Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of bone fractures. Certain types of broken bones are more likely to result from car accidents. Continue reading to learn more about the causes of broken bones in an accident, the most common bones broken in car wrecks, and how broken bones are diagnosed and treated.
What Causes Broken Bones During a Car Accident?
The extreme forces involved in many vehicle collisions can break or shatter bones nearly anywhere in the body. Even relatively minor, low-speed collisions can subject human bones to enough force to cause painful fractures.
Many accident victims sustain broken bones due to:
- Blunt-force impacts with hard surfaces inside of a vehicle or with the road
- Blunt-force trauma caused by falling or flying debris or other objects
- Crushing forces from being pinned between hard surfaces or other vehicles
- Twisting forces that bend the body into unnatural and unsafe positions
What Bones Are Commonly Broken in Car Accidents?
Depending on the speed and angle of a particular accident, nearly any bone in the body could break or shatter. Some of the most common broken bones from Alabama car accidents include:
- Arm bones – Bones in the arms frequently break in car accidents when vehicle occupants brace their arms against vehicle surfaces in anticipation of an impact.
- Wrist bones – Wrist bones can also break as a result of bracing for impact but can break due to crushing or twisting forces as well.
- Leg bones – Upper and lower leg bones alike are especially vulnerable to breakage in accidents when the sides of a vehicle cave in on impact.
- Collarbone – The clavicle, or collarbone, is extremely fragile and can break due to high-speed impacts in car accidents.
- Rib bones – Many ribs break in car accidents due to high-impact trauma from seatbelts, airbags, or the steering wheel.
- Backbones – Fractures along the spine commonly occur due to rear-end or head-on collisions that dangerously compress the vertebrae.
- Hip bones – Hip bones often sustain fractures in side-impact crashes that crush or compress the body. Broken hips may require surgical screws, plates, or rods to repair.
- Pelvis – Pelvic fractures frequently occur in car accidents when vehicle occupants are thrown, compressed, or crushed against the inside of a car
- Skull – Skull and facial fractures are most commonly caused by contact with the windshield, steering wheel, or dashboard, which is significantly more likely when vehicle occupants neglect to wear seatbelts.
Diagnosing Broken Bones After Car Accidents
In most cases, broken bones are painfully obvious to victims after an accident. However, some accident victims may not realize they sustained bone fractures right away. The following symptoms can indicate the presence of a fracture:
- Severe pain in the affected area
- Pain that intensifies when patients touch or place weight on the affected area
- Deformities or unnatural positioning
- Swelling, bruising, and tenderness in the affected area
- Numbness, tingling, and difficulty moving
After evaluating patients for these symptoms, medical professionals often use X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans to confirm and pinpoint the locations of bone fractures.
Understanding the Healing Process and Timeline
Bones are naturally self-healing, but the healing process can take weeks or months, depending on the severity of the break. In most cases, simple fractures heal in roughly six to eight weeks. Shattered bones and complex fractures may take much longer. Some fractures leave lasting deformities and disabilities.
Contact Our Experienced Alabama Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you suffered a bone fracture in an Alabama car accident due to another driver’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses. Contact the experienced Alabama personal injury attorneys of Morris, King & Hodge, P.C. for a free initial case review.