Dislocated joints are quite common in bicycle accidents. While they might seem like a minor injury that can quickly be remedied by putting the joint back in place, the truth is that joint dislocations can cause lasting repercussions—and the damage is sometimes permanent. If someone else is at fault in your bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
Signs of Joint Dislocation
Joints are connection points between two bones. When one or more of the bones is forced out of its normal place in relation to the bone it’s connected to, we refer to that as joint dislocation. This usually happens when a blunt force impact pushes the bone out of place, and it involves stretching or snapping of the ligament that connects the two bones.
A person with a joint dislocation will experience intense pain, swelling, and inability to move the area around the dislocated joint. On some occasions, the bone may quickly pop back into place. At other times, a physician may have to move the bone back into the joint.
Shoulder dislocations are most common in bicycle accidents, but dislocations in the fingers, knees, elbows, ankles, and even hips are also frequent. You can often (but not always) identify a dislocated joint when the joint looks visibly deformed or out of place. Other signs of dislocation include intense pain, swelling, discoloration around the joint, or an inability to move the limb affected.
How Joint Dislocations Happen in Bicycle Accidents
Joint dislocations in bicycle accidents are usually caused by direct impact to the joint which blasts the bones out of their usual position. They can also happen in the arms and shoulders when a bicyclist puts their arm out to break their fall—or in the legs or hips when the cyclist hits the ground in an awkward way.
What to Do If You Suffer a Joint Dislocation in a Bike Crash
If you suspect you’ve got a joint dislocation, seek medical attention as soon as possible to reduce the possibility of permanent damage to the joint. Don’t try to put the joint back in place yourself as you may cause more damage, and don’t assume you’re okay if the joint automatically pops back into place—if the joint was dislocated, you’ve likely experienced some tissue damage. Seek help from a physician to put the joint back into its correct position and evaluate any damage that may have occurred.
You Can Recover Damages If Someone Else’s Negligence Caused Your Injury
A dislocated joint is considered an injury even if the joint pops back into place. As such, if you experience a joint dislocation in a bicycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you should be able to file a personal injury claim to be compensated for the cost of your recovery. Your possible compensation may include:
- Medical expenses. This may include treatment for both the joint dislocation and any additional injury or trauma you experienced.
- Cost of additional care and treatment. This may include physical therapy and any costs incurred by hiring help while you are immobilized, as well as any ongoing treatments or therapies if permanent damage occurs.
- Lost wages. If your injury keeps you from working, even temporarily, you are eligible for compensation for the loss of income.
- Pain and suffering. In addition to medical costs, this can help make up for the physical pain and mental anguish caused by your injury.
How a Lawyer Can Help You
If you’ve suffered a joint dislocation, it’s important to talk with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, you could still experience complications that limit your mobility and lessen your quality of life.
A good attorney can explain your legal rights, review the details of your case, and help you recover the full amount of damages to which you’re entitled. The legal team at Max Meyers Law has extensive experience with bicycle injury accidents in the State of Washington. Contact our offices to schedule a free consultation.