When a pedestrian is hit by a car or truck, the hip is frequently broken. The mechanism is injury is that the femur or parts of the pelvis break when they the pedestrian hits the ground.
The Anatomy of the Hip
In order to fully understand the injury, it is important to understand the anatomy. First we have the pelvis, which is made up of a number of bones including the ilium, ischium, pubis, sacrum and coccyx. The bottom part of the ilium is a cup, which is called the acetabulum. The head of the femur or thigh bone fits into the acetabulum and that is the the hip proper.
In pedestrian accidents we can see fractures of the shaft the femur, the head, neck or greater trochanter. The location and severity of the fracture will dictate the nature and extent of the treatment provided to the patient.
Treatment of Pelvis and Hip Fractures
Typically fractures of the pubis, ilium and ischium are treated with bed rest and watchful waiting. Occasionally, if the bone is broken into a number of pieces (comminuted fracture) or if the fracture is unstable, pinning may be required. Fractures of the greater trochanter and proximal shaft of the femur are typically pinned. A number of head and neck fractures require the hip to be replaced. Part of the problem has to do with the bone supply to the head and neck. Some fractures can injure the blood supply to that area causing a problem called “avascular necrosis”, which actually causes some death of the bone and collapse or deformity of the femoral head. If the femoral head changes shape or collapses, the hip can be quite painful and the patient loses function, which requires arthroplasty (hip replacement).
Damages available after a hip injury/fracture
The elements of damages that may be available to a person who is hit by a car and breaks their hip, can include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental pain and suffering
- Loss of the quality of enjoyment of life
- Lost wages
- The loss of the ability to earn money in the future
- Past medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
Getting your medical bills paid after fracturing your hip
If you were hit by a motor vehicle as a pedestrian, your first layer of coverage may be medical payments through your auto insurance policy. Whether you are entitled to this type of coverage depends on whether you purchased the benefit and the actual language in the contract. If your medical expenses exceed the coverage under your auto insurance or if you are not entitled to coverage under your auto policy, the next layer of coverage will be your health insurance. If you do not have commercial health insurance but you have Medicare or Medicaid, these governmental programs will pay your expenses.
Why you should hire an Indiana attorney after a hip fracture
First, your lawyer will go out and get together the important evidence that will be needed to prove your claim. Second, he or she will be an advocate for you with your health care providers and insurance companies. Often folks injured in pedestrian accidents need an intermediary to make sure the insurance companies do not side step their responsibility and refuse to pay the medical bills related the injury. Finally, another benefit of having a lawyer on your side, is he should be able to prevent collection agents and bill collectors from harassing you so you can put your time and energy into recovering from your injuries. Some people spend a lifetime working to get a good credit rating that they don't want ruined because another person was busy texting instead of watching where they were going when driving.
Pejic & DiMartino, PC 1000 Washington Street Michigan City, Indiana 46360
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