Cracked ribs are one of the most common types of rib injuries, accounting for about four out of every five cases. Unfortunately, many people with broken or fractured ribs don’t seek medical treatment right away.

They may try to ignore the pain and suffering, hoping it will go away on its own. But as we all know, that’s rarely the case with a broken rib injury.

Car accidents occur in an environment of extraordinary speed and force. As a result, Illinois motor vehicle crashes can involve large trucks, passenger cars, and other motorists.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is here to help you get your life back after an accident caused by another person’s negligence. We manage car accident cases and injury claims involving broken ribs as well as other harms. We bring these broken rib cases to injury victims in Chicago, Illinois, and other states.


Our law firm has a special group of personal injury lawyers dedicated to obtaining high settlement value financial compensation for auto crash victims for their damages, including medical expenses, pain, and suffering.

If you have a rib fracture in a Chicago car accident or other motor vehicle accident, contact our car accident attorneys for a free consultation and legal advice on what car accident settlement options may be available to you.

Insurance companies frequently underestimate the value of rib fractures. Unfortunately, this implies that you may be in for a struggle if you seek full compensation for all the damages inflicted on you. The following sections go through these subjects in greater depth, but please use our contact form if you have any more queries.

How Do Rib Injuries Occur in Illinois Auto Crashes?

Ribs protect vital organs and the body. They act as a shield and parry blows that people receive in the ordinary course of life. Therefore, there need to be certain kinds of circumstances to crack or break a rib, often including excessive force and speed.

Car accident injury victims often break ribs when they collide with the steering wheel after suddenly decelerating the motor vehicle.

Motorists may also suffer rib fractures when they collide with the dashboard. This sturdy material may cause broken bones and damage or severe them entirely.

Seat belts are meant to secure us from risks inherently involved in driving passenger cars. Yet, if motorists start and stop their vehicles too quickly, then a seat belt can snap a rib.

These are some of the most common ways drivers and passengers injure their ribs. Your car accident rib injury may be different, though, and it is important to be aware of this serious risk.

Rib Injuries and Chicago Car Accident Facts

  • Aside from ribs, the most common bones broken in an automobile accident include the femur, vertebrae, pelvis, collarbones, and neck
  • Thousands of people injure their ribs in car crashes across Illinois and other states
  • The most common cause of rib fractures in car accidents is seatbelt compression
  • Frequent symptoms of broken rib injuries include swollen abdomen, difficulty breathing, lacerations or broken skin, or dizziness
  • Medical expenses for health care treatment related to a broken rib average thousands of dollars for ER visits, physician consultations, prescriptions, and rehabilitative care

Common Chest and Rib Injuries in Illinois Car Accidents

Studies have shown that the most common rib fractures in car accidents are fractures, but some severe chest injuries include:

Ruptured Aorta

A rupture is a serious injury that occurs when the aorta, a large artery connecting the heart to the rest of the body, tears or ruptures. It is usually fatal and requires immediate medical attention for survival.

Chest Compartment Syndrome

People who suffer severe trauma to their chests can risk this condition like those injured in Chicago car accidents. The syndrome prevents blood from returning to the heart and lungs because of pressure on chest tissue from swelling or leakage of fluids.

Pulmonary Contusions

These injuries include a punctured lung resulting from a broken rib which causes pneumothorax or hemothorax. This serious injury can lead to organ failure, respiratory distress, and death.

Lung Lacerations

These are some of the most serious injuries sustained in a Chicago car crash. When your lungs are injured due to an accident, they can be torn, causing blood, air, and other fluids to fill the organ.

These injuries can lead to a serious condition if signs of this. Shortness of breath, low energy, and coughing are all possible symptoms.

Destruction of the Rib Cage

The rib cage protects vital organs like the lungs and heart. It also is an anchor for muscles. When you suffer rib fractures in car crashes, this causes muscle, tissue, and ligament damage, leading to pain and loss of function or mobility later on.

Soft-tissue Damage

As a result of an impact and trauma in a vehicle accident, the chest has numerous muscles and tendons that may all be damaged. These soft tissue injuries can be incredibly painful and take a long time to heal.

Symptoms of soft tissue injury caused by a car accident include:

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Pain and strain in your muscles, tendons, and ribs
  • Swelling in your chest or abdomen
  • Heaviness in your chest
  • Inability to move certain parts of your body because of pain.

Fractured Clavicle and Sternum

Clavicle breaks are one of the most common injuries that result from a car accident. The clavicle is also called your collarbone, and this bone connects your breastbone to your shoulder blade.

Sternum fractures are less common, but they can be serious because they can damage or puncture the heart, lungs, trachea, and blood vessels.

chart of bones that break the most frequently in car accidents

Symptoms of Broken Ribs and Chest Injury

Chest injuries can result in both minor and major injuries. However, a broken rib is a common type of serious chest injury usually due to a car accident.

For example, a minor injury, a sore upper chest, might be considered just a muscular discomfort from the seat belt. However, it may be a broken collarbone.

