A major car crash can cause a wide range of serious injuries. Some people injure their spinal cord and may lose the ability to walk. Others suffer traumatic brain injuries that leave them dependent on life support or unable to live independently.
Compared with those injuries, a broken bone (fracture) may not seem that serious. However, fractures can sometimes have a dramatic impact on your health and your quality of life. There are many ways that a fracture can be a catastrophic injury, including the three examples below.
When the fracture affects the growth plate of a child
Children who are still growing can suffer severe consequences from a fracture. If there is damage to their growth plate, near the end of the bones, the fracture could affect their future growth and development without medical intervention.
When the broken bone cut through the skin
In an open or compound fracture, the broken bone tears through the tissue and skin. The bone will be visible, leading to two major risks. The first and most obvious is the potential for severe blood loss. The second is the risk of infection, which could significantly impact someone’s recovery.
When the fracture isn’t easy to set
Broken bones often just require doctors to set the bone to heal. Immobilizing the body part until after the bone heals is common practice. However, not all broken bones have clean edges or even just two pieces. Sometimes, the bone breaks into multiple pieces and has rough or jagged edges. Doctors may not be able to set the bone without operating. They may also need to reinforce the broken bone.
Understanding that broken bones can sometimes qualify as catastrophic injuries after a car crash can help you fight for the compensation you need if you’ve been injured by another driver.