When you break a bone in an accident that could have been avoided, it can be frustrating and confusing. The medical expenses associated with a broken bone automatically includes the cost of imaging (like X-Rays), an initial doctor visit, likely another few doctor visits, and may even include emergency costs and surgeries. If the break is more severe, it could require extensive surgeries or even joint replacements to repair.
The recovery time may put you out of work, the medical bills could drain your finances, and the pain and suffering could be substantial. When someone else is responsible for your injuries, you might be entitled to compensation. The personal injury attorneys at Reiff and Bily represent injured accident victims to help them get the compensation they need for their injuries.
Breaks and Fractures – Bone Injuries and Treatment
Injuries to your bones usually consist of breaks and fractures. Some people use the term “fracture” to differentiate the injury from a more severe “break,” but these terms, medically, mean the same thing. There is no difference between a “break,” a “crack” in the bone, or a “fracture,” but there are varying degrees of fractures.
Some fractures emerge from repetitive stress on the bone. These may appear on an X-Ray as a series of tiny cracks, and are often called “hairline” fractures. These are often treated with casts or immobilizers to let the bones heal.
More severe fractures come in a few varieties. “Stable” or “simple” fractures often refer to injuries where the bone is broken into two pieces across the entire width of the bone, but the two pieces are still lined up. This often means that the doctor can immediately cast the bone as soon as the swelling goes down. These fractures are usually “transverse,” where the fracture is horizontal, or “oblique,” where the fracture line is at an angle.
If the bone is not lined up, the fracture is called a “displaced” fracture, and often requires a doctor to “set” the bones. This may require imaging to make sure the bones are properly aligned, and can be extremely painful. In worse fractures, setting the bone will require surgery. The bones may need screws, pins, rods, and other braces to ensure that the bones line up properly. Otherwise, they may heal crooked. These surgeries can be painful, and leave you with a permanent need for these medical implants.
“Comminuted” fractures are when the bone breaks into three or more pieces. These often require surgery to set into place. Further, if a bone breaks the skin when it breaks, it is known as a “compound” or “open” fracture, and often requires surgery to set the bone and repair the other tissue damage. These may take a long time to heal, since they cannot be casted immediately if the surrounding tissue needs to heal.
Fractures to the skull can be extremely devastating, and often accompany traumatic brain injuries. Especially for elderly individuals, the risk of fracturing one of the bones in your spinal column or a joint like the hip is extremely high. These kinds of injuries can be quite painful and hard to recover from without intensive medical treatment.
Compensation for Broken Bone Injuries
The type of compensation available to you for these injuries might depend on the type of accident. If you were injured in a slip and fall or another accident on someone else’s property, their homeowners’ or business liability insurance might be able to help pay for injuries. These kinds of accidents can often lead to broken arms or wrists, as well as skull fractures, broken vertebra, and broken hips.
If you were injured in a car accident, the other driver’s auto insurance may cover your injuries. Nearly any injury could occur in a car accident, including various types of breaks. Broken legs could be open and severe injuries if your legs are pinned during an accident. Broken skulls, spines, and collar bones could also be common.
No matter what kind of bone injury you suffered, if the accident was caused by someone else, you might be entitled to compensation. Even if there is no insurance that might cover the accident, you may be able to take the responsible parties to court. If the insurance companies offer you low settlements that do not cover your needs or are unwilling to compensate you, take your case to a personal injury attorney.
In order to ultimately prove your case, you need to prove that the party responsible for your injuries was “negligent.” Negligence is a legal term describing a situation where someone failed to use the proper care or diligence that the situation required, resulting in someone else’s injury. For instance, if a store worker fails to clean up a spill in an aisle, and a customer slips on the puddle, the store may be liable for the customer’s injuries. In any accident where another party was negligent, you may be able to recover “damages.” “Damages” refers to the harms that you suffered, including physical injury and financial loss. With severe injuries like a broken bone, you might be entitled to substantial compensation.
Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer
The car accident and premises liability attorneys at Reiff and Bily represent injury victims in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. If you or a loved one suffered a broken bone in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation. Talk to our attorneys today for a free consultation to find out how we can represent you on your case and get you the compensation you need. Call (215) 274-0072 today.