Given how many people die in motor vehicle crashes every year, some people feel lucky just to have survived a collision, even if they have ongoing pain and a serious injury. Other people may compare the injury they have with the worst injuries they have heard of people suffering in car crashes.

When compared with a spinal cord injury or a closed-head injury, a broken arm or a broken leg may not seem like a very big deal. While fractures are typically treatable, the potential still exists for a broken bone that you suffer because of a car crash to cause permanent and lasting disability, which is one reason why you might need to consider seeking compensation via a personal injury lawsuit after a wreck leaves you with a fracture.

Broken bones may require surgery and physical therapy

Not all fractures have the same impact on the body, and not everyone heals as quickly with similar injuries. For example, torsion or spiral fractures, which can occur in high-speed crashes, often produce multiple breaks in the bone and twist the bone itself, possibly requiring reinforcement and surgery for treatment.

Those who must endure a protracted convalescent period due to multiple fractures or underlying health conditions may also lose strength and flexibility not just in the affected limb but also on the other side of their body. Physical therapy may be necessary and can cost thousands of dollars.

Both ongoing care and surgery might exceed the medical coverage available through someone’s insurance policy, especially if the injury leaves you with lasting effects that impact your ability to work or provide for yourself.

Sometimes, broken bones lead to more serious conditions

A fracture is a traumatic injury, and it carries a tiny but still alarming risk of permanent nerve damage that could leave you unable to work indefinitely. Some people who suffer fractures and similar traumatic injuries in car crashes may develop Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, an incurable condition that may result in weaker muscles, physical discomfort and decreased function in the affected body part.

Don’t treat a broken bone like a minor injury. Make sure you understand the impact your injury will have on your life before you accept a settlement from the insurance company or decide that you don’t want to pursue compensation.