Learn important factors affecting hip injury settlements
A car accident involves a high level of trauma to the body. Hip injuries and hip pain are common after many car accidents because of the violent forces involved in the impact.
The purpose of this article is to offer an overview of hip injuries that occur after car accidents, as well as the types of settlements one can expect from hip injuries and hip fractures due to accidents.
Hip Pain Symptoms After an Accident
The hip is a complex joint that can be severely damaged in a car accident. The joint contains a relatively low amount of fluids. If trauma strikes the hip joint in an accident, the space in the joint may be filled with pus or blood, and can lead to the hip capsule being damaged. This leads to pain. The hips also carry much of the weight of the human body. After a car accident, injuries to the hip can cause many symptoms as you go about your daily activities. Some of the common symptoms of hip pain after car accidents include:
- Pain in the groin, back or legs
- Pinched nerves causing lower back pain
- Throbbing pain in the knee and/or upper legs
A car accident also can cause hip dislocation, hip fracture and stress fracture, all of which are very painful. If you have been in an accident and are experiencing any of these hip pain symptoms, it is important to be treated by a medical professional as soon as possible. But remember that hip pain may not show up right away after the accident. Be on alert for any of these symptoms manifesting in the first hours or days after the car accident.
Common Hip Injuries After Car Accidents
Thousands of serious car accidents happen every year. Many of them lead to serious hip injuries. If you suffer a hip injury in a car accident caused by another person, you could be entitled to financial compensation. Most hip injuries from car crashes are painful and can be very expensive to treat. Treatment for some hip injuries can include surgery and hip replacement can be needed. Long term rehabilitation can take a great deal of recovery time and can result in loss of income. Some of the most common hip injuries during car accidents are:
This is a break of the bone in your hip socket. This is a very serious and painful condition that is common in high speed car accidents.
The hip injury can cause inflammation of the bursae surrounding the hip joint. Some of the symptoms of this hip injury are tenderness, loss of hip movement and swelling.
Hip fractures are extremely common in severe car accidents, and are worth examining in detail.
This is a fracture of the hip joint itself that can be caused by the knee smashing into the dashboard, or a T-bone accident causing a high force impact to the side of the hip. Note that the hip has three major sections: the ilium, the pubis and the ischium. Fractures can happen in any of these bones. Any fracture to the hip bone also is considered a fractured pelvis, as this bone is part of your pelvic bones.
During a front-end collision, the impact force will push your leg into the hip joint. This can break not just the hip joint but also may cause the joint to dislocate. The force of the car accident may also cause the head of the femur to slam into the acetabulum and break the bone.
After the car crash impact, you will probably be in extreme pain from a hip fracture. The blunt force trauma usually damages bones and the soft tissues that are full of sensitive nerve endings. You also will probably notice you cannot move the hip at all without agonizing pain. Attempting to put any weight on the hip will also result in a lot of pain. A fractured him may also cause skin bruising and swelling. You also may notice one leg is shorter than the other.
Depending upon the severity of the hip fracture, your doctor may prescribe you drugs to reduce pain and inflammation first. Also, you may use a walker or a pair of crutches to give the joint time to heal. This will help you to retain movement and keep weight off the region.
Surgery may be required if your hip injury from a car accident is extensive, such as an open hip fracture or the injury leads to severe body instability. Physical therapy may also be needed to prevent the joint from becoming immobile during the healing process.
Some hip fractures will require the implanting of screws, rods or metal components to fix the fracture. Others may not need surgery, and can be treated with physical therapy, drugs and activity modification.
A high-speed car crash can dislocate the entire joint. This is a very traumatic injury that needs immediate medical care. People who suffer a hip dislocation will know right away because they will feel it pop out of place. It is likely that standing, or walking will be almost impossible.
