Los Angeles Bone Fracture Injury Lawyer
Broken bones are a type of catastrophic injury that can cause long-term disability and permanent life changes. Symptoms of a bone fracture include swelling, bruising, visible deformity, inability to bear weight, loss of function, warmth, and tenderness. Minor fractures can be corrected with an immobilizing cast or splint, but severe fractures may require surgery and the insertion of metal rods or plates to hold the bones in place. The cost of repair can range from $2,500 to $35,000 just for medical care, not counting lost wages. In some cases, injured individuals can recoup some of these losses with a broken bones lawsuit.
Broken Bone Attorneys
Broken bones are caused by trauma to the bone, such as undue pressure or force. A fracture is a synonym for a break; to say one has suffered a bone fracture means that their bone has broken.
Broken bones are usually the result of an accident. Five percent of falls, for example, cause broken bones. Car crashes can cause broken bones. Motorcycle accidents frequently cause broken bones, because outside of a helmet the motorcyclist’s body is exposed to larger vehicles, the road, and the surroundings.
Any bone in the body can be broken, ranging from the femur (the large bone in the leg) to the arm, the wrist to the ankle.
Types of bone fracture
Bones can fracture in many different ways. Though they are rigid, there is a little bit of “give” when an outside force is applied. When the force is too great, the bone will break under pressure. The severity usually depends upon the amount and direction of the force applied. Bones can shatter under extreme force like a gunshot or automobile wreck.
A bone fracture can be:
- Open (compound) – The bone breaks through the skin, causing the additional risk of infection.
- Closed (simple) – The bone has cracked, but there is no open wound.
- Displaced – The bone breaks into at least two parts and are moved in a way that the ends are no longer aligned.
- Non-displaced – A “stable” fracture occurs when the broken ends of the bone still meet but are shifted slightly out of place.
- Transverse – A transverse fracture involves a horizontal break.
- Oblique – An oblique fracture pertains to a break in an angled pattern.
- Comminuted – A comminuted fracture occurs when the bone shatters into three or more pieces.
- Hairline (stress) – A hairline or “stress” fracture is a tiny crack in the bone, without displacement.
- Greenstick – The bone is bent, but not broken all the way through.
- Buckle – Two bones are compressed and driven into one another.
An x-ray is the best way to diagnose a bone injury, determine treatment, and estimate prognosis.
Broken bone injury
The Ellis Law Firm sees the impact of broken bone injuries in the Los Angeles area every year. Broken bones cause pain and debility. They may necessitate surgery, prolonged time in casts or other immobility devices, frequent doctor and other medical appointments, and physical therapy. Sufferers of broken bones may lose time off work or even become unable to work.
Broken bones in some areas of the body can be extremely dangerous. Broken ribs, for example, can puncture lungs or cause internal bleeding. Broken bones can damage nerves and skin.
If a bone is improperly set or does not heal correctly, it can cause long-term disability. The person may never be able to regain function of the affected area. Similarly broken bones can become infected or, if they cause a wound, the entire area can become infected. Infection can cause serious illness and even death.
Broken bones happen most frequently to children and to senior citizens. In people 65 and older, bones become brittle. As a result, their bones break more easily and take much longer to mend.
Many broken bones are highly painful. However, people who have broken a bone through an accident may not realize that the pain they feel is a result of a fracture, since they may have been injured in other ways as well. Broken bones are a medical emergency. People who have suffered accidents should see a physician or go to the emergency room immediately to be checked out for broken bones.
Bone injury treatment
Most people can recover from a broken bone with conservative care, such as cast immobilization and a period of time in a functional brace. Rehabilitative therapy may be necessary to rebuild strength and mobility again. Traction can be done to gently place bones back into alignment again. Particularly severe fractures may require internal or external fixation with metal pins, screws, and plates to create a stabilizing framework for recovery. Sometimes the “hardware” gets surgically removed after healing, but other times, these pieces remain in for the lifespan of the patient. For instance, open reduction and internal fixation operations hold fragments of bone together with rods inserted down through the bone marrow space in the center of the bone.
The long-Term prognosis for broken bone injuries
Normal fracture recoveries range from four to eight months for acute healing. Residual pain and limited range of motion can be experienced more than a year later. The amount of time it takes to fully heal depends upon the type and severity of the fracture, as well as the patient’s age and overall health. Specific rehabilitative exercises can help patients restore normal muscle strength, joint movement, and flexibility again, but complications can occur.
