Pedestrian Hip Injury

Our Kansas City Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Explain How Crash Victims Can Recover From Hip and Pelvic Injuries

Imagine walking back to your car in a parking lot only to be struck by a passing vehicle. The sudden collision can result in devastating hip and pelvic fractures, leaving victims to face months or years of recovery. Such hip and pelvic injuries can hinder the ability to perform daily routine tasks, impose hefty medical expenses, and prevent someone from returning to work. For those affected, a Kansas City pedestrian accident lawyer can provide the legal assistance needed to fight for fair compensation and secure rightful justice.  

Common Types of Hip and Pelvic Injuries 

As with tibia and fibula injuries, hip and pelvic fractures can also be open or closed. The broken bone does not break through the skin in a closed fracture, but it does break through in an open fracture. Both types of hip and pelvic fractures are common in pedestrian accidents with motor vehicles. The car's hood roughly aligns with a person’s hip, which is often the initial point of contact in a pedestrian crash. The victim may then suffer additional injuries from hitting the ground or even being run over by the car.  

The pelvis consists of several bones. The pelvic girdle, also called the pelvic ring or os coxae, is a very strong structure consisting of the fusion of the ilium, ischium, and pubis. The shield-shaped sacrum is toward the rear at the base of the lumbar vertebrae. Below the sacrum is the coccyx, commonly known as the tailbone. All of these bones are vulnerable to pelvic fractures in traumatic pedestrian accidents. Hip and pelvic injuries, including fractures, vary in severity. Long-term consequences may include disability, chronic pain, and difficulty walking or standing. 

Unstable Pelvic Fracture

The pelvis is one of the strongest bone structures in the human body, but the sudden trauma of being hit by a car can still fracture it. A broken pelvis is a common injury in motorcycle accidents and pedestrian accidents because victims are not protected by the metal frame of a vehicle. 

An unstable fracture typically consists of two more breaks in the pelvic girdle. The broken bones no longer align correctly, and a gap between the bones forms a displaced fracture. Fractures may be partial or complete. Unstable fractures are common in high-energy events, like when a pedestrian is struck by a car. 

Victims may go into shock and pass out from severe radiating pain. Other consequences may include internal bleeding and organ damage. Unstable pelvic fractures often need surgery and have long recovery times with complex treatment plans. 

Stable Pelvic Fracture

While not as severe as the unstable type, stable pelvic fractures are also serious injuries. Along with pedestrian accidents, stable pelvic fractures are also common among slip and fall accident victims. The bone or bones may be completely or partially broken, but they do not become misaligned. The main structure of the pelvic ring or pelvic spine remains intact.

A person who suffers a stable pelvic fracture may experience intense pain when they try to walk. Symptoms also include swelling, bruising, numbness, and a tingling sensation. Victims may have painful bowel movements and notice blood in their urine. Stable pelvic fractures may include stress fractures, which are small cracks in the bone. 

Crushed Pelvis

One of the most devastating injuries from a pedestrian accident is a crushed pelvis. Rather than having two or more small cracks in the bone, a crushed pelvis refers to the shattering of the bones in the pelvis. The pelvic bones are broken into many pieces. It is very difficult to recover fully from this type of injury. Victims may require years of rehabilitation and treatment, and even then, they may not return to a pre-accident level of mobility and comfort.

A crushed pelvis is not a typical car accident injury because drivers and passengers are usually protected by the vehicle’s frame during a crash. A pedestrian isn’t afforded the same level of protection and may sustain a crushed pelvis when struck by a fast-moving vehicle.

Pelvic Avulsion Fracture

Whereas the other types of pelvic injuries described above involve a direct breaking of the bone, a different mechanism causes pelvic avulsion fractures. With these types of injuries, the tendon pulls away from the bone. In doing so, it takes a small piece of the bone with it, resulting in a broken pelvic bone. Pelvic avulsion fractures are more common as sports injuries but can also occur when a car crashes into a pedestrian. 

