You May Be Entitled to Compensation for Broken Bones After a Car Accident in Springfield, IL
Although there are many different types of personal injuries that a victim of a motor vehicle accident may sustain, one of the most common injuries is broken bones after a car accident. Each year in the United States over 6 million people suffer a broken bone, including in motor vehicle accidents. That’s because, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), each year there are over 1.6 million injury-causing traffic accidents in the United States. From those crashes, there are roughly 4.8 million victims who seek medical attention for injuries sustained in a crash. Many victims who suffer broken bones after a car accident in Springfield will need months of recovery, some requiring surgery to repair the damage done. In all instances, victims and their families should consult with an experienced car accident lawyer in Springfield, Illinois for help.
At the Noll Law Office, their compassionate and experienced car accident lawyers can help victims and their families maximize their potential recovery. Their skilled and professional legal staff will obtain evidence from your treating physicians to help build your damages case while coordinating with liability experts or law enforcement to establish liability against a defendant. This specifically includes causes involving broken bones after a car accident in Springfield, where the Noll Law Office is located and where your personal injury case will be handled – not referred halfway across the state to a big law firm’s youngest associate. To learn more about how the Noll Law Office can help you, call (217) 414-8889 to schedule a FREE case evaluation with their experienced car accident lawyers today.
What is a Broken Bone or a Fractured Bone?
A broken bone is also known as a fractured bone, which is usually abbreviated as “fx” in your medical cart or notes. In the most general sense, a broken bone occurs when there is too much pressure placed on a bone, causing the bone to split or break. There are different types of broken bones that can occur as a result of a car accident. Some types of fractures are more painful than others, while certain fractures will also require surgical intervention to repair the damage or stabilize the area of the injury (particularly around a joint or muscle attachment to the bone).
According to John Hopkins Medicine, there are two main categories of fractures. These two categories include the following:
- Open fracture – An open fracture is most often the more severe type of fracture. This type of fracture causes the bone to break through the skin. This type of fracture can have more serious complications, such as infection. For obvious reasons, open fractures are incredibly painful and often cause damage to other structures around the damage – including tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, skin, and other tissue.
- Closed fracture – A victim with a closed fracture will have a broken bone without a puncture of the skin.
Types of Broken Bones From a Car Accident
While there are two main categories of broken bones, there are many different types of them. The most common types of broken bones from a car accident in Springfield can include the following:
- Spiral – A spiral fracture occurs when a break occurs due to a twisting injury, like if a leg or arm is caught under the dashboard or in a seat.
- Oblique – Oblique fractures occur when the break is diagonal across the bone.
- Compression – A compression fracture occurs when the bone is crushed. A common type of compression fracture is the vertebrae in the back, which can get crushed together in a high-speed collision.
- Greenstick – A victim with a greenstick fracture has an incomplete fracture. In this case, only a portion of the bone is fractured, leading to the bending of the other side. This is a common fracture for a young child in car accidents.
- Comminuted – Comminuted fractures cause a bone to break into at least three pieces, often with fragments of bone present. These are incredibly painful and often require surgery to repair the damage done.
- Segmental – Segmental fractures occur when the bone is fractured in two places. This causes there to be a floating piece of bone.
- Transverse – Transverse fractures occur when the break is in a straight line.
There are other types of less common fractures that may also be caused in a motor vehicle accident. If you or a loved one were injured in a motor vehicle crash, call the experienced car accident lawyers in Springfield at the Noll Law Offices for help.
Symptoms of Broken Bones From a Car Accident in Springfield
There are certain symptoms that can indicate you have suffered a fracture after a car accident. However, even if you are not experiencing any or only some of these symptoms, it is always wise to see an evaluation from a physician to ensure that you have not suffered a fracture or other injury. This is not only going to protect your health but will also protect your claim for compensation.
That’s because most defense lawyers and insurance adjusters will argue that a delay in seeking treatment is a sign that you either 1) were not injured in that crash but a different injury or 2) that you had no pain and suffering because you did not realize you had a broken bone until later. These can be difficult defenses to overcome.
Therefore, some of the most common symptoms of a broken bone after a car accident in Springfield include the following:
- Difficulty moving the extremity below the injury (i.e., injury to the upper arm might make it harder to turn over the wrist)
- Bruising and changes in the color of your skin
- Warmth and heat coming off the area (inflammation)
- Redness and purple coloration that is different than a bruise and looks “puffy”
- Alteration in sensation around the injury site
- Nausea and a feeling like you may vomit, pass out, or dizziness
- Decrease in the range of motion, and
- Any other abnormal signs that occur at or after a forceful impact in a car accident.
