Filing a Claim for Broken Ribs Suffered in a Minneapolis Car Crash

tablet over rib injuryYour ribs are not built to withstand blunt force trauma during a car crash. Even at a relatively slow speed, such a blow could bruise or even break your ribs. This is not an injury to take lightly, as there is a risk of severe complications that may threaten your life.

TSR Injury Law’s Minneapolis auto accident lawyers have secured millions for crash victims in this state. If you break or bruise your ribs because of another driver’s negligence, we may be able to help you take legal action.

Below, we explain how car crashes cause broken ribs, symptoms to watch for, secondary injuries and complications that can occur. We also discuss including broken ribs in a car crash claim.

TSR Injury Law does not charge upfront fees to represent crash victims. Contact us: (612) TSR-TIME.

How Car Crash Broken Rib Injuries Occur

Most crash victims with broken ribs got hit in the chest during the collision. For example, they may have hit the steering wheel, door or dashboard. The force of the impact in any of these scenarios can be great enough to cause your ribs to break.

However, broken ribs could also be caused by compression. When a small area of the body is compressed between two objects, bones may fracture. For example, while seat belts help to protect lives, they can exert significant pressure on your chest in a severe crash. This is compounded by pressure on your spine from your seat and could result in a rib fracture.

Rapid deceleration during the collision could also cause your ribs to bend or flex. If they bend beyond their capacity, it could cause a fracture. Sometimes the force of a crash is enough to press your internal organs into your ribs. In some cases, that pressure could be enough to cause a fracture.

The main takeaway is that even if you did not get hit hard in the chest, you could suffer a rib fracture. It is vital that you take note of other symptoms of a broken rib injury. If you notice other symptoms, you should seek medical attention right away.

What Are the Symptoms of Bruised or Broken Ribs?

One of the first signs of a broken rib is a cracking noise when the injury occurs. If you hear that kind of noise and feel pain in your chest, there is a strong possibility of a fracture.

In the moments and hours after the collision, you should be aware of these symptoms:

  • Sharp, severe pain in your chest: People who suffer this injury will notice sharp pain in their chest. This pain usually gets worse when you take a deep breath, cough, sneeze or move your torso.
  • Swelling and tenderness of the chest: The site of the injury will feel tender, which means it will cause pain when you touch it. You may also notice swelling and possibly bruising.
  • Labored, difficult breathing: Patients often have trouble taking deep breaths because it hurts. The pain from broken ribs often results in shallow breathing and may put you at higher risk for pneumonia, which can be fatal if left untreated.
  • Deformity in your chest: In severe cases, you may see a noticeable deformity where the rib fracture occurred. However, this usually only happens if you suffered multiple fractures.

These symptoms should never be ignored, as they may indicate a serious rib injury. It is important for you to seek immediate treatment to help reduce the chance of severe or life-threatening complications.

Secondary Injuries Caused by Broken Ribs

The main thing to keep in mind about broken ribs is that there is a potential for secondary injuries that could prolong your recovery and maybe even threaten your life.

You need to go to the hospital right after a crash so doctors can diagnose your broken ribs and determine if you suffered any secondary injuries, like:

Pneumothorax (Collapsed Lung)

A pneumothorax occurs when a broken rib punctures a lung, allowing air to escape into the space around the lung. As a result, the lung could collapse, causing intense pain and shortness of breath.

Hemothorax (Blood in the Chest Cavity)

A hemothorax is like a collapsed lung, except that blood, instead of air, accumulates in the chest cavity. This can also impair proper lung functionality.

Organ Damage

The liver and spleen are particularly vulnerable to damage from broken ribs, especially if the ribs that break are in the lower part of your rib cage. If these organs rupture, you could experience internal bleeding and the contents of your organs could empty into your abdominal cavity, which could be fatal.

Soft-Tissue Injuries

Muscles, tendons and blood vessels around fractured ribs can suffer damage, which can lengthen the healing process.

Prompt diagnosis and treatment of broken ribs are essential to manage pain, prevent complications and ensure a proper recovery.

Treatment Options for Broken Ribs

Severely broken ribs that damage internal organs often require surgery. However, many victims who sustain broken ribs do not need surgery. After checking your ribs are not causing internal harm, doctors may only prescribe pain and anti-inflammatory medications to promote healing. Additional care will likely include rest and limited physical activity. Some victims may need physical therapy to rebuild their strength and improve lung functionality.

What Is the Value of a Broken Rib Claim?

Treatment for your broken ribs should be covered by your personal injury protection insurance, no matter who is at fault for the collision. This includes the cost of:

  • Stays in the hospital
  • Surgeries
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Imaging tests
  • And more

Your no-fault coverage should provide compensation for lost wages if your injury kept you from working. This includes times you missed work because you had to attend follow-up appointments with doctors.

Depending on the specifics of your crash, additional compensation may also be available. For instance, you might be able to seek compensation for pain and suffering and lost enjoyment of life.

At TSR Injury Law, we are committed to ensuring that victims of car crashes receive the compensation they deserve. If we determine you have a case and you hire our firm to represent you, we can determine the full value of your claim. We can also explain the steps you can take to document all the damages suffered.

You should not rely on online settlement calculators or the insurance company’s assessment of the value of your claim. Our firm is committed to securing all the compensation you need to move forward with your life.

Injured in a Minneapolis Collision? Contact TSR Injury Law for Legal Assistance

Contact TSR Injury Law today to discuss your situation and learn how we may be able to help you achieve a favorable outcome. While many cases settle, we are also prepared to go to trial to secure the compensation you need to put your life back together.

Our lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront costs or legal obligations. Your initial legal consultation is also provided free of charge.

More than $1 billion recovered for injury victims. Call us at: (612) TSR-TIME.

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