A broken bone can be a painful, debilitating injury. Although most people will eventually heal fully after a fracture, it can take multiple weeks for the body to repair the initial trauma and even longer for someone to regain their previous strength and range of motion after breaking a bone. Keeping a body part immobilized can lead to a loss of strength and flexibility that take quite a bit of time to rebuild after the traumatic injury heals.
The amount of force involved in a car crash is easily enough to cause some of the worst fractures imaginable, including open and compound fractures. An open fracture occurs when the break is so forceful that the bone pushes through the skin. While any broken bone could mean major medical expenses and weeks of lost wages, an open or compound fracture will typically be far more expensive than the average broken bone. What makes them so costly?
Compound fractures require surgery
The standard treatment protocol for a compound fracture involves a surgical procedure to clean and disinfect the wound before setting the bone. Therefore, from the first moments of treatment, a compound fracture will cost far more than a break that only requires an x-ray and a cast. The recovery process is often far longer as well. People who lose quite a bit of blood and who have elevated infection risk may require more time at the hospital. It may take longer for their body to heal the injury and may require more rehabilitative support afterward.
Not only will someone’s medical bills therefore be far higher, but they are likely to miss more work as well. It could be months before they are able to return to a physically-demanding job.
Major fractures might inspire a personal injury claim
A compound fracture might potentially cost someone far more than what insurance will cover following a car crash. In some cases, a civil lawsuit against the motorists at fault for the wreck will be necessary if someone wants to recoup both lost wages and the cost involved in treating a compound fracture.
Seeking legal guidance and understanding why certain broken bones cost more than others can help those hoping to reduce the financial impact of a recent wreck.