Chattanooga Fractured Sternum Lawyer
The sternum, also known as the breastbone, is the long, flat bone in the center of the chest that is connected to the ribcage by cartilage. The sternum, along with the ribcage, protects the heart, lungs, and major blood vessels. A fractured sternum can be caused by any blunt force trauma to the chest, and this injury is most commonly seen in motor vehicle accidents due to impact with a dashboard, steering wheel, or from a seatbelt.
A fractured sternum is a serious, painful injury that is often accompanied by various complications. As a result of injuries associated with a fractured sternum, the mortality rate for this injury can be high, although outcomes are very good when the injury occurs in isolation without subsequent complications.
Given the seriousness of a fractured sternum injury, if you or a loved suffered such an injury in an accident caused by negligence, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. A Chattanooga injury lawyer can help you and your family pursue the compensation you deserve for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and all other losses related to your accident. At The Davis Firm, our attorneys are ready to help. Call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.
Injuries Related to a Fractured Sternum
When a person suffers a fractured sternum, the victim typically suffers other injuries as well. The fractured sternum itself may also cause other injuries and medical conditions as time goes on. Some of the injuries that may accompany a fractured sternum include:
- Myocardial and pulmonary contusions (injuries and bruising to the heart and lungs)
- Damage to or tearing of major blood vessels in the chest
- Myocardial rupture (lacerations or tears of the heart muscle)
- Rib fractures
- Vertebral fractures
- Abdominal injuries
- Head and neck injuries
Over time, a victim may also develop complications from a fractured sternum injury, such as:
- Chest Infection: The pain caused by a fractured sternum may keep you from breathing deeply or coughing, which means you do not clear natural lung secretions. This can result in a chest infection
- Pseudarthrosis: This means “false joint” and is a painful condition that often requires surgery to correct. It occurs when the sternum fails to heal properly.
- Shoulder and Spine Stiffness: Because you have to minimize upper body movements while your sternum heals, you may also experience stiffness in your arms and spine due to underuse.
Symptoms of a Fractured Sternum
If you have been involved in a car accident or any other type of serious accident, you should be aware of the symptoms of a fractured sternum. These include:
- Chest pain, especially when taking a deep breath, laughing, or coughing
- Tenderness, swelling, and/or bruising at the site of the sternum
- Crepitus, a crunching sound made when pieces of a broken bone rub together
- Visible deformation of the sternum or chest
- Deformity of the sternum detected through palpation or on an X-ray
If you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms — especially after suffering any blunt force trauma to your chest — seek immediate medical attention to determine whether you have a fractured sternum.
Medical professionals may also suspect a fractured sternum when there are symptoms of associated conditions, such as an abnormality on an electrocardiogram that indicates injury to the heart and major chest blood vessels.
Treatment for Fractured Sternum Injuries
Treatment for a fractured sternum depends on factors such as the severity of the injury, how the sternum broke, and your other symptoms.
- If you don’t have any other injuries or complications, the most common treatment involves rest and time to allow the fracture to heal. Ice is used to reduce swelling, while over-the-counter medication can help manage pain.
- Fractures that are severely out of place or those that cause extreme pain may require surgery to put sternum fragments back into place.
- If you have other symptoms resulting from your fractured sternum, you may be monitored and treated for complications, such as undergoing an electrocardiogram to watch for injuries to the heart and blood vessels.
- If you have significant difficulty breathing, you may receive intubation or mechanical ventilation.
Most people recover from a fractured sternum within eight to 10 weeks. Recovery time might be longer if surgery was necessary to repair the sternum. If recovery has caused stiffness to the spine, shoulders, and arms, physical therapy may be necessary to regain full movement once the sternum has healed.
Anyone recovering from a fractured sternum should contact their doctor or go to the hospital if they:
- Develop a fever
- Experience shortness of breath
- Begin coughing up yellow or green fluid or blood
- Continue to experience severe pain more than eight weeks after the initial injury
How Our Fractured Sternum Injury Lawyers Can Help
If you or a loved one suffered a fractured sternum injury in a motor vehicle accident, pedestrian accident, fall from a height, or another accident caused by someone else’s actions or negligence, our fractured sternum injury lawyers can help you demand compensation from the at-fault party.
Our legal team understands how insurance companies develop their defense strategies, and we tailor our clients’ cases accordingly to pursue the maximum recovery for their damages. While you focus your time and energy on your recovery, our fractured sternum injury lawyers will manage everything related to your legal claim:
- We will collect the necessary documentation to prove your case and establish how much compensation you are entitled to receive.
- We will negotiate with the insurance companies, arguing for a fair and full settlement.
- If necessary, our skilled litigation team will take your case to trial if the other side is not willing to offer reasonable compensation.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We will discuss your legal options, the kinds of compensation you might be entitled to receive, and how we can help you pursue the recovery you need.
Contact our Chattanooga personal injury attorneys at The Davis Firm, LLC by calling (423) 756-3591 or by filling out our online form today.