Muscles and bones protect delicate organs such as the lungs; however, the lungs may still get injured in a car accident.
There are many ways the lungs can suffer an injury during a car accident. For example, a person can suffer a lung injury as a result of a head-on collision, rear-end accident, or side impact accident.
Types of Lung Injuries
- Punctured lung – At the time of a car collision, any heavy, sharp object can penetrate into the lung, causing air to seep into the chest cavity of the victim. This kind of injury can create pressure on the victim’s body and can be very painful.
- Collapsed lung – A punctured lung can lead to a collapsed lung or pneumothorax. This type of injury occurs when air seeps into the area around the lung and puts pressure on the lung, limiting its ability to expand while breathing. This can cause breathing difficulties or suffocation if not treated in time.
- Chemical burn – The engine of a car contains a number of chemicals. Some of these chemicals are extremely flammable. If the engine catches fire, the chemical fumes can burn the lungs.
- Smoke damage – If a car catches fire during an accident, the smoke coming from the fire can affect the lungs of the victims and may cause long-term lung damage.
Emotional Consequences of Lung Injuries
In addition to physical damage, a victim may also suffer mental distress. It takes a lot of time and effort to completely recover from a lung injury. Breathing problems can affect a victim’s ability to perform work as efficiently as before the accident. A lower activity level may also cause a victim to gain weight. Depression is a common consequence of lung injuries.