People often think of lung injuries as injuries that happen due to sickness or inhalation of hazardous materials, but, while they definitely can occur that way, they can also happen in car accidents.
A car accident can cause massive trauma to the chest, especially in older vehicles without airbags. The driver could be in the most danger, as he or she could directly strike the steering wheel. When these types of injuries occur, internal injuries to the lungs can be more dangerous than any external injuries.
For example, broken ribs could cause a punctured lung. There could be lacerations and bleeding, and, in some cases, blood could get into the lungs and cause respiratory issues. Even if they are not punctured, lungs could be significantly bruised, making breathing painful.
An additional danger is a collapsed lung. This happens when the air from inside of the organ is allowed to escape into your chest cavity. The lung then deflates, and it may have to be inflated again by medical professionals. A person can survive with a collapsed lung, but it is a very dangerous injury that can be life-threatening, especially when compounded with other injuries.
Signs and symptoms of a lung injury vary depending on the nature of the injury, but they could include the inability to breathe freely, coughing up blood, or feeling a tremendous amount of pain with each breath.
With any injury like this, it's very important to talk to a medical professional immediately. Since treatment can be costly, you also need to know what rights you may have to compensation in Illinois.
Source: WebMD, "Lung Injuries," accessed March 29, 2016