If you have any of these symptoms, always get checked out by a first responder or at a hospital. Even if it has been a few days after a motor vehicle accident if you develop these symptoms get evaluated right away.
How is a Broken Bone or Fracture Diagnosed? Why is That Important?
Although there are instances in which it may be obvious that a victim has suffered a broken bone (i.e. an open fracture), medical evaluation and imaging are required to formally diagnose a broken bone. Some of the most common imaging techniques to diagnose a broken bone include the following:
- Computed tomography scan (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
In some instances, like for a compound fracture, a medical provider may not take an x-ray. This is because the injury is obvious and the provider knows what to do with the injury and may have to open up the sight further, allowing for a visual inspection of the injury site. However, it is not just important to get your broken bone or injury imaged for your treatment plan, it is also very important for your legal case. That is because having a medical image of your broken bone can help your case settle quickly because it proves an acute injury as a result of an accident. If a defense lawyer or adjuster will not fairly compensate you, having a medical image of your broken bone can also help you in front of the court or a jury. That’s because an experienced car accident lawyer in Springfield can use your medical image as an exhibit at trial, and a broken bone is often a very obvious and influential exhibit before a jury of your peers.
Other tests that may occur to assess the damage of surrounding areas include angiography and nerve conduction studies. Angiography assesses for the presence of damaged blood vessels, while nerve conduction studies assess for the presence of damaged nerves. These tests are also important but are not always reduced to a clear image like an x-ray, CT scan, or MRI.
Treatment for Broken Bones After a Car Accident
Like all types of personal injuries from a car accident, treatment for a broken bone depends widely on the type and severity of the fracture. The most common treatment is casting or splinting the bone to keep it in place to allow for healing. Pain medicine is often prescribed to help control the pain. There are some instances in which surgery is required to surgically correct the broken bone.
The two surgeries commonly used to correct broken bones from a car accident include the following:
- Open reduction and external fixation – During this surgery, the fracture is repaired by an external device is placed on the limb with the fracture. Usually screws, pins, rods, or other pieces are placed into the bone to keep the bone in place. This type of surgery is usually reserved for more severe, complex fractures.
- Open reduction and internal fixation – During this surgery, the fracture is repaired and metal screws, plates, pins, or rods are implanted under the skin. This procedure is intended for broken bones that are unable to be repaired with casting alone, or where the damage to the bone is extensive and debridement is needed to clean the area.
Whether a victim needs splinting, casting, surgery, medication, or any other medical expenses related to a broken bone, including physical therapy, an individual may be entitled to recover compensation for these costs. An individual may also be able to recover compensation for the pain and suffering that comes from this treatment, particularly the surgeries.
Complications of Fractures Caused by Car Accidents: When Future Damages May Apply in Illinois
Although fractures may be common, they often carry long-term effects. Some victims may be fortunate enough to fully heal, but others are not as fortunate. Some of these complications may happen soon after the accident, while other complications may not occur until later in the future. Complications that can occur after a victim sustains a fracture in a car accident includes the following:
- Damage to the blood vessels
- Compartment syndrome
- Joint problems
- Pulmonary embolism
- Fat embolism
- Uneven limbs – this is especially true if a child sustains a broken bone as they are still growing
- Other complications caused by fractures stain in a motor vehicle accident that the experienced car accident lawyers at the Noll Law Office in Springfield, Illinois can recover for you.
Future Pain and Suffering
If you or a loved one suffer any of these future injuries, you may be entitled to compensation known as future pain and suffering. Future pain and suffering is the measure of damages from the date of your settlement or payment for the rest of your estimated life. It can compensate a victim for both the agony and pain, but also for the need for reasonably provable future medical procedures.
A prime example would be a joint replacement, which may only last 15-20 years. A car accident victim may be entitled to compensation for a future joint replacement that is more likely than not to occur. Thus, a 50-year-old car accident victim who needs a shoulder replacement may be entitled to compensation for those acute and immediate injuries, as well as future pain and suffering for a revisionary shoulder replacement surgery at the age of 65-70.
Were You Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident in Illinois? Did You Suffer Broken Bones After a Car Accident in Springfield? Call the Noll Law Office for Help
The dedicated and experienced car accident lawyers in Springfield, Illinois at the Noll Law Office can help victims and their families after any type of serious or catastrophic accident. They have the medical knowledge and legal skill to fight back against defense lawyers and large insurance carriers who refuse to pay victims for broken bones after a car accident.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in any type of motor vehicle accident in Springfield or anywhere in Central Illinois, in Springfield, or anywhere in Central Illinois, contact the Noll Law Office. Their family is ready to help your family.