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How a fracture from a wreck could cause lifelong disability

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2023 | Personal Injury

Car crashes may inspire a host of different injuries. People recognize that spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and amputations could all happen as a result of a crash, any of which might prove permanently debilitating for those involved. When injuries seem to be relatively minor, the person affected may be grateful, at least initially. A broken bone, for example, is the kind of traumatic injury that would seemingly respond quite well to modern medical interventions. What people often fail to consider is how a fracture could become the source of debilitating medical complications.

A broken arm could heal in his little as six to eight weeks with immediate treatment and a strong immune system. However, not every broken bone heals completely and leaves someone fully recovered. Although it is rare, problems can start during the healing process that may leave someone with a debilitating medical condition.

What happens when healing goes wrong?

The human body can repair the bone itself given enough time and proper stabilization support. Unfortunately, sometimes the healing process results in damage to the nervous system. Even though someone should feel better because the initial injury has healed, their pain levels or discomfort continue to increase. They may feel a deep, tingling pain near the side of the injury. Often, people feel like burning type of pain that persists long after the bone itself has healed.

These individuals may have complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a lifetime condition that will worsen in most cases. CRPS will affect someone’s strength and their range of motion. It may cause the skin, hair or nails over the affected area to look differently than the tissue on the other side of the body. There could even be a temperature difference. Simple acts like dressing or showering could become prohibitively difficult or painful. There are no cures for CRPS, only symptom management options depending on how someone experiences the condition. A seemingly simple fracture, in other words, might lead to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses due to not just medical treatment but also lost wages.

Complex injuries lead to difficult claims

It is unusual for the human body to damage its own nervous system during the healing process, which is why it can be very difficult for those with CRPS or other unusual medical side effects to pursue a claim for compensation despite having unignorable symptoms.

Those with CRPS may need to negotiate insurance claims after car crashes very assertively or might even need to go to court to pursue a personal injury lawsuit because of the financial impact that the injury will have on their future earning potential. Identifying risk factors for uncovered and lingering expenses after a car crash may help people more effectively handle insurance claims or recognize when additional action may be both warranted and necessary.