Car crashes can cause serious injuries even at lower speeds. A broken bone is a painful traumatic injury, but it may not seem very severe in comparison to some of the worst injuries possible, like an amputation.
Fractures typically heal with appropriate medical support and, therefore, someone with a broken bone caused by a car crash might potentially underestimate the medical and financial impact of their injury. Even though every driver in Texas is required to carry insurance that provides at least $30,000 of bodily injury coverage, an individual with a broken bone could potentially find that such coverage is not adequate to cover the cost of their fracture.
Why would a broken bone cost more than $30,000?
There are several reasons why the costs generated by a fracture might exceed the available insurance, especially when a driver only carries the coverage required by Texas state law. The first explanation is that the fracture itself is particularly bad.
Those who suffer a comminuted fracture where the bone breaks into multiple pieces or a compound fracture where the bone exits the skin will likely require surgery to set the bone and minimize the risk of severe infection. A person with a broken bone may require a few days in the hospital to recover.
Even if an inpatient stay is not necessary in their case, someone will likely still have to undergo physical therapy when they finally fully heal and the cast comes off, as muscles will atrophy over the recovery period.
A simple broken bone could for someone to take a minimum of six weeks off of work while the bone knits. More severe fractures may require a more lengthy leave of absence, especially if someone works in a physically-demanding profession like manufacturing or construction.
The coverage available for bodily injury losses has to pay for not just someone’s hospital bills but also their lost wages. The combination of both sets of expenses can very easily exceed what insurance another driver provides, especially when their policies offer relatively low coverage amounts.
Sometimes, people with relatively straightforward injuries, like broken bones, make the mistake of assuming that they won’t need a significant insurance payout. They may end up pressured into accepting a low settlement or failing to get the compensation they deserve. Understanding why even seemingly simple injuries can prove to be very expensive can help those who are trying to limit the financial and practical consequences of a recent motor vehicle collision.