Injuries in a bicycle accident can be significant. A broken pelvis, for example, can require surgery if the fracture is unstable and may require significant recovery and time away from work. Fortunately, injured cyclists in Arvada have grounds to recover damages if another party (like a motorist who improperly passed a cyclist) caused the accident.
Signs of a Broken Pelvis and Other Injuries
Traumatic force from the bicycle accident – such as if a motorist strikes the bicyclist – can cause a pelvis fracture. It can also happen in crush accidents, such as getting pinned by a vehicle.
The following are signs of a pelvis fracture:
- severe pain;
- difficulty standing/walking;
- tingling/numbness in groin or legs.
Oftentimes a broken pelvis isn’t the only injury. There may have been damage to the legs, abdomen and/or chest, and some patients suffer internal injuries. As a result, there could be a substantial amount of bleeding, which can lead to shock.
Treatment of a Broken Pelvis
When a fracture is stable, it may not require surgery. The patient may need to use a walker or crutches and keep weight off the legs until the pelvis heals, which could be several weeks or months. Medication could include painkillers and blood thinners to reduce the risk of blood clots. Surgical treatment may be necessary if a fractured pelvis occurs from a serious bicycle crash.
If there are internal injuries to address – such as bleeding – the surgeon will stabilize the pelvis in a way he or she can access other areas of the body that need care, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). This is done with an external fixator. The surgeon inserts long screws into the bones on both sides that connect to a frame outside the body.
Even after treating other injuries, the external fixator could be adequate enough to aid in the healing of the pelvis, according to the AAOS. Other types of treatment may include inserting plates, pins and/or screws when the fracture is unstable. Another option is traction.
Prognosis of Pelvis Fractures
The prognosis of a broken pelvis depends on the both the fracture and other injuries that may have occurred. Stable fractures generally heal well. But a serious bike accident can lead to a severe fracture that may require extensive recovery.
Even if the surgery is successful for an unstable fracture, recovery can be quite lengthy. Some patients might even experience long-term complications such as impaired mobility and chronic pain.
Damages That May Be Available for a Broken Pelvis
If a motorist caused the bicycle accident, the injured cyclist could file a personal injury claim. It’s important to understand that when injuries are serious, it’s a good idea to have legal representation. This ensures that all losses—financial, physical and emotional—are addressed appropriately.
Damages could include the medical costs incurred, earnings lost while out of work, pain and suffering, disability, emotional distress and more. The nature and extent of one’s injuries will vary, so it’s important to seek legal advice to learn the types of compensation that may be recoverable.
Call D.J. Banovitz at 303-300-5060 if you’re in the Arvada area. Set up a consultation to discuss the details of your accident, liability, as well as your damages.