Motor vehicle collisions can cause life-altering injuries. People can hurt their brains or their spinal cords and have permanent functional limitations afterward. There will be extensive trauma and rehabilitation care required for the person to recover.
However, some injuries that seem less severe can also carry potentially life-altering consequences. Broken bones can easily occur in a collision. These fractures are often easy to set and quick to heal. Still, not all broken bones heal quickly and without consequences for the person. There are several times when fractures could actually be life-altering injuries.
When the bone breaks into many pieces
Sometimes, because the force of the crash was so hard or because someone experiences twisting force, a person’s bone won’t just break in one place but in many places during a crash. These comminuted fractures are among the hardest to treat.
Often, a bone that breaks into many pieces will have jagged edges or may require implanted supports for the bone to set and heal. A bone that breaks in many places will require more medical treatment right away and may also leave someone with more lingering symptoms afterward.
When the bone forces its way out of the skin
An open or compound fracture poses many risks that a standard broken bone does not. The most obvious is the risk of blood loss. Someone with a compound fracture could potentially die from blood loss.
Even if they don’t experience severe bleeding, there is also the risk of infection afterward. Compound fractures can also cause damage to connective tissue and musculature that can require substantial rehabilitation.
When the body’s healing process somehow goes wrong
Occasionally, broken bones don’t heal properly. The trauma can cause issues with the nervous system that not only last for life but may get worse as more time passes. Broken bones are one of the underlying causes that can lead to someone developing complex regional pain syndrome. This lifelong condition causes debilitating pain that gets worse even when the bone itself has started to heal.
Realizing that broken bones from a car crash might constitute a serious injury can help you better manage the insurance claims process after a wreck.