Lawyers For The People

3 reasons a broken bone could be an expensive crash injury

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2024 | Car Accidents

One of the first things that people do after a car crash is to check themselves for signs of injury. While the best outcome after a collision might be walking away with no injuries, recognizing a treatable injury can also feel like a positive outcome.

A broken bone, for example, is usually far less of a concern than a lost limb or a brain injury. Often, those who break bones during New York collisions expect that their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage should pay for their medical care. If not, they expect to use the other driver’s liability coverage. However, broken bones can actually end up being much more expensive than people initially realize, and the costs could even exceed available coverage. Why might a fracture prove to be an expensive injury?

Someone works a blue-collar job

Someone who works with their hands or spends their entire day on their feet might not be able to continue working until their broken bone heals. Depending on the location of the fracture, the age of the worker and other important details, it could take anywhere from six weeks to multiple months for that worker to return to full functional capabilities. A worker’s lost wages while unable to perform their usual job could add up to far more than insurance can pay.

Someone doesn’t heal normally

There is a standard physical process for treating a broken bone. Typically, medical professionals use imaging technology to locate the fracture. They might apply a rigid cast to immobilize the body part. Then, someone simply has to wait for the phone to slowly heal. Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong during the healing process. The trauma of a fracture could lead to damage to someone’s nervous system. People may develop complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) after a fracture in rare cases. CRPS reduces someone’s strength and range of motion and creates painful symptoms long after the initial broken bone technically heals.

Someone suffers an extreme fracture

Broken bones can range in severity from minor to catastrophic. A stable fracture where the bone only breaks in one location requires minimal medical intervention. Other fractures, like spiral fractures, involve the bone breaking into many irregular pieces. The person with the broken bone might require surgery and could have a much longer time before they fully recover. With more severe fractures, an individual might have a permanent reduction in functional capabilities because of the damage caused to the bone and surrounding tissues.

Although people are often eager to settle insurance claims as quickly as possible after a crash, that is not necessarily the best solution. Calculating the likely financial impact an injury may have on someone’s life could help them negotiate more appropriate compensation arrangements for a crash-related broken bone.