If you treat the symptom as unimportant and the bone does not heal properly, you might get less in your broken rib settlement value. In addition, you may be held responsible for any additional expenses incurred because you failed to mitigate your damages.

When you have trouble moving or cannot breathe properly after a vehicle accident, this may indicate a severe chest injury that requires urgent care.

Symptoms of fractured ribs and major chest injuries may include:

  • Unusual breathing patterns
  • Difficulty swallowing food/liquid/speaking
  • Expired air from the nose or mouth; ragged breathing sounds; unusual coughing; wheezing; whistling noise
  • Abnormal swelling, bruising or bleeding from the nose/mouth
  • Tenderness around the rib cage area

Chest pain is not caused by an injury to the ribs but may reflect a larger issue such as blood clots or a cardiac event. Whether you have a rib fracture in a car accident or any other kind of accident, it is critical to seek medical care as soon as possible after getting injured.

The longer you wait, the more complicated your health problem may become and the less likely you will obtain a favorable result from a personal injury claim.

Treatment for Broken Ribs after a Chicago Auto Accident

Rib fractures in an auto accident cause pain that might be unbearable at first and linger around for far longer than you might predict. However, some common medical treatments are available to deal with the pain and suffering, including the following:

  • Surgery: This is reserved for cases where rib fractures are causing severe life-threatening injury or other injuries, like a collapsed lung.
  • Medications: Health care providers prescribe painkillers to help you manage your discomfort during recovery times. Depending on the severity of the injury, doctors may recommend high-dose prescriptions.
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy: Typically, rehab and physical therapy help minimize long-term discomfort after a car accident by increasing flexibility of the muscles and strengthening bones.
  • Casts and splints: If ribs are broken, health care providers may recommend casts and splints to immobilize the area until it heals.
  • Incline and elevation: This helps reduce pain and suffering by making breathing easier.
  • Hospitalization: In severe rib injury cases, the injured victim must stay in the hospital until you are well enough for home care.

Of course, these all come with substantial costs in terms of upfront medical treatment and indirectly through lost wages and other income opportunity losses. Speak to one of our car accident attorneys today about how you can seek relief for some of these items.

The Key Issue After Fracturing Ribs in a Car Accident

According to some physicians, the most significant issue for ribs is delayed or improper healing. These fractures are often difficult to treat and require plenty of time for the patient’s body to heal itself.

However, it may be more complicated if you have a chronic condition that taxes your immunity system. Preventing complications requires immediate medical care from your health care providers, who can monitor your progress closely.

If you have fractured ribs, your health care providers will probably recommend that you follow some general guidelines to improve your prognosis for a full recovery.

  • Do not smoke
  • Reduce stress and anxiety as much as possible
  • Avoid bending over or doing anything strenuous until the rib is healed enough to move without pain; this can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months
  • Get plenty of rest and keep your fluid intake up to avoid dehydration, which can delay the healing process
  • Consume a nutritious diet to have adequate energy for recovery times

After a car accident, you need a reliable advocate with whom you can trust to advocate on your behalf so that you can focus on your health and well-being.

Factors Impacting Case Value for Rib Injuries in Illinois Car Crash Claims

While you cannot ever precisely predict how much your rib fracture case will be worth, some factors may help you estimate what your claim may fetch if you break a rib in an auto crash. Here are some items that impact case value in Chicago automobile litigation:

  • First, long-term pain or disability
  • Second, scarring or disfigurement
  • Third, substantial medical expenses or reduced earning capacity

Other items will impact your car accident case value, but you should start with these when setting a baseline for claim analysis.

Car Accident Rib Fracture: Awards and Settlements

Below are some sample auto accident settlements and verdicts related to rib fractures. If you or a family member sustained multiple rib fractures in an accident and are looking for additional information, contact our law firm for a free consultation with an experienced attorney near you.

$723,500 Settlement; Chicago, Illinois; 2019:

A young family was parked on the road near Chicago when another motorist rear-ended them. At the time of the accident, the mother of the original passenger vehicle was outside trying to fix the car, and her two kids -ages nineteen and six were inside.

They were all left with a litany of serious personal and other injuries, including broken ribs, rotator cuff damage, knee contusions, fractured rib, dislocated hip, broken femurs, head injuries, and long-term pain. The combined medical expenses for the group totaled more than $250,000.

They brought a claim against the other driver in Cook County court. The insurance company, State Farm, eventually relented and offered a settlement for financial compensation of $723,500. They accepted.

$1,500,000 Settlement; Cook County; 2018:

A daughter was driving her mother on the highway when they got into an accident with a large truck. The young woman made a left turn right in front of the large truck and made a crash inevitable. The mother was fifty-eight at the time of the crash.

Due to the incident, the mother suffered a fractured rib, a closed head injury, a cut opened bladder, damaged her pelvis, knee injuries, and fractured her nose. As a result, she needed surgery immediately and other medical treatment. Also, doctors determined that she would need several follow-up procedures and rehabilitation.

The medical expenses were nearly $250,000 and lost income from missed work was about $70,000. The victim brought an injury claim against the driver’s insurance policy for financial recovery and compensation, and so did her husband for the lost consortium.

