Suffering an injury in a car crash can be devastating when the body is unable to absorb the impact causing bones to break. Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of bone fractures in the United States. Blunt force trauma during a collision when the body hits objects or debris can cause bones to break or shatter. Speed and reckless driving are major factors in auto accidents that cause an impact on the vehicle forcing a sudden stop.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents victims of car accidents and other types of professional negligence. Our law firm has successfully prosecuted cases for our clients who were injured by the negligent actions of others. Our attorneys are available to answer any legal questions on how to receive the monetary compensation you deserve if your injuries were a result of someone else's negligence like a reckless or drunk driver. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
How a Fracture Occurs
A few of the ways that a vehicle accident victim can suffer a bone break or fracture include:
- Thrown from the Vehicle – Not wearing a seatbelt can cause you to be expelled from your car or truck during a rollover event or high-speed crash. In addition to suffering fractures, the impact will likely cause significant trauma to your organs and you may experience lacerations, cuts, and bruises.
- Hitting an Object – It is not uncommon to throw your hands up in front of your face while the crash is occurring. However, your hands could come into contact with the airbag, steering column, window, or other object inside the car. Hitting an object usually results in fractured wrists and broken bones in the hands and fingers.
- Suffering a Crushing Impact – Vehicle accidents involving commercial trucks can injure or kill of victim with the crushing blow caused by the sheer weight displaced by a large vehicle hitting a passenger car.
- Falling from a Motorcycle – Many motorcyclists involved in accidents will hit the ground after falling from their motorcycle during a vehicle accident, leading to shattered, fractured bones.
- T-bone Auto Crashes can occur when the front of one vehicle strikes another truck or car on the side. The victim typically sustains bone fractures to the shoulder, hip, or ribs.
- Head-On Crashes create an enormous force that results in multiple major fractures, especially in the lower legs.
- Pedestrian Accidents tend to cause the most horrific injuries because of the vulnerability of sharing the road with moving vehicles. Pedestrians can suffer life-changing injuries or die even in a low-speed accident.
Types of Auto Accident Fractures
Broken bones are usually intensely painful injuries that take months to heal completely. Often, the victim requires a surgical repair that might include metal rods and pins to hold the bones in place during the recovery. Some of the most common bone fractures include:
- Closed Bone Break – The fractured bones do not pierce through the skin.
- Open Bone Fracture – The bone will break or snap and pierce the skin.
- Displaced Bone Fracture – This fracture breaks the bone into pieces and shifts out of alignment, requiring extensive repair.
- Non-Displaced Bone Break – The bone breaks or fractures into pieces while remaining outlined in place.
- Traverse Fracture – The impact, directed, or direct pressure snaps the bone in two, typically in the right ankle.
- Compound Break – This type of fracture is a severe injury where the broken bone protrudes through the skin increasing the potential risk of developing a life-threatening infection.
- Comminuted Fracture – This fracture involves a bone breaking into three or more pieces caused by a powerful impact or acute pressure. It is especially difficult for surgeons to repair a comminuted bone break.
- Stress Break – Children more often than adults experience a partial stress break that occurs when one side of the bone bends while the other side fractures.
- Buckle Break – Doctors often refer to a buckle break as a torus or an incomplete fracture that when stressed, starts to bend, strain, or rupture without breaking. Children are highly susceptible to experiencing a buckle break when involved in a car accident due to their partially formed bones.
- Avulsion Fracture – These breaks occur when the soft tissue (including tendons and ligaments) separates from the bone. These fractures are incredibly painful, and repair usually requires surgical intervention to resolve severe complications associated with the break.
- Oblique Fracture – This type of break usually occurs in car accidents when one bone on the leg or arm twists and the other one becomes trapped causing a fracture on the long diagonal axis.
- Flexion/Distraction Fracture – The victim's vertebrae experience distraction (when pulled apart). These breaks usually occur in head-on collisions where the pelvis remains stabilized and trapped by the seatbelt while the upper torso, neck, and head are thrown forward.
- Hairline Fracture – The bone in a hairline fracture will create a small crack or partial break. In many cases, the victim is unaware that their bone has broken and might not receive the necessary medical treatment to ensure recovery. Without treatment, even a small crack can degrade causing the fracture to become significantly worse and cause weakened bone tissue.
When an automobile accident victim arrives at the emergency room, an experienced doctor will order x-rays and other imaging scans and tests to identify broken bones and other internal injuries. Repairing a broken bone might require several hours and the need to be put under general anesthesia for a major bone repair, or local anesthesia to fix a small appendage like a toe, finger, hand, or foot.
