If you’ve suffered a shattered broken bone in a car accident, you may be feeling a mix of emotions. You may wonder how the accident happened or feel angry at the person who caused it. You may be frustrated at the limits on your ability to participate in your hobbies, afraid to go back out on the road again, or worried about how you will support your family when you must rest and heal instead of working.
If this situation sounds familiar, you are not alone. The car accident attorneys at Burch Law Firm work closely with each of our clients to help secure the compensation and answers you need after an auto accident causes broken bones. To learn more, give us a call today or fill out our online contact form for a free claim review and advice about your legal options.
Types of Broken Bones from Car Accidents
Significant trauma from events like car accidents is one of the most common causes of broken bones, according to the Mayo Clinic. Also known as bone fractures, these injuries can cause severe pain and greatly limit mobility. Often, surgery is needed to align the bone so it can heal properly, to remove any fragments that have shattered from the bone, and to insert screws, pins, or plates to keep the bone in place.
The body of an adult human contains 206 bones. Children’s bodies contain significantly more, as the bones fuse together as a person ages. Nearly all of these bones can be broken in an auto accident depending on the circumstances and the severity of the crash.
Here are some of the most common types of bone fractures and injuries suffered in car accidents:
The bones of the spine, known as the vertebrae, enclose the spinal cord and protect it from harm. The vertebrae also give support to the entire body, making it possible to stand upright.
Common types of spinal fractures include:
- Axial burst fracture: This injury causes the vertebra to lose height in the front and the back, compressing the entire spine. Bone fragments shaken loose in the break can also damage the spinal cord or the discs that separate and cushion the vertebrae.
- Chance fracture: Also known as a flexion/distraction fracture, this break occurs when the vertebrae are pulled apart from one another. A severe whiplash injury can also include a chance fracture.
- Compression fractures: These occur when the front of a vertebra breaks, reducing its height, but the back does not. The fracture can put serious pressure on the spinal cord.
- Fracture/dislocation: A broken vertebra moves out of alignment with other vertebrae, which can cause severe pain and mobility problems.
Arm and Leg Fractures
The bones of the arm include the humerus (in the upper arm), the radius, and the ulna (in the lower arm). The bones of the leg include the femur (in the thigh), the tibia, and the fibula (in the lower leg). Any of these can be broken in one or more places during the impact of a car crash.
Common types of arm and leg fractures include:
- Closed fracture: The broken bone remains closed inside the skin.
- Compound or open fracture: The ends of one or more broken bones pierce the skin, causing bleeding, tissue damage, and potential scarring.
- Complete fracture: The bone breaks entirely into two or more parts.
- Incomplete fracture: The bone cracks or splits, but it does not break in two.
- Displaced fracture: The bone breaks, and the sides or ends of the break are not lined up with one another. Displaced fractures may be open or closed, and frequently require surgery to correct.
- Comminuted fracture: The bone shatters or breaks into several pieces.
Fractures of the bones of the hands, feet, skull, the collarbone, or the ribs are also quite common in severe car accidents. Like other bones, these bones can suffer a variety of fractures.
Frequently Asked Questions about Car Accident Bone Fractures
Sometimes, a broken bone is obvious, especially if it is open or displaced. Other fractures, however, can be harder to spot. Here are some questions car accident victims commonly have about broken bones.
- How can I tell if a bone is broken?
Broken bones often – but not always – cause symptoms like worsening pain, immobility, and swelling at the fracture site. The only way to know for certain if a bone is broken is to have a doctor examine it.The doctor will most likely order X-rays to determine exactly how the bone is broken and where, and to examine the site for any other damage, such as damage to ligaments or tendons. A CT or MRI scan can further help doctors pinpoint sites of damage in certain cases.
- Will I need surgery to fix a broken bone?
Not all broken bones require surgery to fix. However, surgery is more likely in the case of open, displaced, or comminuted fractures. In these cases, wires, plates, nails, or screws may be inserted to keep the bone aligned properly as it heals. For broken bones in the spine, procedures like fusion, vertebroplasty, or implantation of artificial discs may be recommended to stabilize the spine and attempt to reduce pain.
- My doctor says I can’t go back to work for a while. What are my options?
Severe broken bones can take weeks or even months to heal. During that time, your movement may be significantly limited. You may be required to stay in bed or to avoid ordinary activities like going to work or doing household chores. In a personal injury case based on your auto accident, you can seek compensation for any monetary losses caused by the accident. This includes not only medical bills or vehicle repair costs, but also lost wages, the value of household services you would have otherwise performed, and other costs. Your lawyer can help.
Contact Our New Braunfels Broken Bones Lawyers
When you call Burch Law Firm, you’ll talk to one of our attorneys. We stay directly connected to our clients because we have seen the ways in which this one-on-one relationship helps us build a stronger case on your behalf.
Here are just a few of the results we have helped clients obtain in past bone fracture auto injury cases:
- $852,500 settlement for a driver who suffered a broken arm and leg in a head-on collision.
- $250,000 settlement for a motorcyclist who needed surgery to repair a broken hip after being hit in a crash on IH-35.
Because each case is different, we move quickly to meet with you about your case and to investigate the facts. We’ll even schedule an evening, weekend, home, or hospital visit if you need one. Call our office or use our online contact form to speak to one of our personal injury lawyers today.