Bone fractures are one of the most common injuries collision victims suffer from car accidents. The human body experiences significant trauma brought about by the forces of a wreck — the sudden acceleration, deceleration, quick directional changes, and blunt force impact.
Bone fractures tend not to be categorized as “serious” or “critical” injuries. However, they do place significant physical, emotional, and financial burdens on victims and their families.
What is a Bone Fracture and How Will it Affect My Life?
A “fracture” is essentially the medical term used to describe a broken bone. Bone fractures can affect different parts of the body. There are also a number of ways in which a bone fracture can occur. For example, a break to the bone that doesn’t adversely affect surrounding tissue or tear through the skin is called a “closed fracture.” A fracture that penetrates the skin is called a “compound” or “open” fracture.
The latter is more serious especially due to the risk of infections and other health complications. Most human bones can, generally speaking, withstand a considerable impact. However, when that force is tremendous or significant enough, as it can be in a car crash, the victims’ bones may break. The injuries that stem from a collision also depend on the person’s age. For example, the older the victim is, the more likely he or she is to suffer a fracture.
Common Types of Fractures From a Crash
Fractures and Broken Bones From a West Virginia Car Accident
Here are some of the common types of fractures that people suffer from car accidents:
Foot fractures: A common and serious result of collisions is a broken or fractured foot. These injuries can be extremely debilitating and life-changing. Suddenly, through no fault of your own, you find that you can no longer enjoy activities that have been an important part of your life up to the time of the accident. Often surgery, physical therapy, and weeks of limited activity are required for optimum healing. Some of the most common foot injuries include compartment syndromes, fractures of the metatarsals, and fractures of the heel bone (calcaneus).
Rib Fractures: If the victim’s chest is pushed against the seatbelt or airbag, there is the risk of broken ribs. Treatment often involves severe movement restriction because it is not possible to put ribs in a cast. The victim may suffer other complications such as a punctured lung as a result of broken ribs.
Knee and Lower Leg Fractures: The tibia and fibula run parallel through the lower leg and are prone to crack or break in a car crash. These types of fractures are most likely when a vehicle crumples or is crushed and the forces generated are directed to the occupant’s lower extremities.
Skull Fractures: Any injury to the head is extremely serious. A skull fracture may occur if you hit your head against the inside of the vehicle. Skull fractures often require surgery, hospitalization, and lengthy rehabilitation.
Hip Fractures: These are also among the most common injuries that occur as a result of car accidents. When you break your hip, you become less mobile. In older people, the risk of death increases significantly after a hip fracture. Victims who suffer hip fractures may continue to suffer chronic pain even years after a car accident.
Pelvic Fractures: While these are more commonly seen in motorcycle accidents, they may also happen during a car crash. Pelvic fractures are likely to prevent the victim from standing or walking for an extended period of time.
Arm Fractures: The bones of the arm may break when a victim braces during a car accident and as a consequence absorbs much of the impact in that region. A broken arm may become dislocated or fractured. The humerus is the large bone of the upper arm and the radius and ulna are bones of the lower arm. A fracture to any of these bones affects the victim’s ability to perform simple tasks and carry out daily routines. These injuries may require a lengthy period of recovery.
Spinal Fractures: This occurs when the bones of the neck or back break. These are severe injuries because a bone break in the spine may lead to damaged nerves or even lead to partial or complete paralysis. Many spine injuries suffered in accidents go undetected as hairline fractures on the vertebrae. There may be only minor symptoms, which may go away over time, leaving the victim to believe that no serious injury occurred. In time, however, even a minor spinal cord injury can progress to a serious problem, requiring surgery and years of medical treatment. At its worst, a spinal cord injury can progress to paralysis and organ damage.
West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered broken bone injuries in a car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be able to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, the cost of rehabilitative therapy, past and future pain and suffering, permanent injury and disfigurement and emotional distress. An experienced West Virginia car accident lawyer can help protect your rights and ensure that the at-fault parties are held accountable.