Pelvic injuries, such as pelvic fractures, can occur in any car accident. Even in a low-impact collision, those with osteoporosis or other bone-weakening conditions may experience a fracture.
Painful pelvic injuries can limit your ability to walk. They may also result in life-threatening complications like internal bleeding.
If you think you’ve suffered a pelvic injury after a car accident, call 911 for emergency medical treatment. Serious pelvic injuries can result in long-term medical treatment and therapy.
What Is a Pelvic Fracture?
The pelvis consists of a major ring and two smaller rings. These smaller rings support and protect internal organs such as the bladder and intestines.
A pelvic fracture can range from mild to severe, and doctors typically base the severity of the injury on its location. For example, a fracture of the major ring constitutes a severe injury, while a fracture of the minor ring is a mild injury. Sometimes, a ring can fracture in multiple locations.
Diagnosing a Pelvic Injury
Doctors may use X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to assess the damage to your pelvis.
Particularly complex cases may require contrasting imaging tests. In these tests, doctors inject the patient with radioactive dye that allows them to better see damage to the internal organs and blood vessels.
Signs and Symptoms of Pelvic Fracture
The most common signs and symptoms of pelvic fracture include pain and discomfort that typically worsens with movement. Other signs of injury include:
- Difficulty with walking or inability to walk at all
- Pain that is not restricted to the pelvis (such as in the abdomen)
- Feeling numb or a tingling sensation below the waist
- Unusual bleeding, such as from the vagina or rectum (this may be a sign of organ damage)
- Trouble urinating
- Discomfort when standing
If you’ve been in a car accident and you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Treatment Options for Pelvic Injuries and Fractures
Your treatment plan will depend on the severity and location of your pelvic injury. This will have a direct impact on your medical expenses and any lost wages you may incur.
For example, a minor fracture may require bed rest and anti-inflammatory medications. Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy and/or prescription pain medications. It can take anywhere from eight to 12 weeks before you’ve healed enough to return to work.
However, a more severe fracture may require orthopedic surgery. Such surgery typically requires the use of internal medical devices, such as pins, screws, and/or plates. Physical therapy may be necessary for you to regain your strength, mobility, and flexibility. Recovery from surgery typically takes longer than recovery from a minor fracture.
How to Seek Compensation for a Pelvic Injury
Some pelvic injuries result in permanent disabilities that may affect your ability to return to work. In that case, your car accident settlement should not only cover your lost wages from days you had to miss work for your medical treatment, but also any lost earning potential.
For example, if you stand on your feet every day as a factory worker, then you may never be able to return to work after a serious pelvic fracture. Your car accident settlement should compensate you appropriately for your loss of your career. An Indiana car accident attorney can help you determine what kind of compensation you can expect from such a severe loss.
In addition to your Indiana car accident claim, you may be eligible to seek compensation through other claims, including:
- Social Security disability claims
- Medical malpractice claims
- Mass tort claims
Seeking Social Security Disability after a Pelvic Injury
Outside of your car accident claim, you may also decide to pursue a Social Security disability claim. Disability benefits exist for those whose disabilities prevent them from returning to work.
Social Security has a list of disabilities it considers severe enough to warrant approval for disability benefits. This is known as the listing of impairments, or Social Security’s blue book.
The listing of impairments includes pelvic fractures. However, your injury has to meet certain criteria, such as an inability to walk for at least 12 months.
An Indiana Social Security disability attorney can help you file for disability if your pelvic injury prevents you from returning to work. Some law firms, such as Hensley Legal Group, can handle both car accident claims and disability claims simultaneously.
Considering a Medical Malpractice Claim after a Pelvic Injury
After suffering a pelvic injury, you should receive quality medical treatment. If a doctor’s actions or lack of action worsens your injury or results in more severe complications, you may have a medical malpractice claim.
Medical malpractice law in Indiana is incredibly complex. An Indiana medical malpractice attorney can take a look at your medical treatment and help you determine if your treatment warrants a medical malpractice claim.
Filing a Mass Tort Claim after a Pelvic Injury
Some pelvic injuries result in an entire hip replacement. However, not all hip replacements are created equal. Currently, certain hip manufacturers are settling claims after recalling dangerous metal-on-metal hip implants.
If you received one of the following hip implants, you may be eligible to join our mass tort lawsuit:
- Stryker Rejuvenate
- DePuy ASR
- DePuy Pinnacle
Mass tort lawsuits group claims against the same manufacturer together to get through the legal process more quickly. Unlike with class action lawsuits, mass tort participants typically have different types of damages and are eligible for different levels of compensation.
For example, one person with a defective hip implant may have had to undergo a second surgery to replace the implant, but they ultimately recovered. Another person, however, may have undergone a second surgery to correct the problem and lost their ability to walk in the process.
In mass tort claims, these participants would receive different levels of compensation depending on the severity of their injuries. The person who lost the ability to walk would receive more than the person who is still able to walk, even if they underwent the same number of surgeries.
Help from Hensley Legal Group
Whether you’re filing a car accident claim, a disability claim, a medical malpractice claim, or a mass tort claim, Hensley Legal Group is here to help those who have suffered from pelvic injuries.
Call our office today at (317) 472-3333, or contact us online for a free conversation about your claim. We’re available 24/7.