Certain injuries will seem more serious than others after a car crash. A brain injury or spinal cord injury might lead to devastating, permanent consequences. Compared with the loss of motor function from a spinal cord injury, a broken leg or arm may not seem like a major issue.
After all, people break bones every day and eventually fully recover. Still, broken bones can be debilitating injuries on their own and may have a much bigger financial impact than you might think after a car crash. How does a broken bone or fracture affect your finances?
It can cost thousands of dollars in trauma care
Some broken bones are simple. The bone cracks in one place and requires immobilization so that the body can heal. After somewhere between six and 12 weeks on average, the bone will repair itself, allowing a person to transition back to use of the affected body part.
Not all broken bones heal so quickly and cleanly. If the bone breaks in multiple places, repairing it can be much more expensive. Severe fractures may require surgery or even medical implants to reinforce the body part.
The emergency care to address a severe fracture could eat up all of the bodily injury protection on an insurance policy, especially if a driver just has $15,000 worth of bodily injury coverage.
You may not be able to work until the fracture heals
Broken bones usually take several months or longer to heal. If you have a job that demands physical performance, you may not be able to work at all until the cast comes back off, which might be several months. If the car crash didn’t occur at work and you don’t have short-term disability insurance, you could lose thousands of dollars in income while you are unable to do your job because of your broken bone.
The costs don’t go away when the cast comes off
Whether you had a spiral fracture to your arm or a simple, stable fracture in your leg, your medical needs won’t just involve a cast. It is common for people to lose range of motion and strength in the affected body part during the medically necessary immobilization period.
Workers may require multiple weeks of physical therapy or occupational therapy to recover full functionality and return to work without putting themselves at risk of re-breaking the bone. Physical therapy and occupational therapy can cost hundreds of dollars a week.
The worse the break is and the longer you will need to recover, the bigger the financial impact the fracture might have. Exploring the impact of a broken bone on your finances can help you handle compensation claims more effectively after a car crash.