Cyclists in Los Angeles and across California largely recognize that they could end up hurt if they’re struck by someone in a motor vehicle. Collisions between larger vehicles and bicycles often lead to poor outcomes for the cyclist, as a bicycle does not provide physical protection from injury the way that an enclosed vehicle does.
Numerous catastrophic injuries are possible after a car-bicycle collision, including brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. When compared with those extreme examples, a broken bone or fracture may not seem like a very significant medical concern. However, someone struck by a vehicle while on a bicycle might be at elevated risk of a severe fracture with catastrophic consequences.
Some breaks are far worse than others
Fractures can be drastically different from one situation to the next. Some people have a stable fracture. The bone doesn’t move much, meaning that they can still use the affected body part. They likely only need a cast and to rest adequately to recover fully.
Other times, the force of impact causes far worse damage to the bone and the tissue around the bone. A compound or open fracture is perhaps the most dramatic kind of broken bone possible. The force of impact pushes the bone through the nearby musculature and skin, exposing it to open air. Individuals are then at risk of severe blood loss and also major infections.
Sometimes, someone on a bicycle experiences a twisting motion when a bone breaks. They might then develop a spiral fracture. Spiral fractures can be quite difficult to treat in part because the bone breaks into many, irregular pieces. A comminuted fracture is similar because the bone breaks into many pieces. Crushing injuries and extreme force might lead to a bone breaking in numerous different locations.
It may be impossible for someone to recover from a spiral, compound or comminuted fracture without surgery. Often, they may require implanted devices to reinforce the broken bone. Severe fractures require a longer recovery time. They also tend to generate far more medical expenses and have more of an impact on someone’s quality of life after the initial injury.
The losses inspired by a severe fracture caused by a bicycle crash could extend well beyond what insurance covers. Those with catastrophic injuries after a bicycle crash may need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the driver at fault for the incident. Realizing that broken bones aren’t always minor injuries may help people more effectively pursue compensation after a car-bicycle collision.