Catastrophic injuries are not exactly rare in car accidents in the U.S. If you are in a collision, you may expect to suffer broken bones, organ damage or a traumatic brain injury. Your child passenger may fair far worse.
Children have growth plates throughout their bodies. These areas of new bone growth and connective tissues allow children to increase in size as they age. If a car accident causes damage to one of your child’s growth plates, he or she may be in for a lifetime of health-related complications.
The severity of the injury
Growth plates with hairline fractures or other minor damage may heal just fine. If a car accident causes your child’s growth plates to shatter or disintegrate, though, the young one in your family may need at least one surgery. Even worse, severe growth plate injuries often lead to uncorrectable limb deformities.
The location of the injury
Some growth plates heal better than others. Growth plates in fingers, wrists and shoulders fall into this category. If your child has damage to knee growth plates, however, he or she may end up with legs of different lengths. Injured ankle growth plates may also cause your child to walk irregularly throughout adulthood.
Your child’s age
Your child’s prognosis may depend on his or her age at the time of the growth plate injury. Because younger children have significantly more growing to do, a growth plate injury may be catastrophic. That is, as your child grows, his or her limbs may grow inconsistently. While older children are not entirely out of the woods, they usually have a better chance of recovering from a growth plate injury with few side effects.
Even though treating a serious growth plate injury can be expensive, you simply cannot leave your child’s future to chance. Fortunately, to help you pay mounting medical bills, you may be able to pursue financial compensation from the driver who caused the accident.