Motor vehicle collisions involve at least two large, heavy objects traveling at high speeds, which means there is potential for catastrophic bodily injury. Broken bones can be among the most immediately obvious and visually disturbing injuries that you can suffer in a car crash.

Although modern trauma care is quite impressive, and people can now recover more fully from broken bones, also called fractures, than they could in the past, that doesn’t mean that broken bones are not a serious injury.

Even a basic broken bone could mean weeks away from work and thousands of dollars of medical care. Unfortunately, not all fractures are clean and simple. Some can have significant, lasting medical consequences and require extreme interventions, which may make it necessary for victims to seek compensation.

Simple, stable fractures are the most common broken bones

If you visualize a broken bone, you probably think of a simple fracture. This kind of break involves the bone breaking laterally in one place without breaking the skin. Stable fractures occur when the bones inside the affected body part do not shift, allowing for the quick setting of the bone for proper healing.

Compound fractures create risks of both blood loss and infection

Witnessing a compound fracture is an unforgettable moment. When someone suffers an open or compound fracture, the bone will break through the skin, creating substantial risk for the victim to develop an infection and, in some cases, leading to dangerous levels of blood loss. Compound fractures often require immediate trauma care in order to protect the victim.

Spiral or torsional fractures may require support and surgery

Most kinds of breaks occur from lateral pressure applied to the bones, but when different pressure causes a fracture, the result can be substantially different from a single, clean break in the bone.

So-called spiral fractures or comminuted fractures get their name from the way the bone breaks and also the way that force from the crash impacts the bone. They result from twisting pressure can create multiple bone shards, which potentially do not stay in place. Spiral fractures often require surgery and even the implantation of mesh or rods in order for the bone to heal or for the person to continue using that limb or extremity.

The more serious the fracture, the more expensive the care and the longer the recovery time. Victims should look at the impact of their fracture to determine if they need to pursue compensation after a crash.