Most broken bones are relatively simple injuries. Even if a fracture is painful and requires immobilization, a person’s body will typically heal within a few months of the initial trauma. In severe cases, people with broken bones may need surgery to disinfect the tissue to prevent infection and/or to help set or reinforce a bone broken in into multiple, small pieces.
Even after surgery, someone may only require a few months away from work before regaining their full strength and functionality. However, there are some scenarios in which a broken bone leads to a far worse medical prognosis and may necessitate a personal injury lawsuit by the person injured.
When do fractures require the kind of compensation that may inspire someone to go to civil court?
When doctors cannot repair the damage
Some fractures involve crushing injuries, and the damage caused can sometimes exceed the treatment ability of local doctors and medical facilities. In extreme cases, a crushing injury could potentially result in surgical amputation because doctors cannot repair the tissue and worry about infection, gangrenous tissue or other negative health consequences. Sometimes, what seems like a fixable fracture will actually necessitate the surgical removal of the damaged body part, which will forever alter someone’s independent living ability, earning potential and medical support needs.
When the body makes mistakes while repairing the damage
The process of healing a serious injury is an involved one, and sometimes things go wrong after a physical trauma. Some fractures result in the body healing improperly and a progressive neurological condition that will affect sensation and motor function in that particular body part. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) sometimes develops after fractures and will produce worsening symptoms even after the bone itself heals. Individuals with CRPS may not be able to continue working because of their symptoms in some cases and may require extensive medical care in addition to wage replacement.
When a broken bone causes lasting symptoms and significantly reduces someone’s earning potential, their only real option for recouping those losses may involve taking the responsible party to civil court. Seeking legal guidance to learn more about serious personal injury can help those who have been recently hurt in a car crash or on someone else’s property to minimize their personal financial losses.