Post-car-crash chest pain requires prompt medical attention

Even if a vehicle crash is a minor one, it can result in serious injuries. For example, if you are the victim of a rear-end collision, the impact could cause an injury signaled by chest pain.

Never take chest pain lightly. Seek prompt medical attention to obtain a proper diagnosis.

What chest pain means

Although chest pain can indicate a serious condition, especially if accompanied by symptoms such as dizziness, rapid breathing or excessive sweating, it may also be the sign of a bruised sternum, fractured ribs or muscle strain. The impact from a collision may cause your seat belt to lock up, and the strong, unforgiving polyester fabric can bring on bruising to your chest, ribs or shoulder. Drivers can also receive rib fractures or chest injuries if the collision causes a sudden impact with the steering wheel. The resulting chest pain could range from mild to acute, depending on the injury.

What you should do

Even if you can walk away from a minor vehicle accident, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that in 2016, emergency rooms across the country treated 29.2 million “unintentional injuries,” a statistic that includes those received as the result of vehicle crashes. Slamming against your seat belt may cause a bruised sternum. Slamming against the steering wheel may result in internal injuries to your lungs or heart. In short, experiencing chest pain after a vehicle crash is nothing to take lightly: It is a warning to go for medical attention.

What you can expect

If the medical costs related to treatment for your injury are a reason for concern, remember that if you are a victim of a crash caused by a negligent driver, you have a right to financial compensation. A full and fair settlement will not only include coverage for your medical expenses, but also any lost wages as well as the pain and suffering that you endure.

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