a man in pain with both of his hands on his chest

Chest Pain After a Car Accident: What to do?

November 21, 2023

If you've experienced a car accident, it’s normal to feel both emotionally and physically shaken, but one of the immediate concerns you might face is chest pain. And while it is a common symptom given the stress of the question, it still shouldn't be taken lightly. So, let's have a chat about the types of chest pain you might experience after an accident, and the steps you should take to ensure your safety and well-being. Let’s dive in.

Types of Chest Pain

Chest pain following a car accident can range from mild discomfort to severe pain, and while it could be a sign of something minor like bruising, it could also be something more serious like internal injuries or even cardiac issues. Understanding the nature of the pain is going to be absolutely imperative in determining the next steps.

First Steps to Take

Ensuring Personal Safety

Firstly, your main priority after any road accident is to ensure your personal safety. If you're in a dangerous spot, like the middle of the road, try to move to a safer location if you can do so without exacerbating your injury.

Calling for Medical Assistance

Even if the chest pain seems minor, it's important to err on the side of caution, and call for medical assistance or ask someone to do it for you. Don't attempt to drive yourself to a hospital; if you’re experiencing cardiac issues, this could lead to a potentially deadly collision.

Evaluating Chest Pain Severity

Next, you’re going to want to assess the severity of your chest pain. Is it a sharp, stabbing pain or a dull ache? Does it worsen with movement or breathing? Based on what the medical experts consider the best move, you’ll either be taken to hospital or potentially given treatment on the spot.

Contacting the Authorities

While it’s not the most important step if you’re having chest pain, it's also essential to inform the authorities about the accident; this is not only a legal requirement but also crucial for any car accident management and insurance claims that may follow. You can do this once you’ve been given the all-clear for your chest pain.

The Importance of Timely Treatment

Finally, never delay seeking medical treatment after an accident, especially when experiencing chest pain. Some internal injuries, like those to organs or the ribcage, may not be immediately apparent, and timely medical intervention can prevent complications and ensure appropriate treatment.

Filing an Insurance Claim

a man with both his hands on his chest

Once your immediate medical concerns are addressed, you’re going to want to consider filing an insurance claim. This means documenting all medical treatments received as a result of the accident, as this documentation will be crucial for your insurance claim process.

Remember, experiencing chest pain after a car accident is a sign that your body has undergone a significant impact, so taking immediate and appropriate action is not just about addressing the pain but about ensuring your overall health and safety in the aftermath of an accident. So, take these symptoms seriously, seek medical attention promptly, and follow up with the necessary legal and insurance procedures.

Medical Expenses and Rehabilitation Costs

Dealing with chest pain after a car accident often involves more than just immediate medical treatment, and while the NHS will take care of any medical emergencies or treatments needed further down the line, you may also need supplementary (private) rehabilitative therapy or physical therapy to aid your recovery.

If this is the case, keep a detailed record of all these expenses, as they’ll be important when it comes to making any insurance claims, and can also be relevant if you seek financial compensation for loss of earnings.

Loss of Earnings and Future Earning Capacity

As we just mentioned, chest injuries can sometimes mean taking time off work, which can lead to a loss of earnings. If your ability to work is impacted, either temporarily or permanently, this should be factored into your claim:

  • Immediate Loss of Earnings: If you're unable to work while recovering, these lost earnings can be claimed as part of your compensation.
  • Impact on Future Earning Capacity: In more severe cases, if your injury affects your ability to work in the long term, you may be entitled to compensation for future loss of earnings or diminished earning capacity.

Calculating these costs can be complex, especially when projecting future losses, so professional advice from a legal or financial expert is often beneficial in these cases.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, experiencing chest pain after a car accident is a serious matter, even if you think it might simply be stress-induced. And while the immediate focus should be on your health and safety, don't overlook the long-term implications: keep track of all medical expenses and be mindful of how your injury may impact your work and earnings.