Typically, the surgeon will repair the broken bone using plates, rods, pins, or screws to ensure that the broken bone is held in place until it has completely healed. These procedures are often referred to as ORIF (open reduction and internal fixation) surgeries.
Bone Break Complications
Without proper treatment and sometimes surgical repair, a fractured bone can develop life-threatening complications that include:
- Infection – A severe injury that causes a bone to break and pierce through the skin can lead to a life-threatening infection that may result in osteomyelitis (bone infection) or sepsis (bloodstream infection). Osteomyelitis can also develop from complications associated with a broken bone repair after surgical fixation.
- Non-Union Recovery – This complication often involves a failure for the bone to heal in the first six months after the breaking event, where the pieces of broken bone remain separated. Typically, a nonunion complication to this result of ischemia (diminished blood supply) or infection in the bone. There are two types of nonunion complications including hypertrophic and atrophic.
- Hypertrophic Nonunion Recovery – This complication involves excessive callus formation that causes a sclerotic condition on the bone's ends that can appear as an “Elephant's Foot” in a radiological test.
- Atrophic Nonunion Recovery – This complication is caused by bone reabsorption where the ends of the bones become round because of an inadequate flow of blood or increased mobility at the affected site.
- Mal-Union Recovery – This type of complication produces an angular deformity or rotational alignment problem that must be corrected through a surgical procedure. Malunion complications usually occur in long bones like the femur.
- Delayed Union Recovery – This complication involves the extension of recovery time when the body does not have enough calcium formation to complete the healing process. Generally, a delayed union complication only slows the rate of healing and does not stop it.
Do I Have a Case Against the Reckless Driver?
On another page of our Illinois Car Accident Settlement Center, our attorneys outlined a five-step process (What Is My Car Accident Case Worth?) to use to analyze how much your car accident case could be worth. The list below can help you in determining how your broken bones might affect your potential recovery. It includes:
- As opposed to other injuries, broken bones often do not require surgery and can normally heal properly with simple medical attention, maybe a cast, and time.
- Broken bones heal differently depending upon the age of the victim. They may only take 2-3 weeks for a child but may take as long as 9-11 weeks for an adult.
- Some broken bones might tear through the skin, potentially requiring surgery and causing scarring. When this occurs, medical costs might balloon according to the seriousness of the procedure.
- In adults, the most common broken bones are in the arms and feet.
- In addition to car accidents, most bones are broken in sports, falls, and fights.
To analyze how much your broken bone case is worth, consider that your economic damages (tangible expenses, i.e., hospital bills) will normally be higher than your non-economic damages (pain and suffering). You will probably not experience significant pain and suffering or experience a different quality of life because of the car accident and subsequent broken bone.
However, you might have substantial medical bills and lost wages because of what and how long it takes to heal. Use our “car accident case worth page” to determine the worth of your case.
Current Broken Bones Settlements and Verdicts
- $1,175,000 awarded to the plaintiff during arbitration. The injured victim required surgical repair for a fractured collarbone and broken ribs after being involved in a collision after a car pulled in front of his motorcycle.
- $1,100,000 jury verdict was awarded to the plaintiff. The injured victim suffered a severe hip fracture and a broken kneecap that both required surgical repairs. The jury agreed with the plaintiff that the defendant was driving negligently.
- $1,000,000 jury verdict was awarded to the plaintiff. The injured victim suffered a broken thigh bone and filed a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer claiming they were responsible for his damages.
- $215,000 negotiated settlement agreed upon between the plaintiff and defendants. The injured victim suffered multiple fractured bones caused by a crash that occurred in an intersection. The victim received the total policy limit amount on the policyholder's automobile insurance coverage.
- $115,000 negotiated settlement between the plaintiff and the defendant (the county). The injured victim suffered a broken finger that required a partial amputation after being involved in a crash when a tree limb crashed through her windshield.
Legal Assistance from Attorneys With Experience Representing People With Fractures Sustained in Illinois Car Accidents
Many contributing factors can cause an automobile accident bone fracture injury. However, negligent driving is usually involved. The automobile accident injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understand that the accident was not your fault but was caused by an irresponsible driver. We have successfully obtained millions on behalf of the victims and their family members to ensure they were adequately compensated to cover their medical expenses, household bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain, suffering, and emotional damage and we can help your family too.
Our legal team encourages you to contact our attorneys today to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation to discuss the merits of your monetary recovery claim. We accept all personal injury cases, wrongful death lawsuits, and car crash injury claims through contingency fee arrangements. This legal contract postpones the payment of legal services until after we have successfully completed your case through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.
Our law firm gets results quickly because we understand you need money now. We proudly offer every client a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee, meaning if we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf you owe us nothing. All information you share with our law office will stay confidential.