Car Accident Bone Fractures – Types, Causes, Treatments & More
Houston car accident lawyers explain what injury victims need to know
Nationwide, more than 6 million people each year break a bone, according to an annual survey conducted by the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey & American Academy of Orthopedic, which is affiliated with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And many of those fractures occur in car accidents.
So what causes car accident bone fractures? How do you know if you have one? And who’s responsible for paying for your injury-related expenses? Find the answers to these questions and more information below. And if you have a legal question about a potential injury claim or lawsuit, simply contact a Houston car accident attorney at Smith & Hassler Attorneys at Law.
- What type of fracture is most common in car accidents?
- What causes car accident bone fractures?
- Common bone fracture symptoms
- How are bone fractures diagnosed?
- How are bone fractures treated?
- How much can I be compensated for my bone fracture?
- Who’s responsible for paying for my bone fracture?
- Should I accept a settlement offer or file a lawsuit?
- How can a Texas car accident lawyer help?
What type of fracture is most common in car accidents?
The most common bone fractures sustained in motor vehicle accidents include:
- Femur fracture (thigh bone and the longest bone in the body) – 25.9 percent of car accident bone fractures involve a broken femur bone, according to a 2020 study published by Cureus Journal of Medical Science, according to the National Institute of Health National Library of Medicine.
- Humerus fracture (upper arm bone that runs from the shoulder to the elbow) – 21.6 percent of motor vehicle bone fractures.
- Spine (vertebrae) fracture – 17.6 percent
- Skull fracture – 14 percent
- Rib fracture – 12.6 percent
- Tibia fracture (shinbone in lower leg) – 12 percent
- Fibula fracture (calf bone located beneath the knee) – 9 percent
- Pelvis fracture – 9 percent
- Clavicle fracture (Bone connecting sternum/breastplate to shoulder) – 7 percent
- Ulna fracture (forearm bone) – 5.3 percent
- Radius shaft fracture (another forearm bone) – 4.7 percent
- Foot fracture – 2.3 percent
- Hand fracture – 2 percent
- Scapula fracture (triangular-shaped shoulder blade bone) – 1 percent
What causes car accident bone fractures?
The force of impact of a serious car crash often results in broken bones. In particular, drivers and passengers often sustain a bone fracture due to hitting the dashboard, the windshield or another part of the car upon impact.
Particular types of car accidents often associated with broken bones include:
- Rear-end accidents, especially high-speed rear-end highway accidents.
- Head-on collisions, either on rural roads or city streets.
- Intersection accidents, especially if another driver runs a red light or hits another car making a left turn.
Common bone fracture symptoms
There are many different ways car accident injury victims can tell if they broke a bone in a car crash. Common bone fracture symptoms include:
- Swelling or bruising in the injured area.
- Intense pain that lasts several hours or longer.
- Pain when using the injured area, especially in cases involving broken legs or broken arms.
- Numbness or tingling in the skin near the broken bone.
- Misshapen limb (arm, leg) where the bone was broken.
Ultimately, however, only a medical professional can diagnose your injury.
How are bone fractures diagnosed?
Doctors diagnose bone fractures using a variety of medical diagnostic tests, including:
- Imaging tests, including X-Rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests and cat scans or CT-Scans. These three tests can often diagnose broken bones or compound fractures.
- Physical examination.
- Follow-up medical tests, especially if someone’s in pain and has difficulty using a particular body part where the bone is broken.
How are bone fractures treated?
Medical treatments for bone fractures generally involve immobilizing the broken bone. For example, if someone broke their arm, a doctor will apply a plaster cast, brace or splint to hold the arm in place so the bone can heal properly.
If a bone fracture is severe – such as a compound fracture or multiple bone fractures in several parts of the body – a doctor might recommend putting someone in traction. Traction is an orthopedic technique that uses a combination of pulleys, pins, and weights to properly align the broken bones. It’s most commonly used for fractures in the lower body, including the legs, hips, pelvis, and cervical spine.
How much can I be compensated for my bone fracture?
The bottom line is you should be financially compensated for all your medical expenses related to your bone fracture. What you might not realize is just how many expenses are covered by your car accident injury claim.
It’s not just short-term emergency medical expenses that should be covered by your claim. If you have long-term medical issues that last months or years due to bone fractures and other related health problems, you should get money to cover those expenses too. For example, you might need follow-up surgery in the future if you sustained severe injuries.
In addition, if you have to miss work due to your injury, your car accident settlement should include compensation for lost income while you’re recovering from your accident. Add all these expenses up and your accident claim can easily be worth thousands of dollars or significantly more.
Who’s responsible for paying for my bone fracture?
Texas has an at-fault car insurance system. This means if another driver caused the collision that resulted in your bone fracture, the at-fault driver should pay for all of your accident-related expenses. Generally, that means it’s the at-fault driver’s insurance company that’s responsible for paying for the cost of your medical care, vehicle repairs, lost income and other accident expenses.
Should I accept a settlement offer or file a lawsuit?
You might be tempted to accept a settlement offer soon after your collision, especially if the at-fault driver’s insurance company contacts you and makes a cash settlement offer. But it’s important to understand that once you accept such an offer, you cannot ask for more money. And in many cases, insurance companies make lowball settlement offers that don’t even come close to covering all of your expenses, including the long-term cost of a broken bone and possible future surgery.
Your lawyer can negotiate a better settlement offer and ask for more money. But sometimes, insurance companies refuse to negotiate. When they do, sometimes the best way to get the money you deserve is to file a car accident lawsuit seeking damages, the legal term for financial compensation.
Deciding whether to accept a settlement offer or take legal action is a difficult decision. This is why injury victims should talk to a lawyer with courtroom experience who can explain your options and advise you on what course of action you should take to demand the money you deserve.
How can a Texas car accident lawyer help?
There are so many legal issues that often come up after a car accident involving bone fractures and other serious injuries. When you have an experienced attorney on your side, you can carefully consider all the options available to you with the help of a lawyer well-versed in the laws and legal system in Texas.
Our Houston car accident attorneys at Smith & Hassler know how to handle complex legal cases. When you have our law firm on your side, you can rest assured that we will thoroughly investigate your crash and work with you to build a strong legal case.
Whether you decide to accept a settlement offer or file a car accident lawsuit, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. Contact our law firm and schedule a free case evaluation with a Houston car accident attorney who puts your best interests first. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means you only have to pay us if we secure a financial settlement or verdict for you. It’s that simple.
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