Crashes between two or more motor vehicles present a serious risk of injury. For the people involved in these collisions, medical consequences can include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and even death. When the crash involves multiple vehicles or a large commercial truck, the potential for severe and even fatal injuries often increases.
It makes sense, then, that people who walk away from a crash with only a broken bone may feel like they are lucky. After all, broken bones knit over time, and most people with such an injury can return to work after a few weeks or perhaps a few months of recovery time. For those who work in offices or customer service, an immediate return to work may be possible. However, broken bones can have profound and lasting consequences for people involved in car crashes.
Broken bones can mean missed work and major medical expenses
A broken bone can be quite painful. Thankfully, once medical professionals examine and set the bone, the pain usually decreases. However, the person with the broken bone will not be able to use that limb or extremity until the bone is fully healed. Depending on what that individual does for a living, the broken bone may mean many weeks off of work.
Different bones require different amounts of time to heal. Additionally, everyone’s body is different. What may seem minor to one person can mean weeks of difficult recovery for someone else. As if missing work and struggling with self-care due to an injury isn’t bad enough, there will be medical expenses related to that broken bone. There are X-rays to consider, as well as the cost of setting and applying a cast.
Medical devices like crutches or slings can be expensive, as well as ongoing care to monitor the healing process and physical therapy to recover strength and flexibility after the cast comes off. All of those expenses add up to major medical bills for the person with the broken bone. If that individual has an insurance policy with a high deductible, co-insurance rate or co-pays, they may spend quite a bit of money out of pocket to cover their care.
Broken bones can develop into worse conditions
In some cases, a broken bone can results in a permanent degenerative condition, known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). For those with CRPS, the pain associated with a broken bone will increase over time. They may experience deep pain that does not properly correlate with the degree of injury or how much they have healed.
Even after the cast comes off, they will likely still experience chronic, debilitating pain. That pain often continues to worsen over time. CRPS is so debilitating that it can leave people unable to work for the rest of their lives. While CRPS is relatively rare, it can occur both spontaneously and as the result of a severe trauma, such as a broken bone.
For those who break a bone in an accident, it is important to look carefully at the situation. If you have significant expenses related to the injury, such as medical costs and lost wages, it may be possible to recoup those expenses if the accident was caused by the other driver or drivers involved in the collision.