Because they stick out marginally from your chest, your collarbones are vulnerable to fractures during a car accident. Among adults, collarbone breaks account for roughly 5% of all fractures doctors treat in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Collarbone fractures are usually minor injuries, despite often being excruciatingly painful. Still, like with any broken bone, it is critical to obtain emergency medical treatment for your broken collarbone. After all, your injury might have some potentially serious complications.
One of the most prominent dangers of a broken collarbone comes from internal bleeding. While rare, pieces of your collarbone can pierce major veins and arteries. If that happens, you might have life-threatening internal bleeding that doctors must address immediately.
When you are in the emergency room, doctors should x-ray your injury and possibly even set the bone in place. This is important, as it allows your collarbone to heal correctly. If you forego a hospital visit, your collarbone can heal incompletely or incorrectly, possibly leaving you with a permanent and unsightly lump or valley.
Post-traumatic arthritis is one of the more common types of arthritis. With it, you have pain, swelling and stiffness in parts of your body that have previously healed following trauma. Ensuring your broken collarbone heals properly is one of the more effective ways to reduce your risk of developing post-traumatic arthritis later in life.
Ultimately, even though it is usually expensive to go to the emergency room for medical care, you might have grounds to pursue significant financial compensation.