Pelvic Fractures from Car Accidents

Pelvic fractures are one of the least common fractures or broken bones among humans. However, any type of car accident creates a tremendous amount of force, and the impact on drivers and passengers can be severe. Since the human body is not built to sustain this type of force, weight and impact, broken pelvic bones and fractures can easily happen to individuals  involved in serious car accidents. When a person  experiences a pelvic fracture, it can cause severe pain and suffering, alter their lives for many years after the accident, and require several surgeries as well as physical therapy to heal.

How do pelvic fractures occur in car accidents?

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “it is estimated that pelvic fractures occur in 37 out of 100,000 individuals per year.” While uncommon, these injuries are very serious and can lead to long-term and permanent disability for the rest of a person’s life. Here are some of the most common causes of pelvic fractures in car accidents:

  • Side-impact crashes: A study published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains that the pelvis is one of the most common areas of the body to experience injury in a side-impact crash. A side-impact crash, also referred to as a T-bone accident, is when a vehicle slams into the side of your vehicle, causing severe injuries to the individual’s lower abdomen and pelvic area. When a side-impact accident occurs on the driver’s side, the driver will likely experience injuries such as a broken pelvic bone, broken ribs, lung punctures, internal bleeding and more.
  • Head-on crashes: Head-on crashes are known to be one of the most dangerous types of accidents. The reason for this is because the front of one vehicle smashes into the front of another vehicle, and one or both vehicles are typically traveling at high speeds. As a result, catastrophic injuries, which include pelvic fractures, frequently occur due to experiencing impact from the steering wheel, dashboard, and other hard objects to the pelvic region.
  • Seat belts: Seat belts are very important when driving or riding in a motor vehicle because they help keep you safe, ensure that you remain in place, and protect you from certain injuries in a car accident. However, during a collision, your seat belt can put stress and pressure on your pelvic area, resulting in a serious pelvic fracture.
  • Flying debris and airbags: When a car accident occurs, airbags usually deploy, and other debris may go flying within the vehicle. Airbags are full of air and deploy very fast to ensure that you remain in place. While most people think of airbags as large pillows, these devices actually release a lot of pressure at a very fast rate, which can break your pelvic bone instantly. In addition, flying debris may be hard and sharp objects that have become loose within the vehicle or have entered through the glass windows or windshield, causing injuries to your pelvic region.

Symptoms of a pelvic fracture

An individual may be diagnosed with a pelvic fracture if they have a broken bone in their pelvic area. The pelvic region is located directly below your abdominal area and within your hip bones. It is made up of a few main bones, which include the coccyx, sacrum, pubis, ilium, and ischium. The following are the symptoms you may experience if you have a pelvic fracture:

  • Pain in the lower back, abdomen, or hips
  • Problems walking or moving around
  • Numbness or tingling feelings in the legs
  • Inability to urinate
  • Difficulty standing

While it is beneficial to know and be aware of the possible symptoms that you may experience with a pelvic fracture, it is crucial that you seek medical treatment as quickly as possible if you have been involved in any type of car accident. Your doctor will assess your pelvic region and run tests to determine if you have a fracture or even a breakage in the area.

What type of complications do people with pelvic fractures experience?

Mild pelvic fractures have the ability to heal on their own with lots of rest and relaxation. However, if you have a severe pelvic fracture, you will likely need to undergo multiple surgeries, attend physical therapy appointments routinely, and relearn how to carry out your daily activities and tasks again. When a person is diagnosed with a severe pelvic fracture, they are at risk of experiencing several different types of complications, such as:

  • Permanent nerve damage
  • Internal organ damage or failure
  • Internal bleeding
  • Damage to the blood vessels in the pelvic area
  • Infections
  • Chronic and excruciating pain
  • Inability to walk or move around like before the injury
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Blood clots

Are men or women more likely to suffer pelvic fractures?

A recent study pointed out that pelvic fractures in young people are more common among men. However, in older age groups, women are more likely to suffer pelvic fractures. The study also explained that women usually suffer less severe pelvic fractures, resulting in less complications and fatalities. However, men who suffer pelvic fractures typically have more severe symptoms and complications, causing them to need various surgeries. While anyone at any age can experience a pelvic fracture, the most common ages for these types of injuries are “between the ages of 15 and 28 years.”

No matter how carefully and cautiously you drive, car accidents can be completely out of your control. If you have been involved in a car collision and need immediate legal assistance, please reach out to the car accident lawyers at Glisson Law at your earliest opportunity. We know and understand that you are going through a tough and complicated time right now, which is why we are dedicated to holding the responsible parties accountable for their negligent behaviors and ensuring that you receive the compensation you need to rebuild your life again. While our team’s home office is Alton, we also proudly serve clients in Belleville, Edwardsville, St. Clair and Madison Counties, all of Illinois and Missouri. Contact us to get started on your claim today.