Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers 601 W Swann Ave Tampa, FL 33606 personal injury and car accident lawyer in Tampa

Chest Injury

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Chest Injury

Chest injuries are often sustained in motor vehicle accidents and assaults. These injuries can be serious and life-threatening, especially when they cause damage to the heart or lungs. Even minor chest injuries can be very painful and lead to a long recovery period and time off work. 

Here is what you should know if you have suffered a chest injury in Tampa, Florida.

Overview of Chest Injuries

A chest injury refers to any injury between the abdomen and the neck. This may involve injuries to the organs of the chest like the heart and lungs, bones like the ribs or sternum, blood vessels, or skin. 

About one-quarter of deaths caused by severe injuries are due to chest injuries. 

Types of Chest Injuries

Chest injuries can range from organ damage and broken bones to soft tissue injuries. 

Below are common types of traumatic chest injuries suffered in an accident or assault: 

  • Collapsed lung (traumatic pneumothorax) caused by air escaping the lung
  • Hemothorax, or blood between the chest wall and lung
  • Pulmonary contusion, or bruising of the lungs
  • Chest wall hematoma, an accumulation of blood outside the chest cavity usually caused by blunt-force trauma
  • Broken ribs
  • Fractured sternum
  • Flail chest, a condition when three or more adjacent ribs are fractured and destabilize the chest wall
  • Aortic injury, or a tear in the artery carrying blood from the heart to the body
  • Cardiac tamponade, or pressure on the heart caused by an accumulation of blood in the pericardium which can cause the heart to stop 
  • Ruptured diaphragm

Blunt-force trauma can also cause contusions (bruising), strains, and sprains. Some of these injuries can also cause other injuries without prompt treatment. Fractured ribs may lead to a collapsed lung, for example.

While chest injuries can be minor, a blow to the chest or an accident that causes symptoms that last more than a few minutes should be taken seriously. 

What Are the Signs of a Chest Injury?

A chest injury may cause a range of symptoms: 

  • Chest wall pain, common after a minor injury, usually occurs with movement of the trunk, arm, or shoulder or while breathing deeply or coughing
  • Sharp, severe pain near the site of a blow
  • Pain that worsens when lying on the injured side, coughing, or breathing, which may indicate a rib fracture
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Signs of shock include lightheadedness, losing consciousness, feeling weak, and extreme confusion or fear
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Angina, chest pain that may feel like heaviness, squeezing, tightness, or pressure
  • Symptoms of a heart attack, including nausea, sudden weakness, sweating, chest pressure or pain, or pain or pressure in the back, jaw, neck, or upper abdomen

Many of these symptoms may indicate organ damage or internal bleeding. Prompt medical attention is critical.

Medical professionals may use a variety of tests to diagnose and evaluate chest injuries. Biopsies, EKG tests, lung function tests, and imaging tests such as X-rays and ultrasounds can help physicians diagnose injuries before they worsen. Depending on your symptoms, other tests may also be ordered. A correct diagnosis is crucial to make sure you receive the medical care you need as fast as possible.

What Causes Chest Injuries?

There are two main causes of traumatic chest injuries: blunt trauma and penetrating injuries such as assault with a knife or firearm. Blunt trauma to the chest is usually caused by a car accident or other traffic collision, a fall, or a sports injury. 

In many cases, these accidents are caused by negligence or carelessness. If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. 

What Is My Chest Injury Case Worth?

No two cases are the same, and it’s impossible to estimate the value of a personal injury case without a careful evaluation. 

To estimate what your case may be worth, a lawyer will consider many factors, such as: 

  • Type and severity of chest injuries you sustained
  • Total financial losses
  • Impact of your injury on your daily life
  • Whether you can return to your job
  • Circumstances of your accident
  • Insurance coverage
  • Whether you share liability for the accident

The best way to understand the potential value of your case is by speaking with a personal injury attorney.

What Compensation Can I Recover for My Chest Injury In Tampa, Florida?

When you suffer injuries due to someone else’s intentional wrongdoing or negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation. The two main types of damages you may recover after a chest injury are economic damages for losses with a financial value and non-economic damages for personal and psychological losses. 

You may be entitled to compensation for damages such as: 

  • Medical bills and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering

An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand the damages you may be entitled to recover. Your lawyer will gather evidence that documents your losses and negotiate on your behalf to pursue a fair settlement agreement.

How Long Do I Have To File a Chest Injury Lawsuit In Florida?

If your injury was caused by someone else, you have just two years to bring a personal injury claim under the Florida statute of limitations in most cases. If you miss this deadline, you will be barred from recovering compensation, and your lawsuit will be dismissed.  

It’s important to act as soon as possible to preserve your case. Waiting too long may allow crucial evidence to become lost. 

Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Have you suffered a serious chest injury in Tampa, FL? You may be entitled to money from the at-fault party for your medical bills, lost earnings, and more. Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help you. 

Since 2001, our law firm has recovered tens of millions on behalf of injury victims like you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at (813) 223-6200 with a Tampa personal injury lawyer to discuss your case and what we can do to help.

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