Accidents happen every day, and the truth is, that injuries occur with every one of them. Some of them may be more noticeable than others, but most people don’t walk away without a scratch. A common injury is a fractured sternum.
So, what is a fractured sternum?
The sternum, otherwise known as your breastbone, is the bone in the middle of your chest. It is there to protect your heart and lungs. It is also a part of your rib cage. This makes it a very important bone, one that needs to be protected.
What causes the sternum to be fractured?
Most fractures of the sternum occur due to blunt trauma to the chest. This may happen during a fall or in an accident. Your chest could hit the steering wheel or even the airbag, causing a fractured sternum. Even your seatbelt can damage your sternum as you are thrown forward in an accident.
What is the treatment and recovery if you have fractured your sternum?
The simple truth is that most fractures heal on their own, but it can take ten weeks to fully heal. During this time, you may be dealing with extreme chest pain. It can be hard to breath and cough when your sternum is trying to heal. Most people have to rest for the entire ten weeks.
That being said, there are times when surgery is necessary. This may make the recovery take even longer.
There is also a risk of an infection when you are recovering. You should contact your doctor if you are struggling to breath, have a fever, and are coughing.
What should you do if you have fractured your sternum in an accident?
- Anytime that you are involved in an accident, you need to call 911 and ask for help. You also need to talk to the police and cooperate. If you don’t, you could be facing some serious consequences.
- Collect evidence. You should take pictures of the scene, as well as the damage to all of the vehicles that were involved. Take pictures of license plates. Don’t forget to take pictures of the area. Don’t forget about stop signs, signal lights, or even grass that was on the road. Anything that could be a part of the accident needs to be documented.
- It often helps to write everything down. Once things have settled down, you need to write down what happened, including what you did to avoid the accident. This will help if your case drags on for a few weeks or even months. Your words will be written down for everyone to look at.
- You also need to get medical attention. Whether you feel injured or not, you need to go to the doctor. You don’t want to find out a few days later that you broke your sternum. Always, always, always get checked out. It is much better to be safe than sorry.
- Hire a lawyer that you can trust. Anytime that you are in an accident, you need to have someone on your side. Even if the accident wasn’t your fault, you are going to need someone to make sure that you are taken care of after your accident. If the accident was your fault, you need someone to walk you through your case, to ensure that one accident doesn’t change your entire life!
If you have fractured your sternum in a car accident, you need an experienced car accident lawyer on your side. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to see how we can help. We would be glad to talk to you about your case and what we can do for you.