CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

A Collapsed Lung Resulting from an Auto Accident


Lungs are important sacs that help the body transfer oxygen from the air to the blood, providing vital nutrients for all of its tissues.

In a car accident, injuries such as collapsed lungs can occur. If you or a loved one has suffered lung injuries in an accident due to someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Call our injury lawyers at (916) 921-6400 to find out about your legal options. We offer free, friendly advice. Our experienced injury attorneys have been fighting for injured victims since 1982.

To learn more about how a collapsed lung develops and what legal matters are involved in such accidents, read on.

What Does It Mean To Have A Collapsed Lung?How Does A Collapsed Lung Develop?

How serious is a collapsed lung, and how does it develop? There are a handful of ways that someone could develop a collapsed lung, called a pneumothorax. However, all of these injuries result from chest trauma, either penetrating or blunt. Examples of possible mechanisms of injury include:

  • Pedestrian Injuries: When someone is crossing the street, they could be struck by a motor vehicle and suffer pedestrian injuries. This could lead to numerous bone fractures, including rib fractures, which could puncture the lining of the lung, leading to a pneumothorax.
  • Auto Accidents: Auto accidents can also lead to a collapsed lung, particularly if the window or windshield is shattered. This can create shards of glass which could puncture the chest, leading to a serious lung injury. A recent case report was published describing a woman who was injured in a car accident and subsequently found to have a collapsed lung. This traumatic injury created a dangerous, life-threatening situation.
  • Physical Assault: It is possible that someone could develop a collapsed lung due to a physical assault. If there are stab wounds involved, these could damage the lining of the lung in the chest, collapsing a person's lung.
A Case Report: A Serious Lung Injury in an Auto Accident

A case report has been published describing the medical case of a woman driving down the highway when she was involved in a car crash. On her way home from work, another vehicle from the opposite side of the highway crossed over the median and started coming towards her.

This vehicle collided with her car head-on, totaling her vehicle in the process. The woman, who did not have time to react, had her chest collide with the steering wheel, leading to polytrauma. She suffered numerous fractures and contusions; however, among her injuries was a collapsed lung. When her chest impacted the steering wheel, she broke multiple ribs. One of these ribs punctured her lung, collapsing it in the process. When the police and emergency personnel arrived, they found that the other driver was on the phone when their vehicle crossed over the median.

Distracted and drunk driving remain serious problems in modern society.

Treatment of a Collapsed Lung is Emergent

When emergency personnel arrived on the scene, they quickly realized that the woman had developed a pneumothorax. They quickly performed a needle decompression of her lung, inserting a syringe into her rib cage to relieve the trapped air collapsing her lung. This is only a temporary treatment, and the woman needed to be transported to the hospital. In the operating room, the woman had her injuries repaired, and a chest tube was placed to ensure that all of the trapped air was evacuated. Then, the woman needed to stay in the intensive care unit for some time while her wounds and injuries recovered. She did eventually make a full recovery after a lengthy hospital stay.

Legal Assistance for Distracted Driving Cases

In the accident above, the person who was injured could have a claim against the other driver who was talking on the phone while operating a motor vehicle. It is possible that the accident could have been avoided if the other person simply puts down their phone while driving. In this situation, the injured party accrued expensive medical bills from her stay in the intensive care unit along with her surgical procedure. What happens if this person cannot afford their medical care? Should the other driver be forced to cover these costs? A discussion with an experienced attorney can provide helpful assistance in numerous ways, including:

  • A Detailed Accident Review: Sometimes, aspects of the accident can be overlooked in the initial report. An experienced lawyer understands how to review the report and find details that could have been missed on the first pass.
  • Interpretation of Jargon: In addition to the accident details, the medical records need to be reviewed. This information can be challenging for the average person to cut through. An experienced lawyer can help interpret this language for their customers.
  • Court Filings: If there are legal claims to be made, the proper court procedures must be followed. This can be overwhelming for someone who hasn't done this before, which is where an attorney can help. Anyone who has been hurt or injured in a car accident should consider discussing their injuries with an experienced legal professional. Nobody should feel helpless or alone following a car crash.

Get to know more about what happens in a collapsed lung accident by watching this video from NRSNG's channel:

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

I'm Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. If you have been involved in such an accident, always keep in mind to ask doctors and lawyers to guide you in your recovery and the legal processes involved in getting the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, please call us for free, friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

See our client reviews on AvvoYelp, Google, and our past verdicts and settlements.

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 3.24.21]

Photo by Pixabay

Client Reviews
"Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!" Alex & Dinah M.
"Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation." Beverly
"Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything." Annie T.
"Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime." Jeremy M.
"I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone." Shannon D.
"Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury." David M.