The force involved in a car crash is easily enough to break bones in the human body. When you consider how many people die in motor vehicle collisions or suffer amputations, brain injuries or spinal cord damage, a broken bone may seem like a relatively simple bodily injury.
However, a fracture can sometimes have long-term consequences. It could affect someone’s earning potential and cause tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. When is a broken bone more than just a quickly-treated injury?
When someone suffers a compound fracture
The risks someone suffers in a compound or open fracture are much more serious than the risks of a typical broken bone. The jagged edges of the bone force their way through the skin, which leads to many secondary issues.
The two obvious medical consequences are infection risk and blood loss. Some people may require transfusions after a compound fracture. They may also require medical support to prevent or treat the deep infections that can result from a compound fracture.
When someone has a spiral fracture
A clean break may occur when there is blunt force trauma applied to one part of the bone. When a body part experiences violent twisting motion, a spiral or torsional fracture can result. Spiral fractures are particularly damaging because they break the bone into multiple, irregular pieces.
Frequently, spiral fractures require surgery to set because there are too many pieces for the physician set the bone reliably using external treatments. Additionally, the bone may require support, like implanted pins or rods, lots of fully healed.
The individual may have a longer recovery time and may have lasting limitations for the affected body part, as well as ongoing pain symptoms. Broken bones can also sometimes cause permanent nerve damage or lead to a surgical amputation of the affected body part.
When a broken bone requires a longer leave of absence from work or causes lasting medical symptoms, the bills it creates may exceed what insurance will pay. Those suffering from severe fractures from car crashes may need to file civil lawsuits and look into third party liability to protect themselves financially. Recognizing when a car crash injury may affect you for years will help you navigate insurance claims and decide if you need to take legal action.