Recognizing the Seriousness of Chest Pains After a Car Accident

Car accidents often result in victims sustaining serious injuries. In many cases, these injuries are immediately recognizable. Injuries such as lacerations, open head wounds, broken bones, and burns are a few examples of injuries that are recognized immediately and treated quickly. However, there are other types of car accident injuries that do not appear right away. One type of injury that car accident victims should be aware of is the onset of chest pains following an accident.

chest pain after car accident

What causes chest pain?

The last thing that many people expect after a car accident is that they will experience chest pain. The very idea of chest pain scares most people. Chest pain after a car accident can have various causes. This can include the following:

Fractured ribs

Broken ribs to be incredibly painful. They often result and sharp pains that shoot throughout your chest and back. A person with broken ribs will often have trouble moving in any way without experiencing pain. In a car accident, fractured ribs are often the result of being restricted by a seat belt or a person’s body hitting the steering wheel or dash.

Bruised ribs

Similarly to completely fractured ribs, bruised ribs and sternums can result in serious pain and have the same causes. The type of pain a person experiences from bruised ribs is often a dull, aching pain that may come and go with movement.

Muscle strains

Muscle strains are also another common injury in the aftermath of a car accident. The muscles of the chest can be strained due to the force of the accident. While this type of injury is not usually life-threatening, it may not be immediately distinguishable from a more serious medical condition.

Injuries to internal organs

Serious accidents often result in the body experiencing major trauma, including damage to internal organs. This can include the heart, lungs, and other organs. Internal organ trauma can cause chest pain and could indicate internal bleeding or something more serious.

Heart attack

There are times when a car accident can cause a heart attack for a victim. A heart attack may not be immediately recognizable and could be mistaken for one of the other injuries we discussed above.

What does chest pain feel like?

The signs and symptoms of chest pain will vary depending on what type of injury is causing the pain. Generally, a person who experiences chest pain will feel soreness under their rib cage. It may be difficult to breathe, and any movement you make may send pain throughout your chest. The level of pain you feel will also vary depending on the type of injury you anchor and how serious the car accident was.

In some cases, victims experiencing chest pain may experience:

  • shortness of breath
  • rapid or weak pulse
  • dizziness
  • anxiety
  • a lack of consciousness

Seek medical attention immediately

It is vital that you seek medical attention after any car accident. Even if you do not feel any pain in the immediate aftermath of an accident, that does not mean you are not injured. The signs and symptoms of many car accident injuries, including the potential causes of chest pain, may not appear for hours or even days after a car accident. Let a doctor fully assess your situation so they can properly diagnose any injuries you may have incurred in a car accident.