If you notice signs of even minor fractures after a collision, see your doctor immediately. Proper care will maximize the chances of full, rapid healing.
Formal medical diagnosis is also critical for legal reasons. Otherwise, it may be unnecessarily hard to get maximum compensation from your insurance, other drivers’ insurance, and even other drivers personally.
Is it possible not to notice a broken bone?
Many fractures are subtler than you’d think. Generally, the smaller the bone, the less obvious a fracture might be.
There’s no mistaking a full break of a large bone. In addition to severe pain, the body part may be visibly deformed. But mild fractures, especially of smaller bones, aren’t always so clear.
Are there non-obvious symptoms of broken bones?
Yes. Minor fractures can cause discomfort and swelling, but no deformity and no severe pain.
This is often the case with fingers and toes, or even ribs, depending on the nature of the impact. For example, minor fractures around joints sometimes seem like a sprain.
Do I always need treatment for a fracture?
Not all fractures need intervention, but it’s critical to let a doctor decide—no matter how minor yours may seem.
Even if the pain is manageable, lack of treatment can prevent proper healing, which raises the likelihood of poor joint mobility, asymmetrical posture, and even arthritis later in life.
Nothing jammed against me, so how could I have broken a bone?
It’s true that the most severe breaks are usually due to door or dashboard parts jamming against your body.
But even if that didn’t happen, a collision could still have caused a fracture in several other ways.
- Extreme pressure against the seatbelt or airbag can crack ribs. (To be clear, they’re still worth using. If impact was hard to to fracture ribs against an airbag, then imagine if you’d hit a hard surface instead!)
- Random objects in the car may turn into projectiles at the moment of impact.
- Instinctively bracing yourself (e.g., to protect your face) against the dashboard or steering wheel.
If I broke a bone in a car crash, should I talk to an attorney?
Collisions bring overwhelming aftermath. It’s more than enough to deal with medical care and a potentially long healing process for fractures.
But then there’s the endless documentation, insurance disputes, and sometimes more complicated legal matters.
At Bridge Law, our team of auto accident specialists is here to fight for you and for every penny you deserve. If you’ve suffered a broken bone in a car accident, then contact us to discuss your case and options.