St. Louis Chest Trauma Lawyers
Ready to Fight on Behalf of Catastrophically Injured Victims of Negligence
Physical trauma is a serious form of injury caused by a sudden energy transfer of an external force (e.g. motor vehicle crashes) to a person’s body. Chest trauma involves the chest area wherein the thoracic cavity or ribs, lungs, and heart are located. The most frequent cause of severe blunt chest trauma is motor vehicle accidents, accounting for approximately 70 to 80% of such injuries.
If you or someone you love suffered severe chest trauma as a result of a car crash, motorcycle wreck, truck accident, or any other type of traumatic event, you could be entitled to financial compensation. The Dixon Injury Firm represents victims of negligence throughout Missouri, providing personalized legal counsel and aggressive advocacy for our clients. Our St. Louis chest trauma lawyers understand the many complications and life-altering challenges that accompany these types of injuries, and we know how to fight for the maximum compensation you are owed.
Common Causes of Chest Injuries
Like abdominal trauma, chest trauma can be categorized as either blunt or penetrating:
- Blunt Chest Trauma: Derangements in the flow of air or blood, or both, are the main mechanisms involved in blunt chest trauma. Massive infection or sepsis due to leakage of gastrointestinal contents, as in esophageal injury or perforations, also must be noted.
- Penetrating Chest Trauma: The effects of this type of trauma depend on the mechanism and location of the injury, as well as whether the person has any underlying injuries or illnesses. The lungs and heart are at risk in penetrating chest injuries. Additionally, the intraperitoneal viscera, the retroperitoneal space, and the neck can also be affected.
Blunt trauma to the chest is commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents. These types of injuries involve the chest wall and can include several other types of injuries, such as rib fractures or lung injuries. The pain coupled with these injuries often makes breathing difficult. Direct lung injuries, such as lung or pulmonary contusions, are frequently associated with major chest trauma. They may also affect breathing and, therefore, oxygenation to all other tissues of the body.
Tension pneumothorax, in which pressure gradually builds up inside the chest as air leaks from the lungs into the other tissues, is a serious injury requiring emergency medical attention. The effects of this injury can push the other contents of the chest towards to one side, leading to distortion of the superior vena cava, a vein directly connected to the heart. This, in turn, can result in decreased blood return to the heart, leading to circulatory compromise, shock, and sudden death.
Common Symptoms of Chest Trauma
Difficulty breathing is the most common sign of chest trauma, whether that trauma is blunt or penetrating in nature. Such injuries are also generally accompanied by chest pain, though this pain can be misleading. Pain in one specific area of the chest does not necessarily mean that that area was directly injured.
Typically, doctors diagnose chest trauma using x-rays. In severe cases, a CT scan may be needed to provide more detailed images of the trauma and affected area. A combination of CT scans and x-rays images taken from many different angles and directions can produce more detailed views of the underlying internal structures. Other tests—like complete blood count, electrocardiogram, arterial blood gas, and other laboratory blood tests—can also monitor the stability of the injured person.
Treatment for Chest Trauma
Nearly all types of chest trauma require bed rest, medical intervention, and/or surgical repair to prevent lung collapse or cardiac arrest. Emergency intubation can be done when the patient is unable to breathe due to the effects of trauma. Chest decompression must be performed as soon as possible when the person has tension pneumothorax. Blood transfusion is also required if the person has lost a lot of blood (hemorrhagic shock). Surgical repair is performed when the chest tube does not solve the air leak or when a large part of the chest is severely injured or damaged.
What to Do If You Sustained Severe Chest Trauma
If you or a loved one has suffered trauma to the chest as the result of a car accident, truck accident, or any other motor vehicle accident or traumatic event, seek immediate medical attention. If you are involved in an accident with someone else who appears to have suffered chest trauma, call 911.
During your recovery, be sure to follow all of your medical care team’s directions, including taking prescribed medications and attending follow-up appointments. If possible, keep records of your medical treatment and bills.
Next, contact an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer who can help you prepare your case. At The Dixon Injury Firm, our St. Louis chest trauma attorneys can meet with you to discuss what happened and learn more about how your injuries have affected your life. From there, we can begin an immediate investigation into the accident in order to determine who is liable for your damages, including your medical bills, lost income, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Contact Us Today
We understand just how difficult this time is for you and your family. Dealing with a severe injury is physically, emotionally, and financially challenging—and our attorneys want to help. We are not only experienced in personal injury law, with a proven record of success in securing more than $50 million for our clients, but we also have specific experience handling chest injury and trauma cases. We understand the exact challenges you are up against, and we know how to fight back against unjust insurance company tactics.
Your initial consultation is free, and there are no attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. If we don’t secure compensation for you, you don’t pay!
Contact us today at (314) 208-2808 to get started with your complimentary case evaluation.