Long-term repercussions of a fracture may include:
- Nerve damage
- Decreased strength
- Increased discomfort
- Joint stiffness, aches, and pains
- Pain in the location of the hardware
- Anxiety and depression
- Persistent activity limitations
Some broken bones do not heal within a year, due to improper healing, failure for the bones to rejoin, or a shortening of the bone, which typically results in long-term disability and the inability to work.
Broken bone as a result of negligence
If you or a family member has broken a bone because of the negligence of another party, or if the negligence of another party contributed, you can bring a claim. A person or business is negligent if hey reasonably knew or should have known that a situation for which they were responsible was dangerous, but did not take reasonable care to avoid it, get rid of it, or fix it.
If, for example, you rent an apartment unit and your landlord did not repair a damaged sidewalk for a month, they could be determined negligent if the damage caused you to turn your ankle in such a way that the ankle was broken. If a car rear-ended you and the resultant crash broke your arm, the driver could be found negligent for your injuries. Negligence in such cases can also be an important factor in negotiating a fair settlement with your insurance company.
Legal suits can be brought for medical bills, orthopedic and other surgery, medications, physical therapy bills, and necessary medical devices and accommodations, such as crutches, canes, and wheelchairs. You may bring a broken bone lawsuit for the cost of any necessary care to help with the activities of daily living.
You can also bring suit for any loss of wages if the injury caused you to lose work time. If the broken bone injury caused you to need retraining for your job or accommodations such as special chairs, desks, or other equipment, you can also be reimbursed for those.
If the injury caused damage that makes it impossible for you to perform your past job again, you can be compensated for retraining or for disability.
Finally, you or a family member can seek damages for pain and suffering.
How much is a broken bone worth?
It’s natural for a person suffering from broken bones to wonder how much the settlement might be worth.
Settlement amounts vary because bone fractures themselves vary in nature. Variables to consider include the impact on daily life and health, the parts of the body affected, any resulting damage from infection or other problem in the wake of the initial broken bone, and whether the damage is short or long term.
Some examples of damage settlements in broken bone cases across the country are:
A plaintiff in slip and fall accident that resulted in a broken arm recently received a claim worth $197,500.
Depending on the case and the amount of medical treatment needed, damages for a broken foot can be between $2,500.00 to more than $100,000.00.
Nationwide, the median claim awarded for broken legs is more than $141,800.
A plaintiff with nerve and subcutaneous damage to an ankle and foot that caused permanent partial disability, scarring and mental distress received an award of $203,000.
Should you file a broken bones lawsuit?
A bone fracture lawsuit may be prudent if you were injured in:
- A pedestrian, bike, or motor vehicle accident involving another partially or fully “at-fault” motorist
- A slip, trip, and fall on business or another person’s property
- A workplace injury due to a known safety hazard, excessive hours, training failure, faulty equipment
- An intentional act of violence, such as the committing of a crime, domestic abuse, or a brawl
- A dog broke loose from a leash or enclosure and viciously attacked
Even if you’re not 100% sure what happened in those fateful moments before your bone fracture, you can call a personal injury attorney for help. Ellis Injury Law investigates broken bone injury to determine whether negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct may be a factor. When another person or party is at least partially to blame, you are legally entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages.
If your settlement offer is accepted, you may receive money to cover past and present medical bills; medication, ongoing treatments, and future expenses; assistive technology, related home modifications, and out-of-pocket expenses; lost past, present, and future wages; and an estimated amount of pain and suffering. If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, a judge may award you all this compensation, as well as punitive damages in cases of gross negligence, recklessness, or malice. Settlements for broken bones generally begin in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, but jury awards can exceed one million.
Broken bone injury damages
The Ellis Law Firm has decades of experience in litigating negligence cases that caused, in whole or in part, our clients to suffer broken bones. We can negotiate with insurance companies to make sure the full range of damage is compensated for our clients.
Contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law to maximize your recovery. We fully investigate the cause of your injury, file the paperwork, negotiate on your behalf, and enlist the help of numerous experts to get you the money you need to live comfortably after an injury that occurred through little to no fault of your own. It costs nothing upfront or out-of-pocket to pursue a claim.