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Many people experience rib and chest pain after a car accident. While you may think that rib and chest pain is “natural” following a car accident- after all, your seatbelt is keeping you secure and that pressure needs to go somewhere- rib and chest pain can often be more serious than people think.  

The injury attorneys at Thompson Law Firm in Phoenix have significant experience in helping clients who have experienced chest or rib pain after a car accident.  Our offices are conveniently located in ChandlerPeoria, and North Phoenix, and we can meet in-person or over the phone or video call.  You can contact us for a free consultation, or read on to find out more.

By the way, we will also help with other problems that have cost you sleep, like getting a rental car very soon and finding a nearby doctor who can help you. Even the best legal team isn’t good enough if your quality of life isn’t sustainable while justice and compensation are on the way. The whole point of legal action is to regain quality of life, so we help you long-term as attorneys and short-term as your go-to people.

Why Do People Experience Chest Pain After A Car Accident? 

After getting into a car accident, many people report feeling chest and rib pain. This can be from something as minor as the seatbelt restraining you or the airbag opening. Or, it can come from slamming into the door, dashboard, or steering wheel during impact.  

What Are the Common Types of Chest Pain? 

Your chest pain after a car accident can be one or more of quite a few things. The types of chest pain range from minor to major.  

  • Muscle Strain: This occurs because during impact your muscles can stretch too far, or even tear. This is not as serious as other chest pains; however, it can cause severe pain.  
  • Bruised Ribs: While many types of bruises are associated with car accidents, the ribs and sternum are some of the most commonly bruised body parts. They can be bruised as a result of hitting the steering wheel, being restricted by the seatbelt, or the airbags opening. This may cause chest pain, tightness, or discomfort.  
  • Fractured Ribs: While the skin over your ribs may be bruised, often, ribs are often fractured. This can occur when you hit the steering wheel or dashboard, or when the airbag opens. Fractured ribs can cause sharp and excruciating pain in your chest.  
  • Internal Organ Injuries: When damaged, essential organs like the liver, kidneys, spleen, heart, or lungs, can cause chest pain. Each of these have extreme and life-threatening complications.  
  • Heart Attack: Any stressful situation or traumatic event, like a car accident, can trigger a heart attack in an otherwise healthy person. This may happen immediately after, during, or soon after the crash. Often, people mistake a heart attack for chest pain.  

What Are the Symptoms of Chest Pain? 

In addition to actually having chest or rib pain, you may experience other symptoms that could indicate a more serious problem with your chest or ribs. They include:  

  • Shortness of Breath/ Trouble Breathing 
  • Difficulty Swallowing 
  • Wheezing When You Breathe  
  • Tenderness Around the Affected Area 
  • Numbness or Tingling in Arms 
  • Pain that Worsens with Movement 
  • Upper Back Pain
  • Asymmetrical Chest Expansion 
  • Bruised Area that Gets Bigger as Time Passes (Hematoma) 

What to Do if You Have A Chest or Rib Injury? 

Apart from seeing a doctor, the best thing to do for chest and rib injuries is rest. Even gentle stretching may damage your ribs and chest further. Come up with a personalized treatment plan with your doctor, depending on the type of injury you have.  

How Long Does Chest Pain Last After A Car Accident? 

The recovery period will vary based on the type and severity of your injury. Generally, the pain will be the worst in the first 24- 48 hours after the initial accident, and hopefully start to lessen after approximately 72 hours. However, this will vary based on the type of injury. It is best to see your doctor, and they will give you a more accurate idea of recovery expectations. While abrasions and soft tissue injuries heal quickly, broken bones and sprains will take longer to heal.  

Hospitals Near You


Chandler Regional Medical Center 

Mercy Gilbert Medical Center 

Arizona General Medical Center 

North Phoenix 

Deer Valley Medical Center 

John C. Lincoln Medical Center 

Abrazo Arrowhead Campus 

Client Reviews

I have used Christy Thompson for my representation and consultation on several different issues. She has been fantastic. She is super knowledgeable – she knows her stuff inside and out. She takes her time with you so she gets a complete understanding about you and your situation. She will do all she can do help you. Really gives you peace of mind that you have someone like her to help you. This is the person I want in my corner when the chips are down for sure. I would highly recommend her without hesitation.
– Karen Windsor-Worrel

Thompson law firm was absolutely wonderful to work with. Ariana was compassionate and extremely knowledgeable through the entire injury claim process. She was extremely responsive and we felt we had a true advocate fighting for us every step of the way. I highly recommend Ariana and Thompson law firm. You won’t be disappointed!
Meghan Berlingo

Get Help Now

At the Thompson Law Firm, we have more than 10 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries, including rib and chest injuries. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office.

If you have suffered a rib or chest injury, contact Thompson Law Firm in Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in the greater Phoenix area including ChandlerGilbertMesaScottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.

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Our experienced attorneys offer comprehensive guidance on all personal injury matters by phone or video conference call.

Our team of lawyers work closely with their injury clients across Arizona, communicating clearly whilst offering reassurance and empathy through an often very difficult and emotional process. During the free consultation, our lawyers will discuss your concerns before creating a comprehensive plan for you, while also assessing the strength of your claim.

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