Broken Bones in Car Accidents
Broken bones are often a common consequence of car accidents because of the extreme force and impact of such incidents. A car accident can result in pelvic fractures, broken ribs and even skull or spinal fractures. Other broken bone injuries that can prove debilitating include fractures to the ankle, thighbone, collarbone, neck and spine. Sometimes, these fractures may require surgery.
In other cases, recovery could take a substantial amount of time. Victims may have to undergo physical therapy or extensive rehabilitation. This could result in significant medical expenses and loss of wages due to time away from work.
Types of Bone Fractures
There are many ways in which your bone can break during a traumatic incident such as a car accident. Types of bone fractures that commonly result from car crashes include:
- Displaced fracture: A displaced fracture is when the bone snaps and moves so that the end of the broken parts no longer line up. When the bone is in many pieces, it is called a comminuted fracture.
- Non-displaced fracture: When a fracture is non-displaced, that means that the bone has cracked but it retains its proper alignment.
- Open fracture: When someone suffers an open bone fracture, the bone actually breaks through the skin. The bone may recede back into the wound or it may remain visible. This is a particularly dangerous kind of fracture because it comes with the risk of a deep bone infection.
- Closed fracture: A closed fracture is when the bone is broken but it does not puncture the skin.
Who is at Risk?
Since car accidents are extremely common, everyone is at risk of suffering these types of injuries. There are some people, however, who are particularly in danger of suffering a bone fracture in a crash. As we age, our bones become more brittle. So, the elderly can more easily sustain a bone fracture in a collision. Young children could sustain fractures as well because their bones are not fully developed. Children, however, typically heal much faster. Therefore, the process of healing and getting back to normal is much easier for them.
Bone Fracture Treatment
Bone fractures require emergency medical treatment at a hospital. If you have suffered a bone fracture in a car accident, you may not even want to move until help arrives. If you have hurt your head, back, neck or hip, do not change your position. Call for emergency medical assistance and stay still. You can cause additional damage by moving a broken bone or fractured body part improperly. Before transporting you to the hospital, emergency workers may need to protect the injured area with a splint and gauze. This will limit the your ability to move the broken part. They may need to apply pressure to the injury as well to slow the bleeding.
Once at the hospital, your bone break will need to be properly set and held there. Repositioning the bone without surgery is called "closed reduction." Most bone fractures suffered by children only require a closed reduction procedure. Serious fractures, however, require "open reduction." This is when the bone is repositioned with surgery. You may need pins, screws, rods or plates to hold the fracture in place as it heals.
The cost of treating a bone fracture does not end with surgery. Many fractures need to be immobilized with a splint or cast. Medication is typically needed as well to reduce pain and swelling or to prevent infection. As soon as you are able, you will need to begin rehabilitation. Even if you are still in a cast, you should begin your rehabilitative therapy to promote blood flow and to maintain your muscle tone. Exercising with the help of a skilled physical therapist is not cheap, but it can help increase your chances of a full recovery and prevent blood clots and stiffness.
Even with proper treatment, you will likely have stiffness and weakness long after the splint or cast is removed. It may take four to six weeks for the bone to regain strength and the types of activities you can do may be limited as you heal. For many, returning to work is simply not possible soon after the crash.
Getting Fair Compensation
The cost of surgery, rehabilitation services, hospitalization and medication can result in a huge financial burden for injured victims and their families. Furthermore, if you have to miss work while healing, you may wonder how you are going to afford your medical bills. If you have sustained an injury because of the negligence or wrongdoing of another, you may be able to seek financial compensation by filing a personal injury claim. A successful injury lawsuit can result in support of all of your related financial losses as well as non-economic losses such as pain and suffering and emotional distress.
When you are in the process of recovering physically and emotionally from a traumatic accident, managing legal and procedural issues with insurance companies can become an added burden. The experienced California personal injury attorneys at Bisnar | Chase have helped injured victims of car accidents obtain fair and full compensation for their losses. We can also help you avoid the costly mistakes many plaintiffs and claimants make during this complex process. Please contact us at 949-203-3814 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.