Car crashes can cause injuries ranging from bruises and scrapes to brain injuries. Minor crash-related injuries may likely lead to a full recovery, while others may cause lasting expenses and functional limitations for individuals.
People tend to make snap judgments about the severity of their crash-related injuries. People involved in collisions often assume that conditions that respond well to trauma care, like broken bones, are minor injuries. While many broken bones or fractures do not cause permanent medical issues, other times they may be responsible for life-altering medical challenges and financial setbacks. When are broken bones likely to cause lasting issues for an individual?
When the break is severe
Some fractures are simple. The bone breaks in one location, and the broken sections of bone remain aligned with one another. An x-ray followed by the cast might be all of the medical support required for someone’s complaint recovery.
Other times, a fracture causes more severe damage. Some people involved in car crashes develop comminuted fractures. The bone breaks into multiple small pieces because of the amount of force involved. Such fractures may require surgery and may also lead to permanent reductions in someone’s strength and range of motion.
Open or compound fractures involve the bone forcing its way through the skin. People can suffer secondary consequences related to blood loss and infection and may have a much longer recovery timeline when they experience severe fractures instead of simple ones.
When recovery isn’t smooth
Some people are at higher risk for fractures causing lasting consequences. Older adults tend to have a harder time healing, as do those with compromised immune systems. Other times, there may not be any obvious underlying factors, and yet a person will not heal properly after a broken bone. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is one example of a debilitating, lifelong health issue that could develop as someone’s body heals from a fracture.
Although people may assume that a broken bone may only trigger a few thousand dollars in medical expenses and a few weeks of lost wages, they can have far greater impact on an injured party. Ultimately, responding appropriately – medically and legally – to injuries after a car crash may help people get the compensation they require.