Due to incredible advances in medical science, many people are dismissive of broken bones or fractures. Especially when people compare a broken bone to the other catastrophic injuries possible in a motor vehicle collision, they may act like a shattered femur or a spiral fracture to the upper arm isn’t a serious injury.
However, broken bones can cost tens of thousands of dollars just to treat and can also sometimes lead to lasting medical implications for the injured person. When are broken bones far more expensive than people expect?
1. When they require a leave of absence from work
If you work on your feet or perform a physical job, a broken bone could very well mean that you don’t work for multiple weeks. Some employers could potentially accommodate a worker with a fracture by changing their job responsibilities, but others require bed rest during their recovery or work at a company that cannot accommodate them by offering alternate work.
A lengthy leave of absence that last weeks or longer could cost tens of thousands of dollars in lost income and some cases and might prove to be more than what insurance can cover, especially when combined with treatment costs.
2. When the break heals poorly
The human body can potentially heal a broken bone in a few months with proper medical support and rest. Most of the time, people will no longer have pain or other symptoms related to a broken bone after the break knits.
However, in a little tiny fraction of cases involving broken bones, the trauma will heal improperly, leading to complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). This permanent, untreatable medical condition causes worsening pain, reduces someone’s range of motion and limits someone’s strength after they break a bone.
3. When the bone breaks in multiple places
In a comminuted fracture, a bone breaks in several places. Spiral fractures are a perfect example. The twisting force applied to the bone during the incident results in it breaking into multiple, small pieces with irregular edges. Such injuries will not heal without intensive medical intervention. Surgery is often required to set the bone or to implant devices to strengthen and stabilize the fractured body part.
Both the immediate medical costs and the lost wages that result from someone suffering a severe broken bone might mean that they have costs far beyond what the insurance provided by the other driver will pay. Recognizing when you need more than just an insurance payout can help you pursue financial justice after getting hurt in a car crash.