Rib Pain After a Car Accident?
Rib injury seat belt accidents are those during which a person suffers some degree of a physical trauma involving the ribs because of a defective seat belt. Proper seat belt use is estimated to prevent more than 300,000 injuries and nearly 12,000 lives every year. Despite the enormous protection seat belts provide, these protections may not be afforded to passengers when there is a design or construction flaw in the seat belt.
Rib Injury from Seat Belt
Rib injury seat belt trauma can occur in even low-impact collisions when the positioning or integrity of the seat belt contributes to the damage caused in the accident. Rib injuries often cause soft tissue injuries to the organs which are normally protected by the rib cage. Rib injury can cause bruising or other types of superficial trauma to underlying organs. Rib injury seat belt trauma can also cause one or more of a victim’s ribs to crush or break.
Broken or shattered rib injuries can be very dangerous because the sharp edges and broken portions of a damaged rib can cause serious and sometimes fatal injury to the internal organs of the chest and abdominal region. Punctured or damaged lungs, major veins and arteries, and any of the organs located in the chest and abdomen are all possible rib injury seat belt traumas that a victim could sustain in an accident.
Bruises or Discoloration
Rib injury seat belt trauma is an immediate injury that is sustained in a vehicle accident. Because the human body is not as strong as the body of a car, a person may sustain significant rib injury seat belt trauma even in accidents where there is little damage done to the external structure of the vehicle. Some symptoms of rib injury seat belt trauma include chest or stomach pain, bruising or discoloration of the skin, pain in the chest, side, or abdominal area, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, the presence of blood in the urine or stool, and other related problems.
Rib injury seat belt trauma victims should receive immediate medical care to ensure that the internal organs are not compromised and to ensure that further injury is not caused. Doctors can diagnose rib injury seat belt trauma through the use of x-rays, CT scans, bronchoscopy, angiogram, and other medical techniques.
Seat belt defects that can increase a person’s chance of suffering rib injuries are those that fail to provide adequate passenger protection by keeping them in place and preventing impact with unyielding objects during an accident. Passive restraint seatbelt systems, such as those with an automatic shoulder belt design, fail to properly restrain the body during impact. Belt retraction failure can result in too much belt slack in an accident, thereby increasing a person’s chance of suffering rib injury seat belt trauma. Seat belt buckle failure can also fail to properly restrain a person in a vehicle accident, increasing the risk of rib injury seat belt trauma.
If you or a loved one has suffered rib injury seat belt trauma in a motor vehicle accident, you may wish to contact an attorney to determine if you might be eligible to seek compensation for your damages from the party responsible.