It happened out of nowhere. You were driving home from dropping your kids off at school, thinking about the surprise party you had planned for your twin girls’ birthday, when it happened. All of a sudden a pick-up truck ran a stop sign and T-boned straight into you.
As if in slow motion, you saw the passenger side door crumple toward you, as the window shattered into a million pieces. You were instantly thrown against your own door, crushing your shoulder against the frame. The world spun around you as a sharp shooting pain burst from your upper arm and spread across your shoulder.
Finally, you stopped spinning and were able to focus through the pain. Since the wreckage of the passenger’s side was a mere five inches from your body, you couldn’t move very far. However, you needed to unpin your arm, so you managed to scoot over in your seat just enough to ease the pressure and allow you to try to open your door. Unfortunately, although you could move your forearm and hand, your shoulder was paralyzed—you couldn’t reach the handle.
Thankfully, another motorist who witnessed the crash and stopped to help was able to pry your door open and drag you out. What happened? Why could you move your forearm, but not your shoulder? Was something broken?
Fracturing Effects of Collision Forces on Your Collarbone
According to the crash injury research performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 8.3 percent of all car crash injuries result in bruised, battered, and broken clavicles. This means that every year, nearly three-million people suffer from a painful and debilitating break as a result of car impact forces.
Since the clavicle is relatively long, and is the only bone of its length that lies horizontally, it has multiple areas in which an impact fracture can occur. These areas include:
- Outer-third fractures. These fractures occur near the tip of the shoulder, and are generally caused by a direct impact that transmits splintering force to the side or top of the shoulder. They account for 15 percent of collision breaks.
- Middle fractures. These fractures account for nearly 80 percent of clavicle breaks, and occur when direct force is applied to the middle of the bone. Middle fractures are generally accompanied by swelling, bruising, and restraint marks from seat belt shoulder straps.
- Inner-third fractures. These types of fractures, represent five percent of breaks and occur when direct force is applied to the middle of the chest. Almost 100 percent of these types of fractures occur as a result of the steering wheel forcefully pressing against the chest during a collision.
Shouldering the Consequences
No matter what type of fracture your clavicle sustains, recovery will be long, painful, and disruptive to your everyday life. In order for the bone to heal, it must be set and restrained to limit movement. This means that although you’ll be responsible for paying medical bills, you may not be able to work. So what are you supposed to do?
We believe that you shouldn’t have to shoulder the consequences of someone else’s actions. If you’ve recently been injured in a car crash where another motorist collided into you, contact us today for help. We’ll provide you with a free consultation to make sure you’re fully aware of your rights and responsibilities. Our experience and knowledge can help ease your frustrations and may be able to get the justice you deserve.
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