Whether it’s a simple fender-bender or a major crash, any car accident can lead to broken bones. Because a car accident exerts extreme force on the bones, breaks are among the most common injuries sustained by both drivers and passengers in collisions of any kind. This kind of injury can have serious consequences, including paralysis and even death. Even more minor breaks can cause long-term problems, including loss of work and complications arising from treatment.
Car accidents can cause broken bones of many kinds. Buckle fractures happen when a bone buckles under impact, but doesn’t completely break. Greenstick fractures, where part of the bone fractures but the other side bends, also occur frequently in car accidents, as do hairline fractures – small cracks in the bone that initially may go unnoticed, but which can cause complications later. But most frequently, bones broken in car accidents are true fractures.
The impact of collisions can fracture skulls, leading to brain swelling and bleeding – and potentially death. Crushed vertebrae can compress or damage the spinal cord, causing permanent paralysis. Even safety features can cause broken bones. The forceful deployment of air bags can fracture collarbones, ribs and pelvises. Seatbelt restraints can also break pelvic bones and ribs, especially in fragile older individuals. And children are at particular risk for severe traumatic injury from broken bones, particularly skull and spinal fractures.
Broken bones of all kinds can have long-term consequences. Even less serious fractures, such as a broken leg or ankle, can mean a loss of work and income. Some broken bones require surgery, with longer recovery time and potential complications, such as infection. And, years after the accident, other conditions such as arthritis may develop in previously broken bones.
Because broken bones suffered in a car accident can have a range of consequences from the relatively minor to the very severe, legal experts stress that it’s essential to consult an experienced accident attorney for help in recovering compensation for damages resulting from broken bones – an all too common outcome of car accidents both major and minor.