A Clavicle Fracture Doesn’t Feel “Minor.” Get the Facts on This Common Crash Injury

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law

You know that your car accident could have been much worse. You’re trying to look on the bright side—after all, you’re alive, and mostly uninjured—but your fractured collarbone doesn’t feel like a “lucky escape.” It hurts. It hurts to move, when you sleep, and even when you turn your head. 

A clavicle fracture is a common injury after a crash. The seat belt that saved your life by holding you in place likely snapped with such force that your clavicle simply buckled. Many doctors consider such an injury “minor” because they are comparing it to everything that could have happened in the accident. But in reality, a collarbone break is a painful and debilitating injury that can keep you out of work for several weeks. 

Victims can experience a range of side effects from a clavicle fracture, including:

  • Bruising. Constriction of the lap and shoulder belt will often cause painful bruising from the neck all the way across the chest and hips.
  • Swelling. There will likely be swelling or tenderness around the site of the break.
  • Bone shifting. Victims may hear grinding or cracking noises in their shoulder when they move their arm for the first few weeks.
  • Lack of mobility. Doctors will often recommend keeping the arm restrained in a sling, preventing you from using the entire arm and hand as the clavicle heals.
  • Nerve injury. If your collarbone broke in several places, the bone fragments may tear through nerves in the shoulder, causing numbness or paralysis in the hand and fingers.
  • Deformation. If the collarbone does not knit back together properly, one side may be shorter than the other, and there may be a visible lump under the skin.
  • Bone infection. In cases where a broken bone pokes through the skin, victims may suffer severe infection that results in gangrene or even amputation.

If you have been living with a collarbone fracture, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills and time off work. The Louisville car accident attorneys at Gray and White would be happy to advise you on your legal options at no cost to you. Call us today at (800) 634-8767 or fill out the contact form on the top of this page to set up your FREE, one-on-one consultation.