms associated with them include:
- Rib fractures – Cracks or breaks in one or more ribs. Symptoms may include severe localized pain, difficulty breathing, and swelling and tenderness of the ribs.
- Soft tissue injuries – Damage to the tendons, ligaments, or muscles surrounding the rib cage describe soft tissue injuries. Some symptoms include bruising, discoloration, muscle tightness or spasms, and tenderness or pain in the affected area.
- Rib bruising – Contusions on the ribs. Symptoms include discoloration, tenderness, inflammation, and pain around the bruise.
- Flail chest – Ribs detach from the rest of the chest. Some symptoms could include severe pain while breathing, paradoxical movement, trouble breathing, and cyanosis (discoloration of the skin from poor blood circulation).
- Intercostal strains – Muscles between the ribs become strained. Symptoms could include worsening pain, muscle spasms, achiness, and cramping.
- Costochondral separation – Ribs become separated from the cartilage connecting them to the breastbone. Some symptoms of costochondral separation could include worsening pain, swelling, tenderness, a clicking or popping sensation, and sharp pain at the front of the rib cage.
Can Rib Injuries Be Life-Threatening?
Yes, certain rib injuries can be life-threatening. The most serious rib injuries could include:
- Collapsed lung
- Coronary or cardiac damage
- Ruptured spleen
- Traumatic aortic injuries
How Are Rib Injuries Treated?
The specific rib injury you are diagnosed with will determine the most suitable treatment options for your case. The most common rib injury treatments include:
- Use of over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Local anesthesia injections
- Limited physical activity
- Gentle breathing exercises
- Incentive spirometry (a device that improves lung function)
- Chest immobilization or support
- Chest splits or braces
- Intensive surgical intervention, where necessary
Rib Injuries Can Be Delayed After an Accident
Rib injury symptoms are often delayed after a traumatic event. The delay could be caused by shock, adrenaline, swelling, or nerve damage. You may also deal with delayed onset complications, such as internal bleeding or pneumothorax (air around the lungs).
Treating your rib injuries as soon as possible after the accident should be a top priority. You can ensure an accurate diagnosis, prevent rib injury complications, and receive the pain management you need to start moving forward.
What Should I Do After an Accident?
When dealing with severe rib injuries, there are specific steps you can take to protect yourself and start building a case against the liable party. These include:
- Get medical treatment ASAP – Seek immediate medical attention for any injuries sustained in the accident. Prompt treatment is crucial for assessing and addressing potential injuries or complications.
- Discuss your pain and injuries – Communicate your symptoms, pain levels, and the specific area of injury to your healthcare provider to aid in your diagnosis and treatment.
- Start collecting evidence – Gather relevant information, such as photos of the accident scene, contact details of witnesses, and any documents related to the accident to support your future claims.
- Call a rib injury lawyer – Consult with a personal injury lawyer to understand your rights, receive legal guidance, and explore potential compensation and legal action avenues.
- File an insurance claim – Contact your insurance company to report the accident and initiate the claims process. Provide them with the necessary information and supporting documentation to process your claim.
Call The Champion Firm for Help
Rib pain after an accident can be excruciating, making it nearly impossible to live your life. You have the right to compensation for your damages when someone else is responsible. Do not let the at-fault party get away with injuring you. Take action and reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney at The Champion Firm.
Our team has considerable experience handling broken and fractured rib cases, chronic pain, and other life-changing injuries caused by catastrophic accidents. Learn more about what’s next and how to maximize compensation when you contact us for a 100% free consultation. You can reach us online or call 404-596-8044 today.