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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Powell

Seeking Compensation for Broken Ribs from Car Accident

When the force from a car accident violently throws the driver or passenger against the dashboard, steering wheel, or even the seat belt, it may have a traumatic impact on the chest area, resulting in fractured or broken ribs.


If left untreated, the exposed organs may start to deteriorate over time, leading to complications or life-threatening situations.


Powell Law Firm has helped thousands of injured victims in St. Louis, Missouri, by helping protect their rights and fighting for the compensation they deserve. Its automobile accident lawyers in St Louis MO have extensive experience and can help those who have suffered injuries due to another's negligence.


Injured victims must reach out to the legal team at Powell Law Firm to discuss their cases and learn more about their legal rights.


Common Rib Injuries from Car Accidents

Common Rib Injuries from Car Accidents


The type of rib injuries sustained in car accidents depends on the force generated from the impact. Some of the most common types of rib injuries include the following:


Broken or Fractured Ribs

If the intense force of the car accident directly impacts the chest area, it can lead to broken ribs or a rib fracture injury.


Due to the swelling, broken ribs or fractures can be extremely painful, especially when the injured victim coughs, laughs, or breathes.


Soft Tissue Injuries

When a car accident results in damaged ribs, it can also affect the soft tissues and muscles surrounding the rib cage and the chest wall. This can lead to discomfort and make breathing extremely painful, often resulting in respiratory complications.


Bruised Ribs

Also referred to as rib contusion, bruised ribs can occur when there is a direct impact on the torso area from the motor vehicle accident.


Some of the symptoms that the injured victim may experience include tenderness in the chest area, constant chest pain, and difficulty breathing.


Costochondral Separation

When the impact from a car accident causes one or more ribs to separate from the costochondral joint at the sternum, it is referred to as costochondral separation. This is an extremely painful injury that can take several months to heal.


Intercostal Strains

An intercostal muscle strain occurs when there is direct trauma to the chest area, causing the rib muscles to stretch, pull, or tear. Depending on the intensity of the injury, it may affect the victim's breathing patterns.


Flail Chest Injury

A flail chest injury is one of the most serious types of rib injuries and occurs when three or more ribs break in at least two different places. It can cause a distortion in the shape of the ribs and significantly impact the victim's respiratory physiology.


When a motor vehicle accident causes a rib injury, it's crucial for the injured victim to seek medical attention immediately.


Whether it is a broken rib injury, a fractured rib, or intercostal strains, the symptoms are often the same, which is why a medical professional may recommend X-rays or CT scans to determine the type and severity of the rib injury.


Are Rib Injuries Life-threatening?


Although rib injuries may not seem as severe as brain or spinal cord injuries, it's important to take them seriously.


Rib fractures or broken ribs can cause serious damage to the organs in the chest area, leading to fatal complications.


Since the rib cage protects the vital organs, it's essential to understand that a blunt force to the chest area can lead to life-threatening conditions. Some of these may include the following:

  • Pneumothorax: When the impact of a car accident leads to rib fractures, the broken rib may pierce into the lungs, causing the air to leak and the pressure inside the chest cavity to change. Pneumothorax refers to a collapsed lung, whereby the victim may start coughing up blood or find it difficult to breathe.

  • Blood vessel injury: A rib fracture can also cause excessive trauma to the aorta or the coronary artery. When that happens, it can be fatal, resulting in a quick death.

  • Ruptured spleen: The spleen is an abdominal organ that helps produce and remove the blood cells in the human body. It sits inside the left rib cage, just above the stomach. A broken or fractured rib can cause the spleen to rupture, resulting in life-threatening bleeding inside the abdominal cavity.

The Probability of an Injured Victim Overlooking Broken Ribs from a Car Accident Is Extremely High


After experiencing a car accident, most injured victims often overlook broken rib injuries, thinking that the pain and soreness in the chest area are normal. They believe that the discomfort may subside if they rest and take over-the-counter medications.


In most cases, rib injuries go untreated for a while before the injured victims realize that something is wrong. If they fail to seek prompt medical attention, the broken or fractured ribs could lead to complications and even death.


Secondary injuries arising from broken or fractured ribs are also a serious cause for concern. When an injured victim suffers from rib injuries, they may take shorter breaths, which may lead to pneumonia or other health problems.


Treatment of the Rib Injuries Following a Car Accident


Broken bones in the arms or legs are easy to treat, as the doctors can surround the area with a plaster cast that prevents movement. However, this is not possible when it comes to rib bones.


Since the ribs must contract and expand, the doctor may not recommend binding or taping the chest area to ensure that the bones do not move. It's crucial to stabilize the pressure in the chest cavity, which is why the medical professional may advise slow and deep breathing techniques every two hours.


A broken rib injury treatment may vary depending on the severity of the blunt force trauma to the chest area. If there are secondary injuries, such as internal organ damage or spleen rupture, the doctor may try to treat those injuries first to stabilize the injured victim's health.

The medical professional may also recommend taking pain medication to alleviate the discomfort and pain associated with broken ribs.


It's important that the injured victim follows the treatment plan created by their medical doctor. Failure to adhere to the doctor's instructions could lead to medical complications and even jeopardize the affected party's personal injury case.


Can an Injured Victim Recover Compensation for Their Rib Injuries from the Car Crash?

Can an Injured Victim Recover Compensation for Their Rib Injuries from the Car Crash?


If the injured victim suffers from a blunt force trauma car accident, fractured or broken ribs after a car accident caused by another's negligence, they may be able to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the negligent party's insurance company to recover the compensatory damages.


Since Missouri is a pure comparative negligence state, the injured victims may be able to recover compensation even if they're partially at fault for their injuries. It's essential to reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney for legal guidance. They can also advise on a brain stem injury car accident.


Powell Law Firm Have Serious Lawyers Who Are Ready to Get Justice!


Those who have suffered broken rib injuries due to another's negligence in St. Louis, Missouri, should call to schedule a free consultation with the personal injury attorneys at Powell Law Firm. They can assess the facts surrounding the case and guide the injured victims on their legal options.

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