This injury can cause hip pain after a car accident. It usually is due to overuse or repetitive motion, but it can occur in an accident, as well. Any hip injury in a car accident can affect the tendons and ligaments in the hip joint. This type of hip strain or sprain is very common after accidents. While they are far less severe than hip dislocation or hip fracture, the injury still can be very painful. Common treatments for this condition include anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, modifying activities and steroid injections.
With proper medical attention and enough time, many hip injuries caused by car accidents can partially or entirely heal. However, a serious complication of a car accident hip injury is traumatic arthritis. In some accident cases, traumatic arthritis can cause a lot of hip pain and poor function of the joint. This could necessitate a total hip replacement, which requires months of recovery.
Hip Injury Liability
Hip problems from car accidents can cause serious mobility problems for patients, depending upon their job and activity level. If, for example, your job requires you to walk a lot in a warehouse, a major hip injury from a car accident will prevent you from doing your job for months in some cases. These financial losses add up, and if the accident was caused by another person, you may file a personal injury lawsuit for your hip injury damages.
If the other driver is responsible for your hip injuries, you may be able to recover compensation that includes:
- Medical expenses that are needed to treat hip pain or to fix the hip injury
- Future medical costs that will be needed to give care to treat the hip problem
- Any lost earnings in the past, present or future related to recovering from the hip injury
- Any loss of earning ability that is related to pain and/or lack of mobility related to the car accident hip injury
Hip Injury Car Accident Settlement
How much a hip fracture is worth in a personal injury settlement depends on several things. First, it is important to get a firm idea of what your extent of pain and suffering is worth. Hip fractures and/or displacements are very serious injuries. They take a long time to get better. If the hip injury requires major surgery or even a hip replacement, you will probably get more compensation than for a less severe hip injury. This is because more medical bills, lost earnings and additional pain and suffering will add up to be much more in the end.
The court or insurance company also must consider what you go through in the healing process and the potential disability you could suffer temporarily or permanently from the damaged joint. If your hip joint is permanently damaged, the potential settlement easily can run into the millions of dollars.
To get a better idea of the amount of compensation you could receive, talk to an experienced hip injury car accident attorney in your area. The attorney will probably have experience in hip fractures or displacements like yours. They can look up recent settlements and verdicts for similar hip injuries in your geographic area.
Hip Injury Conclusion
Many hip injuries from major car accidents are serious injuries. If the injury is a fracture or dislocation, it can take many months to heal. Medical care and recovery will get very expensive and easily can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, and even more if major surgery is needed. Many accident victims will rely upon their own health insurance policy to pay for their medical costs. But in these types of major injuries, your personal healthcare benefits could become exhausted quickly.
It is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney in a hip injury case, if the accident was caused by another person. A personal injury attorney can assist you with filing a personal injury lawsuit or claim, and can provide a good idea of the type of compensation you could be entitled to.
Frequently Asked Questions
My hip hurts after car accident – should I see a doctor?
The short answer is, yes. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, the injuries can take days to show symptoms, and in some cases may even get worse as time passes, especially if necessary treatment options are overlooked.
Common hip injuries that occur in auto accidents are fractures, dislocations, and sprains/strains. While sprains and strains are often minor enough that they’ll heal on their own with time, a fractured or dislocated hip will definitely require medical attention. The hip is a very large, very important part of the body, and any pain you may have there after an accident should be taken very seriously.
How much should I expect from a car accident hip injury settlement?
If you have been involved in a personal injury case with a hip fracture or injury, it is common to wonder what the settlement amount could be. The dollar amount depends upon the facts of the case, but there are some common factors to think about:
- Medical evidence of injury. As with any injury, the medical evidence provided to the court or insurance company is important. If you have a hip fracture, a radiologist will take x-rays that should show the extent of injury. It is difficult to argue against the evidence shown in a black and white image that shows a bone fracture. A fracture is a ‘hard’ injury that is obvious to the eye, unlike some ‘soft’ injuries involving muscle and tissue.
