The Most Commonly Broken Bones After a Car Accident

After a car accident, someone might consider themselves lucky to walk away with “just” a broken bone or two. After all, compared to traumatic brain injury or permanent paralysis, a broken arm or rib might not seem like a big deal. But broken bones can still be painful and expensive. They can lead to everyday complications like lost wages or missed work. This is why broken bones after a car accident shouldn’t be ignored.

Types of Fractures

A break, also called a fracture, occurs when a bone experiences more force or pressure than it can support. This can occur through sudden trauma, like during a car accident, fall, or collision with another player on the football field. It can also be the result of gradual stress. There are several types of fractures:

  • Closed or simple fractures, when the broken bone does not break the skin
  • Open fractures, which occur when the broken bone tears the skin
  • Hairline fractures, or when the bone breaks in a thin crack
  • Greenstick fractures, which occur when the bone is broken on one side, while the other side is bent
  • Buckle or torus fractures, in which the bone breaks on one side and a bump or raised area develops on the other side
  • Nondisplaced fracture, or when the bones break into pieces but stay in their normal alignment
  • Segmental fracture, in which a bone breaks in two places and leaves at least one segment floating and unattached
  • Avulsion, or when the bone separates from the soft tissue

Overall, breaks are usually sorted into two categories: incomplete fractures, which include open and hairline fractures, and complete fractures, like nondisplaced and segmental fractures. Incomplete fractures are more common in children, who tend to have softer bones than adults.

The Most Commonly Broken Bones After a Car Accident

All 206 bones in the human body have the potential to break, from the legs to tiny bones in the ear. However, some bones are more susceptible to damage than others during a car accident. Some of the bones most commonly fractured in car accidents include:

  • Spinal vertebrae
  • Femur
  • Collarbone
  • Pelvis
  • Ribs
  • The sternum, or breastbone
  • Ankles
  • Neck bones

Symptoms and Complications

During a car accident, fractures in the neck and spine can be life-threatening or even fatal, depending on the severity and location of the break. Skull fractures can also be dangerous, especially when coupled with other trauma to the head. In some situations, broken bones may piece internal organs, like the lungs, and lead to internal bleeding.

Even when they are not life-threatening, fractures are still painful. When someone is suffering from a broken bone, they might experience uncomfortable symptoms such as:

  • Swelling or bruising
  • Pain in the injured area that gets worse when the area is moved or when pressure is applied to the area
  • Inability to bear weight on the injured area
  • Loss of function in the injured area

Broken Bone Treatment After a Car Accident

In most situations, a broken bone requires medical treatment. Oftentimes, treatment for a broken bone involves repositioning the bone back to its original place. Then, a cast, sling, or brace will be used to keep the bone in place while it naturally heals. Depending on the severity, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for a broken bone to deal.

Even once a broken bone has been repositioned, there will still be difficulties to deal with. People with broken bones may have troubling performing their daily work duties; for example, they might not be able to lift, type, or even walk or sit. If they have to miss time for work due to their limitations, they could suffer from lost wages. Other everyday duties, like driving or childcare, can also becoming challenging while the bone heals. While they might not be as serious as other traumatic injuries, broken bones can still cause financial and emotional strains on a personal and their family.

This is why a broken bone should never be ignored! When you are seeking treatment or looking for compensation after an accident, never brush aside any injuries, particularly if they were caused by the recklessness or negligence of someone else. It’s true that broken bones are something that most people will experience at least one in their life, but if you are suffering from a painful fracture after an accident, you still deserve compensation.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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