If you have ever lost your breath, you know how scary being unable to breathe can be. After all, it does not take long to lose consciousness without a steady supply of air. Even worse, breathing problems can be incredibly painful. Further, if a lung condition requires you to use medical oxygen, everyday tasks can become increasingly difficult.
During any car accident, you may sustain a variety of injuries, ranging from head trauma to broken bones. You may not realize, though, that your lungs are both sensitive and fragile. As such, whether you have difficulty breathing, you should always ask a doctor to examine your respiratory system following a collision. Here are three types of lung injuries that you may sustain in one:
1. Physical injuries
Your ribs, spine and sternum do a great job of protecting your lungs from injury. Still, these bones are not invincible. On the contrary, during a car crash, they may break; jagged broken ribs may puncture your lungs. Because your lungs are essentially balloons, they may not function properly if they have a hole in them. One or both of your lungs may also collapse partially or completely.
2. Smoke damage
More than half of individuals who die in fires succumb to smoke inhalation. That is, you do not have to sustain physical burns to suffer a serious injury in a fire. Because many cars on the road today have internal combustion engines that run on flammable gasoline, even a seemingly minor car accident may result in a fire. If you inhale smoke, your lungs may sustain serious damage.
3. Chemical burns
A variety of materials make up your car’s interior and exterior. Whether metal, plastic, fabric or something else, these materials typically have thousands of chemicals in them. When some chemicals catch fire, they emit toxic substances that may burn your lungs. Unfortunately, lung burns may make absorbing oxygen difficult or impossible.
While surgery and rehabilitation may increase your chances of surviving lung damage, you may have permanent consequences from a lung injury. You must act quickly to pursue just compensation from the negligent driver or drivers who caused the accident.