Along with whiplash, and minor traumatic brain injuries, fractured ribs are one of the most common injuries that victims of car crashes sustain. There are roughly 2.3 million injuries from car accidents annually, and a broken rib or multiple broken ribs can be one of the most painful and debilitating injuries that a driver or passenger experiences. Even if a rib bone is not fractured, and it is the cartilage holding together the rib cage, the pain can still be excruciating and, medically speaking, is actually considered a fractured rib. Fractured ribs are suffered from a hard blow to the chest, often from the steering wheel, dashboard, or even the safety belt. If you or a family member suffered a broken rib from a Missouri car accident, contact an experienced car accident attorney immediately to being the legal process of gathering evidence, proving negligence, and getting you the compensation you deserve.
Complications from a Badly Broken Rib or Multiple Ribs
Your lungs, stomach, heart, and a multitude of other vital organs reside within your ribcage. As such, any damage that extends beyond the ribs can be life threatening. A fractured rib can be sharp enough to sever blood vessels, which could create internal bleeding; puncture lungs, which results in a collapsed lung (pneumothorax); or damage other organs. If more than three ribs are broken in multiple places, it can result in flail chest, which is a serious condition that limits the victim’s ability to breath due to the decreased space in which the lungs can expand into. Whenever a rib may be fractured, it is important to seek medical attention, not to repair the rib, but to ensure that no other serious damages to the body were inflicted.
Signs of Broken Ribs
Listed below are the fractured rib signs and symptoms to watch out for:
- Severe chest pain, especially when breathing, taking a deep breath, or coughing;
- The affected area is painful to the touch;
- Shortness of breath, dizziness, tiredness, or lightheadedness;
- Anxiety or fear; and
Recovery from a Broken Rib Takes Time and Patience
There is not a lot that can be done for a fractured rib. Casts cannot be applied, nor can splints or any other supportive device. If the rib is not severely out of place, it will heal on its own with enough rest and recovery. Your doctor will likely prescribe the following regimen following a fractured rib:
- Apply ice the first two or three days for 20 to 30 minutes at a time but not directly on the skin;
- Make sure to get extra sleep and rest;
- Avoid physical activity until given the okay by your doctor;
- Use over the counter pain medication. If this is not enough, your doctor may prescribe something stronger; and
- In order to prevent pneumonia or partially collapsed lung syndrome, take a deep breath or cough once per hour.
If you or a loved one broke a rib or multiple ribs in a Missouri car accident, contact the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm today for legal advice. We will work hard to get you the compensation that you deserve.