- How each party values the case. This means how much the estimate is that each side of the case comes up with that the jury would theoretically award if the case went to trial. There also is a question of how much each side would agree to in order to settle the case before a trial.
- What the plaintiff’s damages are. Some damages including medical bills and lost earnings, are easy to determine. But pain and suffering is a subjective number. There are various ways to calculate pain and suffering that each side of the case may use. A person who was very active and fit may have a higher pain and suffering number than a sedentary person.
- Likelihood the defendant is liable. If there is strong evidence the defendant is liable for the hip injury, the defendant may be willing to offer more money to settle.
What is the average settlement for car accident hip injury claims?
It is impossible to say what the typical settlement amount is for a hip injury claim. Each case is very different. A lot of it will come down to how serious the injury was, how much the medical bills are, and your level of pain and suffering. Regardless of how serious the injury is, it is important for you to have complete medical documentation of the accident injury by your doctor. This will ensure that you are able to get the maximum amount of money for your injury.
Keep in mind that many insurance companies may well believe you should get a full pay out up to the policy limits, but unless you threaten a lawsuit, they may offer you a much smaller settlement.
Your personal injury attorney has access to similar settlements and verdicts in your area and may be able to give you a rough idea of what a fair settlement for a hip injury would be.
Is it common to experience hip bursitis after a car accident?
After a car accident, it is common to have inflammation and swelling in the hip joint. This can cause loss of range of motion and muscle weakness from pain. This could be bursitis. It is inflammation and irritation of the bursa sacs that are between the bones, muscles and tendons that reduce friction in the joint area. Bursitis can happen in any of the bursa sacs in the body; there are 160 total. But most of them are in the hips, knees, shoulders and elbows.
Bursitis is often caused by repetitive movements, such as running. But it also can be caused by a sudden injury or impact to the hip. If you are experiencing hip pain after a car accident and it is not going away, you should be evaluated by a medical professional immediately.
Hip pain after a rear end collision – is it normal?
After a rear end crash, it is possible to have several hip injuries that can cause pain and discomfort. These are:
- Dislocated hip: A hip location can be caused in a rear end crash by the knee hitting the dashboard. You would feel the hip pop out of place in this circumstance. Walking or standing would be very painful.
- Hip fracture: A forceful rear end collision can cause a break in the head of the femur and/or the pelvic acetabulum. Surgery could be required, or physical therapy and pain medications in less serious injuries.
- Strain or sprain: Hip muscle strains and ligament sprains are very common after a rear end crash. You could experience pain, swelling, inflammation and poor range of motion. Medical attention will be required.
All of these serious hip injuries should be examined by a medical professional immediately. If you have any hip pain after an accident, make sure you are taken to a hospital as soon as you can.
Can you have pelvic misalignment after a car accident?
Many car accidents involve high speed and tremendous forces that can cause serious injury to the hips and lower body. It is certainly possible for your pelvis to be misaligned or otherwise injured after a serious car accident. This is especially common when the knee or knees slam into the dashboard. The tremendous forces are transmitted to the pelvic region and can cause misalignment and fracture.
If you have any hip pain or pelvic pain after a car accident, go to the emergency room immediately to be evaluated by a doctor.
How long does it take to recover from a hip injury after an auto accident?
Recovery time from a hip injury can range from a few days to a lifetime, depending on the severity of injury, type of injury, and individual factors such as age and fitness level. On the milder end of car accident induced hip injuries is bruising, muscle strains & pulls, and hip bursitis. Usually these injuries will go away on their own in a few days, maybe a few weeks for more serious instances. Treatment to speed up the healing process for this type of hip injury include ice, rest, massage, and sometimes physical therapy.
On the more severe end of hip injuries caused by a car accident we start to see hip fractures, dislocations, and serious breaks. These can be debilitating and sometimes disabling, causing a lifetime of pain, suffering, surgery and lengthy recovery times. In some cases of serious hip injuries, hip replacement surgery may be necessary since the bone is so big and such an important part of day to day activity.