Shoulder dislocations in bicycle accidents ordinarily occur when a cyclist tries to break a fall with his or her arms and hands. The end of the humerus closest to the collarbone is forcefully dislocated from the shoulder socket. The bone needs to be immediately and professionally returned to its original position.
An elbow can become dislocated too when a cyclist tries to break a fall. The elbow is a complicated hinge joint, and when it’s dislocated, urgent care and reduction are necessary. The joint might be put back into place without surgery by a physician who makes a quick movement with the forearm. If bones and/or ligaments are injured, surgery is probably in order for purposes of restoring, alignment, range of motion and function. The arm will then be immobilized. After immobilization, physical therapy on the arm will then start.
A finger dislocation can be fairly obvious. It will be crooked, immediately swollen and pointed in an unnatural direction. Again, a person should see a health care professional at once, especially if the dislocation involves a thumb.
Hip dislocations are surprisingly uncommon in bicycle accidents. They’re often accompanied by femur fractures. Usually, the ball of the hip joint pops out of the socket backward. If there aren’t any other significant injuries, a doctor will medicate the victim, and work the ball part of the joint back into its socket. Sometimes a small incision will be required. It will take about three months for the condition to resolve, but rehabilitation might take longer.
Actual knee dislocations are rare, but they can be dangerous due to the possibility of neurovascular damage. More frequent are dislocations of the patella (kneecap). Treatment involves immobilization and quadriceps strengthening that can help stabilize the knee. Complicated patellar dislocations with associated fractures and cartilage damage might require surgery.
Ankle dislocations result from traumatic forces pushing ankle bones apart. Victims of ankle dislocations are unable to walk due to severe pain. A visual deformity is seen when the dislocated ankle is compared with the uninjured ankle. After the bones of the ankle have been returned to their proper positions, pain and weakness should be expected. An orthopaedic surgeon will recommend the most appropriate treatment based on a wide range of treatment options after determining the extent of the dislocation injury and whether there are any fractures.
Any dislocations that might be suffered in a bicycle accident need to be treated right away by qualified medical personnel. Complications can arise from torn muscles, ligaments and tendons. There might also be nerve and blood vessel damage around the dislocated joint. That dislocation might be far more complicated than you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much can I settle my joint dislocation injury for?
For a joint dislocation, you can get compensation for pain and suffering for the duration of the injury and the recovery as well as any permanent pain. Also, if you can no longer do things that you used to, you can get compensation for diminished capacity and loss of quality of life. The bottom line, the at-fault person has to pay you for all reasonable costs and losses caused by the injury.
How long do I have to settle my joint dislocation claim before I have to file?
In California, you have two years from the date of the injury to settle your case. If you don’t get an offer that you feel is fair, then you will need to file before that two-year deadline. If you don’t do this, you may lose your right to get compensation for your injuries.
Do I need an attorney if I’m planning on settling my case?
The law does not require you to have an attorney to settle or even take your case to trial. However, the insurance company has nothing to gain by giving you a fair settlement offer and will try to pay as little as possible. For this, you need to have someone who knows the value of a personal injury case and can get you the maximum compensation allowed by law.
Contact Bay Area Bicycle Law
Joint dislocation can result in expensive medical treatment, pain and emotional trauma. You’ll want your injuries treated professionally and responsibly. You’ll want your California bicycle accident personal injury case treated effectively, efficiently and professionally too.
The attorneys at Bay Area Bicycle Law focus their practice on bicycle related injuries. Years of advocacy for bicycle victims have seasoned our attorneys with the necessary skills, knowledge base and familiarity to handle bicycle accidents cases to the upmost level of professional expertise. Since bicycle accident related injuries present unique legal issues that oftentimes render them completely different from conventional auto accidents or accidents involving other types of vehicles, BABL’s collective expertise in bicycle cases is imperative in helping clients achieve the most favorable settlements possible.
We work with clients in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Berkeley, Oakland, Sacramento and all over Northern California. Contact us today for a free consultation after any bicycle accident.