Broken rib cases can often be challenging because insurance companies notoriously undervalue them. This is likely because a minor broken rib injury can heal on its own and won’t require much treatment other than rest and pain relievers.
However, broken ribs are not always a simple injury. These types of injuries often occur as a result of a chest injury from a car accident, and if the trauma or impact is severe enough, it can do more than just crack the rib.
Cracked and broken ribs are painful on their own, but if they are more severe, they can cause further damage and complications. For example, a rib that breaks and sticks out or that breaks into multiple pieces can end up damaging major blood vessels, or can even result in damage to internal organs, such as the lungs.
When more severe damage like this occurs, it can be incredibly painful and require more intensive medical treatments that can be expensive. This is why it’s important to get the full and fair car accident broken rib settlement you deserve, which often requires the help of an experienced Maryland car accident attorney.
Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of a Broken Rib After a Car Accident
A broken rib can occur in a car accident when the chest sustains trauma. This can happen when the chest slams against a part of the vehicle after impact, such as hitting the steering wheel or being hit forcefully by the airbags. It can also happen if the victim is thrown from the vehicle or even from the pressure of the seat belt across the chest after a forceful impact.
The primary symptom of a rib fracture is pain experienced when:
- Moving, bending, or twisting your upper body
- Taking a deep breath
- Putting pressure on the injured area
However, if the pain persists and is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, it could be a sign that the injury is more severe and you should seek immediate medical attention:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- The onset of a cough, especially one that produces mucus or blood
- Severe abdominal pain
Complications That Can Arise from a Broken Rib
Even if you only have minor symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible to ensure the broken rib is treated properly. A broken rib that is not treated properly can result in complications, such as:
- A punctured lung
- Lacerated liver, spleen, or kidneys
- A torn or punctured aorta
How Is a Broken Rib Treated?
To initially diagnose a broken rib, your doctor will likely order an X-ray, CT scan, MRI, or bone scan. Once the extent of the damage is determined, treatment can include rest and limited activity while the rib heals, medication for pain management, and even breathing exercises if needed.
If the broken rib results in further damage, such as the complications listed above, you will likely need to have surgery to fix the internal damage. At this point, the additional treatments required will depend on the individual situation and how badly your internal organs were damaged from the broken rib.
What Is the Average Settlement for Broken Ribs After a Car Accident?
Compensation for a broken rib case can vary greatly. If the injury is minor and results in pain but does not require a lot of medical treatments, the settlement will likely be lower. If there is more severe damage sustained, the broken ribs lawsuit settlement will likely be higher because the pain and medical expenses will be higher.
While there is no way to initially determine how much a broken rib case will be worth until all individual factors are accounted for, the average case can range from $15,000 to $100,000. The factors that can play a role in determining how much your case is worth include:
- Medical expenses, including medications and therapy
- Loss of income
- How much physical pain and suffering you experience
- How much your mental state has been affected by the injury and accident
- How much the injury has affected your day-to-day life
As mentioned earlier, insurance companies notoriously undervalue broken rib cases because they can result in a lot of pain but not a lot of medical treatments. However, the medical bills the victim owes are not necessarily a thorough evaluation of how much the injury has affected their life.
This is why it’s important to work with an attorney. A personal injury attorney can help you gather sufficient evidence to prove how much you are suffering and have been affected by the broken rib, even if the injury was only minor. Your attorney can argue your case and support your rights against insurance companies to ensure they pay you the full car accident broken rib settlement you deserve.
Have a Legal Question About a Personal Injury? We Have Answers.
If you sustain a broken rib injury after a car accident in Maryland, it’s important that you get in contact with a local personal injury attorney. At Zirkin and Schmerling Law, our compassionate team has experience handling a wide variety of Maryland car accident cases, including those involving broken rib injuries. We are dedicated to ensuring each and every one of our clients gets the best possible outcome.
Contact us or call us at 410-753-4611 to set up an appointment with one of our personal injury attorneys today.