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Broken and Fractured Bones in a Car Accident

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One of the leading causes of broken bones is involvement in a car accident, simply because during collision your body absorbs a tremendous amount of impact. Your bones absorb that impact, and if the amount of force is too much for your bone to absorb and redistribute, then it breaks.  

What is the Difference Between a Break and a Fracture? 

There is no difference between a broken bone and a fractured bone. Any time a bone loses integrity- whether it’s a small crack or the bone is completely snapped- the bone is considered fractured or broken.  

What Bones Can You Break in a Car Accident? 

Depending on the type of accident, the type and force of the impact, and your position in the car, you can break any bone in your body. However, some broken bones are more common in car accidents than others. The most common broken bones are:  

  • Tibia and Fibula (the bones in your lower leg) 
  • Femur (the bone in your upper leg and thigh) 
  • Radius and Ulna (the bones in your lower arm) 
  • Wrist 
  • Clavicle (collarbones) 
  • Hips 
  • Ribs 
  • Any bones in your skull/ face 
  • Spine 
  • Neck 

How are Bones Broken in a Car Accident? 

Because of the way your body absorbs the impact of the collision, there are many ways you can break bones during an accident.  

  • Being thrown forward or backward in the car  
  • Hitting objects in the car with force (such as the dashboard, steering wheel, or windshield) 
  • Being thrown out of the car and the impact with the ground 
  • Compression during the collision 
  • Being hit with any external objects, such as loose items in the car 
  • Bending or twisting your limbs in abnormal or unusual ways during the crash 

What Happens Immediately After A Bone Breaks? 

After being in a car crash, you will likely know that you have a broken or fractured bone right away. One of the hallmarks of a broken bone is intense amounts of pain in a localized area. Along with severe pain, here are some signs that you may have a broken bone: 

  • Pain that worsens when you move or touch the area 
  • Inability to bear weight or put pressure on the area 
  • Redness, swelling, bruising/ discoloration, and tenderness 
  • Visible bone exposure if the bone breaks the skin 
  • Visible bone deformity, such as your limb bending the wrong way 

If you are involved in a serious accident, you may have more than one break.  

What Do You Do If You Break a Bone in a Car Accident? 

You should always seek medical attention after being in a collision, even if you don’t think you are injured. During a car crash, your body produces a massive surge of adrenaline which can keep you from feeling any pain or injuries you might have sustained – even serious ones like broken bones.  

Are Broken Bones an Emergency? 

If you think you have a broken bone or fracture after an accident, it’s even more important to go to a hospital because fractured or broken bones won’t heal properly without medical intervention. The first thing your doctor will do is take an x-ray to identify the type and severity of fracture and where it’s located. From there, they’ll determine your best treatment options.  

The average healing time for a broken bone is 6-8 weeks, depending on the severity of the break and which bone was affected. During that time, you’ll have to limit your movement of that body part, as well as adjust to temporarily having limited mobility. You may need to take time off of work as well as get assistance with daily chores and activities, because the affected bone needs to remain completely immobile and stabilized.  

Hospitals Near You 

Depending on where you are in the Valley, here’s a list of some hospitals that may be close to you.  


Chandler Regional Medical Center 

Mercy Gilbert Medical Center 

Arizona General Medical Center 

North Phoenix 

Deer Valley Medical Center 

John C. Lincoln Medical Center 

Abrazo Arrowhead Campus 

Get Help Now

At Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you, we have more than 10 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries, including broken bones. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our nearby Chandler office.

If you have suffered from broken bones, contact Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you in Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in your area including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Maricopa, Globe, and Queen Creek.