One of the most common injuries sustained in car accidents is broken or fractured bones. Although many people believe a broken bone is different from a fractured bone, they actually mean the same thing. Fractured is just the medical term that is used.
Types of Fractures
There are three different types of fractures a car crash victim can suffer:
- Nondisplaced fracture: When bones break but the bones stay in contact. These fractures typically heal on their own and usually do not require surgery;
- Displaced fracture: When there is loss of alignment of the bones, a major shifting, and instability. These fractures require surgery; and
- Stress fracture: When there is a continuous and repeated loading to the bone. Common in runners and new military recruits.
There are several different ways to treat fractures, depending on the type and severity of the fracture. These treatments include:
- Plastic braces or plaster casts;
- Metal plates and screws;
- Internal steel rods; and
- External fixators.
The healing time for a fracture can take anywhere from two to eight weeks, however, that healing time can be extended depending on whether or not there are any complications that arise. Physical therapy is often required to help strengthen the area once the fracture has healed.
Complications to Healing
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for accident victims who have suffered bone fractures to experience some kind of complications in the healing process. These complications can end up being long-term, even life-long issues. Some of these complications are:
- Damage to nerve, skin, and tissue surrounding the bone;
- Mobility loss due to the bone never actually healing properly;
- Organ damage if the fracture bone punctures or protrudes into the organ;
- Damage to arteries and veins from the fractured bone;
- Bone marrow infections;
- Systemic problems, such as sepsis, shock, or an embolism; and
- Fractured bone doesn’t heal properly, such as healing in the wrong position;
Car Accident Injury Damages
If you have suffered fracture bones due to a car accident caused by another driver, contact a skilled North Carolina personal injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have against that driver. You may be entitled to recover for all your medical expenses, as well as any loss of income you have suffered because of your injuries. It is important to note that the North Carolina statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is three years from the date you were injured.