Broken Ribs After Car Accident

broken ribs after car accident

Broken ribs are a common injury from car accidents. When you are in an accident, your body is exposed to strong forces, often from multiple directions. The pressure placed on your chest cavity can be intense, often causing broken or fractured ribs. 

pain from broken ribs

The pain associated with broken ribs can be intense, and these injuries can lead to life-threatening complications. 

If you suffered from broken ribs after a car accident because of another driver’s negligence or recklessness on the road, you shouldn’t have to suffer in pain without help. You are likely eligible for compensation from the other driver. The Indianapolis car accident lawyers at Poynter & Bucheri can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Types of Rib Injuries After a Car Accident

Whether you are a driver, passenger, or pedestrian in an accident, there is always a risk of chest and rib injuries.

Bruised ribs from a car accident occur when the small blood vessels around the ribs break and leak their contents into the tissues below the skin. This causes bruising over the ribs, tenderness to the touch, and pain while taking deep breaths, laughing, sneezing, or coughing. 

Bruised ribs typically heal on their own, but it can take between 4-6 weeks for serious bruising to heal. 

Broken ribs, which are also called fractured ribs, occur when one or more rib bones break or fracture. Rib fractures can be displaced or non-displaced; both are painful and can be serious. 

When the fracture is displaced, that means pieces of the rib bone have moved in such a way that there is a gap around the fracture where the bone was. Non-displaced fractures do not cause any misalignment or gaps. 

Fractured ribs take longer to heal than bruised ribs; it will take at least 6 weeks for your fractured ribs to heal. 

In some serious cases, surgery may be necessary. 

Symptoms of Broken Ribs From a Car Accident

The most common symptoms of broken ribs are:

  • Pain in and around the rib cage
  • Pain when breathing deeply
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tenderness to the touch
  • Bruising or swelling on top of the ribs
  • Difficulty sleeping because of pain 
  • Sharp pain when coughing, sneezing, laughing, or speaking loudly
  • Stabbing pain when moving certain ways

To diagnose broken ribs, a medical provider will need to conduct a physical examination. They will check for tenderness along the ribs and order X-rays or CT scans. 

Sometimes, people dismiss rib pain as a normal part of the accident recovery process and don’t realize that they should seek medical attention because the pain is “bearable.” Please don’t skip the important step of seeking medical care after an accident, even if you think the pain is minimal. 

Treatment for Broken Ribs

broken rib treatment

Good news: broken ribs usually heal on their own within 6-8 weeks. The medical treatment for this kind of injury is rest, pain management, and avoiding complications. You may be prescribed pain medication and you will likely be tasked with completing breathing exercises to prevent lung congestion. This is especially likely if you have any respiratory conditions like asthma or COPD. 

If you have multiple rib fractures, displaced ribs, or a rib that could potentially damage one of your internal organs, then you may need surgery. 

One of the biggest concerns related to broken ribs is their potential to cause complications such as:

  • Pneumonia
  • Collapsed lung 
  • Internal bleeding
  • Puncturing of internal organs

These serious complications are another reason for prompt medical care after an accident. 

What Are Your Options if You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident in Indiana? 

If the accident was caused by one or more other parties, you may sue for damages after the accident. This is especially important when all of the insurance benefits available are not enough to cover your medical expenses and other losses. 

Damages associated with broken ribs may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Transportation to and from medical appointments
  • Rehabilitation costs 
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

Notice that not all damages are financial. Accidents cause more than just economic damage, and your compensation should reflect that, as well. 

How to Build a Personal Injury Claim for Broken Ribs

To successfully build a claim for your broken ribs and other injuries, your best bet is to speak with an experienced car accident attorney.

Your attorney will: 

  1. Collect evidence of the accident
  2. Determine who was at fault for the accident and, by default, your injuries
  3. Negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company and build a case strong enough to go to trial
  4. Prepare the case for trial if you are not offered a meaningful settlement
  5. Argue the case before a judge and/or jury, proving that the other party’s negligence caused your accident

As long as you were less than 50% responsible for the accident, you have the right to sue in the Indiana court system. Please note there is a statute of limitations of two years following the accident, so it is important that you file sooner rather than later. Waiting too long to contact an attorney can make it more difficult to gather evidence and build the strongest case possible.

The average settlement for a car accident with broken ribs varies based on the seriousness of your injuries, the amount of damage there was to your property, and the percentage of responsibility the other driver bears for the accident. 

How to Collect Evidence

Ideally, you will have an attorney guiding you through this process and helping you to uncover and collect evidence related to your case. 

Always keep all paperwork and notes related to your accident, including: 

  • Contact information of eyewitnesses to the accident
  • Photos and video from the scene of the accident
  • Medical bills 
  • Receipts related to medical treatment, such as gas receipts for trips to and from the hospital
  • Documents that show missed wages or a lost job
  • Contact information for any healthcare providers who treated you, including specialists and EMTs

All of this information will help to demonstrate the losses you incurred from the at-fault driver’s actions.  

An experienced Indiana personal injury attorney can analyze your case to determine the full value of your claim. Your legal team will know what past verdicts and settlements for rib injuries looked like, and they will be able to name a dollar amount for your suffering, both economic and non-economic. 

Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery -Indianapolis Car Accident Lawyers

Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery is proud to serve Indiana’s car accident victims with the legal support they need. Our car accident attorneys will provide compassionate, knowledgeable legal advice in the long journey toward recovery from your accident. It’s not right that you should suffer because of another driver’s bad actions; we do everything within our power to relieve your suffering and get your life back. 

Contact us for a free, no-obligation, no-risk case review. 1-800-265-9881