How Do I Know if I Have a Punctured Lung From a Car Accident?

If you have been involved in a vehicle accident, then you need to seek medical care as soon as possible. This may include allowing EMS officials to take you to the hospital. However, even if you do not go right to the hospital in an ambulance, you should still go receive an evaluation from a physician the same day the accident occurs. Individuals may not know whether or not they have punctured a lung right away after a crash occurs. Here, we want to discuss some of the symptoms of a punctured lung as well as the importance of seeking immediate medical treatment for this type of injury.

What is a Punctured Lung?

Punctured lungs occur when air collects in the space between the two layers of tissue lining the lungs. The air leaks into the space between the lungs and the chest wall. These injuries can occur in a wide variety of ways, including as a result of blunt force or penetrating trauma to the chest area.

How do You Know if You’ve Punctured Your Lung?

It is crucial to understand whether or not you have punctured a lung after a vehicle accident occurs. In some situations, the presence of a punctured lung may be very apparent, particularly if there is any type of penetrating wound to the chest area.

However, punctured lungs can also occur even when there is no penetrating wound on the outside of the body. Blunt force trauma caused by a vehicle accident can lead to internal damage that does not break the skin. For example, if an individual strikes the dashboard or steering wheel, this can break ribs that can subsequently lead to a punctured lung.

Immediately following a vehicle accident, some injuries are not apparent right away. This is typically due to the adrenaline rushing through the body after the incident occurs. Any person involved in a vehicle accident who feels their chest or torso slam into something, or if their body is slammed against the seatbelt with great force, is at risk of sustaining a punctured lung.

Some of the main symptoms of punctured lungs include the following:

  • Abnormal or labored breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain that gets worse when you take a deep breath
  • Tight feeling in the chest
  • Fatigue
  • Pale or blue skin caused by a lack of oxygen

Any individual involved in a vehicle accident should seek immediate medical care, regardless of whether or not they feel any pain or see any obvious injury. If you think that you have punctured a lung, you need to call 911 and request EMS services immediately. A punctured lung can quickly devolve into a collapsed lung, depending on the severity of the injury.

A paramedic may have to insert a needle into the space between the ribs in order to release the air pressure building inside the chest. At the hospital, a doctor may have to use a chest tube to help drain excess air until they can repair the punctured lung or until it can heal on it’s own.

Recovering Compensation for Your Injuries

Individuals who suffer a punctured lung as a result of the negligent actions of other drivers may be able to recover compensation for their injuries. If it can be proven that the other driver was reckless or negligent, such as operating well intoxicated or distracted, you will likely be able to recover compensation from their insurance carrier. This includes coverage of past and future medical expenses, lost wages, property damage expenses, and pain and suffering damages. Contact our Los Angeles car accident lawyers today.