People in Rhode Island are involved in major automobile accidents every year. A victim who suffers a blunt force trauma to his or her chest in such a crash runs the risk of a sternum fracture.
Fractures to the sternum can be very serious. They can result in the rupture of blood vessels, including the aorta which is normally protected by the sternum. Sternum fractures may also cause a bruise to the heart, punctured lungs and internal bleeding in the chest. Also associated with sternum fractures are other injuries, including rib fractures, abdominal organ damage and torn tissues. After suffering a sternum fracture, some people then go on to develop a bone infection or pneumonia.
Many times in automobile accidents, a sternum fracture occurs when the victim was not wearing a seat belt or when the airbags failed to deploy in the collision. People may have symptoms such as difficulty or pain with breathing, sneezing, laughing or coughing. There may also be inflammation and bruising across the injury site and the appearance of a deformity in the ribs. If a fractured sternum is suspected, it is vital that the victim seek medical help immediately.
A fractured sternum is just one of many different types of serious injuries a person may suffer when involved in a motor vehicle collision. When the accident occurs due to the negligence of another driver, the injured victim may be able to seek compensation for the losses that have been sustained through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney can be helpful in this regard by using the results of accident investigation results as well as other evidence to establish the responsibility of the other driver. Damages that can be sought include the costs of medical care and treatment and, if applicable, compensation for lost wages.