The force of a vehicle collision can cause extreme damage to the fragile human form, and even sturdy bones like ribs may bruise, chip, or break. Car accident victims suffering from broken ribs can expect six or more weeks of down time, which likely means you will miss paychecks.
That’s why you absolutely need to call an experienced Virginia car accident attorney if you suffer any kind of rib injury in an accident. Your lawyer can help you hold the at-fault driver accountable for your pain while recovering the compensation you deserve.
What to Expect After Suffering Broken Ribs in a Virginia Car Accident
Rib fractures typically occur when the driver collides with the steering wheel in a crash, a passenger strikes the dashboard, or any occupant of the vehicle is crushed by a seatbelt or some other object.
Unfortunately, that means broken ribs are a dangerous possibility in head-on collisions, T-bone wrecks, truck crashes, and other types of accidents. Specific symptoms and complications to look out for include:
- Chest pain, which is often severe
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
- Internal bleeding
- Punctured lungs or other organs
- Secondary issues like pneumonia
When ribs fracture, the sharp ends may damage other crucial parts of your body, like the kidney, liver, lungs, or spleen. Damage to the lungs combined with difficulty breathing can lead to dangerous and even fatal infections such as pneumonia.
Because of the potential for these extremely serious side effects, you should always see a doctor after any vehicle collision, no matter how minor. That is especially important if you are having difficulty breathing and can already see signs of bruising on your chest area. If your ribs have punctured a blood vessel or organ, you need a medical professional to discover the problem quickly to avoid catastrophe.
Between x-rays, surgery, medication costs, and downtime without working while healing, you may find yourself in a dangerous financial situation. That’s one major reason to get in touch with a lawyer sooner rather than later to begin the process of pursuing compensation.
Recovering Damages After a Broken Ribs Accident
Sadly, the bills are going to keep rolling in even if you have to sit at home immobile while recovering from broken ribs. That’s why car crash victims need someone to help take the pressure off by investigating the accident and handling communication with insurance.
The end goal of those actions is to assist in your financial recovery alongside your physical healing. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you could seek a full and fair settlement from an insurance provider, or file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party who caused your broken ribs in the first place.
After determining who is liable for your damages and acquiring the necessary evidence to prove that person caused the broken ribs, your compensation may include elements like:
- Any medical costs such as the ER visit, hospital stay after the accident, CT or MRI scans, surgeries, medication for pain management, and so on.
- Lost wages covering missed income during the recovery period, whether you are a salaried or hourly employee, self-employed, etc.
- Physical or occupational therapy after the crash.
- Property damage to your vehicle during the accident.
- Various non-economic damages for your emotional suffering, physical pain, and loss of consortium.