Hip Fracture

The pelvis isn’t the only group of bones susceptible to injury in pedestrian and bicycle accidents. Also, at about the same level as a passenger car’s hood, the hip may sustain serious injuries in a pedestrian collision. The two most common locations for hip fractures are at the femoral neck and the intertrochanteric region.

The femoral neck is at the upper portion of the femur (thigh bone), just below the “ball” of the hip’s ball-and-socket joint. The intertrochanteric region is also in the upper femur. It is in the portion of the femur bone that juts outward from the hip joint. Fractures may be partial or complete, and victims may suffer multiple cracks in the bone.

Surgery may involve inserting pins and screws or even a total hip replacement. Victims often need physical therapy and medication to rehabilitate after a severe hip injury. Older adults may have a harder time healing and recovering than younger adults. 

Related Nerve Injuries

Many pelvic and hip injuries from pedestrian accidents involve broken bones. Others may involve soft tissue damage to muscles, tendons, and connective tissue. Victims may experience swelling, bruising, and painful movement. Another cause for concern is the possibility of nerve damage.

The sudden blunt force trauma from a moving car or truck can crush a nerve in the hip and pelvic region. Victims may suffer pinches or severed nerves, resulting in pain, numbness, infection, and motor deficits. They may have trouble feeling or moving, even experiencing complete paralysis in some cases. 

Vital Steps to Take if You’re Hurt in a Pedestrian Accident

You may feel dazed and in shock after you’ve been struck by a vehicle. One of the first things you need to do after a pedestrian accident is to try and remain calm. It is a traumatic experience, and understandably, you may feel on edge. After you’ve gathered yourself, take these steps to secure your safety and protect your legal rights.

  1. Call 911. Report the accident to the police and request emergency medical attention. Paramedics can tend to your injuries and recommend the next steps.
  2. Get the other driver’s information. Note their full name, driver’s license number, make and model of the vehicle, insurance information, and license plate.
  3. Gather evidence. If you can, take photos of the accident scene, noting relevant traffic signs, traffic conditions, weather conditions, vehicle damage, and the extent of your injuries. 
  4. Seek ongoing medical care. Visit the hospital or your doctor for X-rays and other medical imaging to fully assess your injuries and explore treatment options.
  5. Collect documentation. Keep copies of all medical bills, police reports, medical test results, pay stubs for lost wages, repair bills for damaged property, and other relevant documents.
  6. Hire a lawyer. Consult with a Kansas City pedestrian accident lawyer with specific experience in these types of personal injury cases. Ask about your legal options.

Possible Damages to Recover in a Personal Injury Claim

The settlement amount you may receive from your pedestrian accident claim must account for both current losses and potential future expenses. Some of the types of damages awarded in personal injury cases include: 

  • Current medical bills and expenses, like hospital visits and emergency surgery
  • Expected future medical costs, like physical therapy and mobility aids
  • Lost wages and reduced future earnings and benefits
  • Pain and suffering, both physically and emotionally
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Punitive damages

Hip and pelvic injuries can have a long-term impact on a victim’s daily living. Chronic pain and reduced mobility may become a part of their daily experience. They may struggle to return to work and suffer from reduced earning potential. It’s critical to consult with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney to fully assess the extent of recoverable damages. 

When to Contact a Kansas City Injury Attorney

Navigating a personal injury claim in Kansas City is a complicated affair. Insurance companies will actively do what they can to reduce liability and minimize payouts. A specialized personal injury lawyer can advocate for your legal rights to fair compensation for your injuries. 

Medical bills and lifelong consequences relating to a pedestrian accident can be substantial. Hip and pelvic injuries, like crushed pelvises and hip fractures, require significant treatment and rehabilitation. If you’ve been hurt due to the negligence or intentional action of a driver, you have a rightful claim to seek justice.

Foster Wallace has a proven track record of success. We represented one client who was struck when a driver lost control of their vehicle on ice. The insurance company initially offered only $5,000 in settlement. With expert testimony about future medical treatment, the case ultimately settled for the policy limit of $100,000. If you’ve suffered a pelvic or hip injury as a pedestrian, call Foster Wallace to fight for your legal rights. 

Michael Foster
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Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney