Chest injuries are common car accident injuries. However, you can sustain a chest injury from a slip and fall accident, defective product, boating accident, construction accident, and many other situations.
A chest injury can be excruciating. It can prevent you from going about your daily activities and performing your job. In extreme cases, a chest injury could result in complications and secondary injuries that result in permanent disability.
If you sustained a chest injury because of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing, talk with our Brannon & Brannon Personal Injury Attorneys about a chest injury claim. However, don’t wait too long; the Florida statute of limitations is now two years for most personal injury claims based on general negligence.
What Are the Common Types of Chest Injuries Caused by Accidents and Other Trauma?
Chest injuries are serious and require immediate medical attention. They can interfere with circulation and breathing. A chest injury could also result in damage to internal organs and other complications.
An accident or trauma can cause one or more types of chest injury. Examples of chest injuries include:
- Chest bruise resulting in bleeding under the skin, swelling, and pain
- Chest strain caused by the hyperextension of the muscles and tendons
- Dislocated rib caused by damaged ligaments and cartilage
- Broken and fractured ribs, usually caused by blunt force trauma
- Injury to the heart, lungs, and other internal organs
Many chest injuries are caused by blunt force trauma. However, a chest injury can occur if an object penetrates the skin as well.
Doctors diagnose a chest injury based on the patient’s reported symptoms and a physical examination. In many situations, doctors perform imagining tests to determine the type and extent of a chest injury. Tests doctors order might include CT scans, ultrasounds, X-rays, and MRIs.
What Are the Symptoms of a Chest Injury?
Because the chest protects vital organs, seeking immediate medical treatment for this type of injury is crucial. Chest injuries are the second most common traumatic injury in non-intentional traumas. A chest injury also has the highest mortality rate.
Signs and symptoms of a chest injury include, but are not limited to:
- Pain and tenderness that may become worse when inhaling
- Bruises and discoloration
- Shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing
- Drowsiness and confusion
- Blue, sweaty, cold skin
Other symptoms depend on the type of chest injury and the area of the chest impacted by the injury. If you experience any symptoms after a chest injury, it is best to be checked by a doctor as soon as possible to determine the type and severity of the chest injury. Prompt medical treatment reduces the risk of life-threatening conditions.
Who Is Liable for Damages Caused by a Chest Injury in Florida?
Parties can be held liable for damages caused by a chest injury that is their fault. Being liable means you are responsible for the financial losses and other harm caused by your conduct.
If your injury occurred because of a car accident, you will need to file a claim with your PIP insurance provider. Florida requires no-fault insurance coverage for all drivers. However, if the chest injury meets the serious injury threshold or causes you to exceed your policy limits, you could have a claim against the at-fault driver.
When you file a personal injury claim for a chest injury in Florida, you must prove the elements of a negligence claim to hold the party responsible for damages. The burden of proof is by a preponderance of the evidence. In other words, there is more than a 50% chance that the other party caused your injury.
The legal elements required to prove someone is negligent are:
- The person responsible for your injury owed you a legal duty of care
- The legal duty of care was breached because of the person’s actions of omission
- The breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of your injury
- You sustained damages because of the breach of duty
Chest injury claims may also be based on strict liability, vicarious liability, and intentional torts. The elements are similar. You must prove that the party caused your injury and you suffered damages.
What Damages Can I Receive for a Chest Injury Claim in Fort Walton Beach, FL?
Chest injuries can be expensive to treat. A catastrophic chest injury could result in a significant hospital stay and/or surgery. The recovery period could be extensive and require substantial physical therapy and rehabilitation.
- The cost of medical treatment and care
- The loss of income, including wages, benefits, and earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses, including travel to medical appointments, personal care, and household services
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Physical pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life and loss of enjoyment of life
- Impairments, disabilities, scarring, and disfigurement
The value of your claim depends on numerous factors, including the severity of the chest injury, availability of insurance coverage, evidence of fault, and the parties involved in the case.
Can I Recover Compensation for a Chest Injury if I’m Partially To Blame for the Accident?
Under Florida law, you could be partially to blame for causing the injury and still recover compensation for your injury. However, the amount you receive for damages is reduced by your level of fault.
For example, suppose you are 35% to blame for causing a car accident that resulted in your chest injury. Your compensation for damages would be reduced by 35 percent.
However, there is now a 51% bar for contributory fault due to a recent change in state law. If you are more than 50% to blame for the cause of your chest injury, you cannot recover any money for your claim.
Insurance companies and at-fault parties try to use contributory fault to avoid paying claims. Avoid speaking with insurance adjusters and other parties after an injury or accident. Instead, let your attorney handle the communications to avoid saying something that could be construed as admitting fault.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Fort Walton Beach Chest Injury Lawyers
A chest injury can result in long-term conditions that impact various aspects of your daily life. You deserve fair compensation for past and future damages caused by a chest injury. Contact Brannon & Brannon Personal Injury Attorneys at (850) 863-5297 to request a free case evaluation with an experienced Fort Walton Beach chest injury attorney.