In the wake of a serious motor vehicle accident, you may feel lucky to only have relatively minor injuries. If you didn't hurt your head or spine, that can be a positive outcome in a major crash. Broken bones, after all, typically only require a cast, rest and some physical therapy for rehabilitation. Even severely broken bones and compound fractures that require surgery usually heal well with proper medical care.
However, just because the eventual prognosis for a broken bone is positive doesn't mean that the injury won't have a potentially devastating impact on your life. Broken bones can impact your career, your quality of life and your financial situation. While it's healthy to feel grateful to have avoided worse injuries, you still need to seriously consider how this injury will affect your quality of life.
Broken bones can come with major medical bills
You may not be able to drive yourself to the hospital. Ambulance transportation can be quite costly, depending on factors like the company involved and the distance you travel. When you arrive at the hospital, urgent or emergency care for your injury will also be expensive. The trauma care you require for setting the bone can require a multiple-day stay in the hospital.
Surgeries to repair severely broken bones can also become quite expensive. Even after the doctors set your bone and you go home with your cast, the bills will keep coming. After taking the cast off, you will probably need physical therapy. Over the course of weeks or even months, the physical therapist will help you rebuild your strength, stamina, range of motion and flexibility. These costs could quickly exceed the maximum coverage for the other driver's insurance policy, leaving you in a financial predicament.
You may not be able to return to work until you heal
Depending on the bone you break and the nature of your job, working while in a cast or before you recover full function may not be an option. That could mean many weeks out of work, exactly when medical bills start flooding in for your care. All of those lost wages can cause major headache for you and your family, especially if you were the main earner for the family.
When someone else causes an accident that leaves you in pain, with medical debt and deprived of wages, legal action may be a wise choice. Many drivers don't have adequate insurance to really offset their liability in the event of a serious and expensive injury. You may be able to recover the difference between what insurance will pay and what the accident actually ends up costing you, which could be much higher.