The heart may be seriously injured by compression of the chest by a steering wheel in automobile accidents or in other injuries by non-penetrating blows to the chest. These injuries vary from a simple bruise of the heart to actual laceration of heart muscle and heart valves. The changes may be identified by electrocardiograph and changes in heart rhythm. Attorneys should make certain that any injury by a blow to the chest is studied by a cardiologist, using not one but a series of electrocardiographs, as even seemingly harmless blows to the chest may result in injuries equivalent to heart attacks.
Harry W. Hale Jr. & J. Walter Martin, Non-Penetrating Wounds of the Chest, 7 Clev.-Marshall L. Rev. 439 (1958)