The couple received a $1.5 million payout and was able to bring a subsequent personal injury case against the truck driver and large trucking company for all damages, including pain and suffering.

$2,500,000 Settlement; Chicago, Illinois:

An elderly couple in their seventies were exiting a gas station when a cop car T-boned their passenger vehicle. The husband suffered two fractured ribs, a subdural hematoma, vertigo, damaged sternum, neck injury, and lost consortium.

The woman sustained a brain injury, back and neck injuries, speech problems, pain and suffering, and aggravation of other injuries.

They both needed surgery and medical treatment immediately. Unfortunately, the medical bills exceed the maximum insurance coverage.

They brought a personal injury claim against the county and the hospital where she had received care for their harms, costs, and long-term impairment and suffering before the crash. The woman obtained $2,125,000, and the man received $375,000. The parties settled instead of trying the matter to full completion.

$100,000 Settlement; Cook County; Illinois:

The plaintiff (a 29-year-old woman) was sideswiped when the defendant tried to avoid another motorist who had veered into her lane. As a result, the plaintiff suffered personal injuries to her rib back injuries. In addition, the jaw and clavicle were all broken.

The medical treatment cost her over $60,000. In addition, she brought a car accident claim against the driver directed to her insurance company, State Farm. As a result, State Farm paid out $100,000 for the event and subsequent harm.

$500,000 Settlement; DuPage County; Illinois:

A young family was crossing the street in an intersection when another vehicle crashed into them, causing significant personal injury to many of its occupants. The driver of the original motorist had squatted down next to his car due to an apparent flat tire. A woman behind him struck him and sent him into the other family. The mother suffered a collapsed lung and broken ribs.

The youngest child suffered three fractured ribs and was taken to intensive care immediately after the crash. All of them needed surgery and medical treatment for their physical injuries. Their medical bills totaled over $700,000. They came to a settlement agreement with State Farm Insurance for $500,000.

$1,050,000 Settlement; Will County; Illinois:

A young woman (23-years-old) was driving her family’s motor vehicle on the highway when a truck rear-ended their vehicle, causing significant and permanent personal injuries to multiple occupants (her and her three children). In addition, her nine-year-old son suffered severe back injuries and died.

Following the crash, her daughter suffered three broken ribs and had to be airlifted and hospitalized immediately. In addition, she suffered seven fractured ribs and pelvises.

Their medical expenses totaled more than $800,000, and they had lost income from time missed work close to $125,000. They settled their claim against the truck driver’s insurance carrier for $1,050,000.

Making a Rib Injury Compensation Claim

When you have suffered fractured ribs during a car accident, your next step is to contact our experienced personal injury attorney to advise you of your rights.

If you choose to speak with us, we’ll ask you questions and discuss your injury to understand what occurred. Your answers will help us fully comprehend whether we can assist you.

It might be difficult to talk about your injury, but we’ll only ask you the questions we need to ask to assess whether you could make a bruised or fractured rib claim. We’ll request permission if we believe you may be able to make a broken or fractured ribs claim.

If you’re considering claiming broken ribs, it may be helpful to know that you’ll need medical evidence before we can start to seek compensation. The evidence might include medical records or reports from doctor’s visits, but other types of evidence might be acceptable too.

If you’re ready to claim compensation after suffering broken ribs in a road accident, call our dedicated legal team today for help making your claim. Our legal team maintains the privacy of your sensitive or confidential information through an attorney-client relationship.

Learn More About Fractured Ribs Personal Injury Claims

Broken ribs are very painful and can leave one in excruciating pain for weeks at a time. In addition, this injury could damage the spine resulting in long-term effects.

Broken ribs injuries are recoverable by filing a fractured rib claim after settling with the auto insurance company of the negligent party. Using an attorney is beneficial because many insurance companies use tactics to minimize the amount of financial compensation to resolve an accident settlement.

If you have suffered from broken ribs in an accident, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation and legal advice on how to start making your injury claim before the statute of limitations runs out.

Summary of Fractured Ribs Car Accident Settlement Value

Did you suffer a fractured rib due to a car accident? If so, there is no time to delay. You must immediately seek medical attention and monitor your health over the next several months for any long-term problems related to your fractured ribs.

In terms of value, it is difficult to estimate until you know all of the factors involved. However, you should expect to recover from your pain and suffering, medical expenses, and reduced earning capacity (if any).

Different causes of action may apply in fractured rib cases, including personal injury, negligence, or other counts depending on how the accident happened, who was at fault, and what injuries you sustained after a car accident.

Get Legal Help Now from Lawyers Who Understand the Effect of Rib Injuries from Auto Accidents

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers. LLC leads the industry in advocating for victims’ rights following automobile accidents and other events causing severe injuries. We can help you too if you call our offices and have a one-on-one evaluation with one of our dedicated car accident lawyers.

The car accident attorneys of our law firm work on contingency, so you do not pay if we do not win and offer free, no-obligation consultations. All information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Contact us to see what financial compensation may be in store for you. We are just a phone call away. You deserve relief, and we can help you get back on the road to recovery today!


Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

- Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

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