Unfortunately, broken bones and fractures are extremely common in major car accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports there are 2.5 million Americans who visit emergency rooms every year after an automobile accident. This happens every day in Richmond and central Virginia. Our personal injury attorneys see many complex injuries that occur in serious collisions.
Of the 2.5 million people who go to the hospital every year after an accident, 200,000 of those people have to be admitted. These hospitalizations result in lengthy healing and recovery times and can have a dramatic negative impact on your physical, emotional, and financial well-being.
Fractures are defined as any break in the structure of the bone. The terms “broken bone” and “fracture” are interchangeable, BUT most physicians use the term fracture.
What Causes Broken Bones During a Car Accident
These are the forces in a car accident that cause most fractures and serious broken bone injuries:
- Vehicle ejection, especially when not wearing a seat belt
- Motorcyclists thrown off the bike and striking the pavement
- Extreme forces when colliding with an 18-wheeler or the weight of a car or motorcycle on top of the body
- Slammed forward into the seat restraint or seatbelt
- Fractures caused when the air bag deploys
- Bracing for impact through reaching out before impact or through covering the face
Most Common Broken Bones After a Car Accident
Some of the most common broken bones and fractures that occur after an accident include:
- Tibia / Fibula Fracture – If the area of the vehicle where the lower legs reside is damaged in the accident, your legs are susceptible to injury.
- Facial & Skull Fractures – These injuries occur when the head and face smash the windshield as a result of not wearing a seatbelt. It is important to note airbags do not provide adequate protection to restrain occupants who are not wearing a seatbelt in a collision.
- Back and Vertebrae – Herniated discs and spine injuries can cause minor pain up to permanent paralysis. Spine injuries are caused when any of the multiple bony structures of the spine are compromised. The severity of the injury depends on the extent of the damage and location of the injuries. Vertebral fractures can prove to be fatal in the worst cases.
- Femur – Injuries in this area occur during high-impact collisions. This upper leg bone is one of the strongest bones in the body.
- Ribs – Rib injuries are very common in car accidents because of seat belts and air bags.
- Hips & Pelvis – Hip & pelvis injuries are caused by seat belts and how passengers are positioned in the car. Car accident experts believe pelvic bone injuries are the most common injuries seen today.
- Wrists – These injuries are common since there are many ways they can be injured in an accident. Wrist bones are among the most brittle bones in the body.
- Arms / Humerus – When passengers brace themselves, arm or wrist injuries are common.
- Clavicle – Like the bones in the wrist, the collarbone is quite susceptible to injuries in a car accident. It runs across the top of your rib cage and is quite brittle. We see many collarbone injuries in car accidents.
The medical expenses associated with fractures and broken bones can easily cost the average American family thousands of dollars, even when they have standard medical insurance. Emergency room visits and the cost of X-rays add up quickly. If you don’t have insurance, one major event can trigger bankruptcy.
Getting Compensated for Broken Bones After a Car Accident
If you have suffered broken bones or a fracture, the attorneys at Epperly & Follis can help you recover compensation when someone else is liable for your damages. Insurance adjusters are trained to protect the rights of the insurance companies they represent, so it is important to get a personal injury attorney involved who will ensure you get the most positive financial return.
It is not just the expenses from medical bills that is included in your compensation. The party who is liable for your injuries may also have to pay for:
- Lost wages due to missing work or having to take sick or vacation time
- Career income losses if a person cannot ever return to work due to permanent injuries
- Emotional distress, along with pain and suffering
Give Epperly & Follis a call at 804-648-6480 to schedule your consultation or complete our contact form to get the process started as soon as possible. Some personal injury cases can take years to resolve, so you will want to acquire legal representation as soon as possible.