Bone fractures are among the most common types of injuries that car accident victims sustain. These injuries can occur even if you are buckled up and can range in severity depending upon the force and location of the impact.
If you have sustained a bone fracture in a car accident, you may be entitled to claim compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and more. At Finz & Finz, P.C., our dedicated New York car accident attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you seek the compensation you need to recover in the aftermath of a crash. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Common Types of Fractures in Car Accidents
Let’s look at some common types of bone fractures that result from car accidents and discuss how you can claim compensation for medical costs associated with treatment and recovery.
Some of the common types of fractures that occur in car crashes include:
Arm fractures frequently occur when motorists and passengers brace themselves for impact against the steering wheel, glove compartment, seatback, or another solid surface. This action is instinctive but often futile and can cause bones in the arms to fracture.
The wrist is a very fragile area and is particularly prone to fractures. As is the case with arm fractures, wrist fractures can occur when a motorist or passenger braces against a surface such as a steering wheel in preparation for a collision. The force of the impact can cause bones in the wrist to break or get crushed.
Back and spine fractures are common injuries in certain collisions, particularly in rear-end and head-on collisions. As the body jerks violently back and forth, it can cause fractures in the spine and vertebrae. In some cases, victims of back fractures may require a back brace to recover fully. Back injuries also commonly require physical therapy treatment and surgeries.
Hip fractures also commonly occur as a result of car accidents. The hip links the pelvis to the thigh bone, and when it is broken or fractured, a person’s mobility may be severely limited. This particular bone is highly complex, which means that the recovery period may be longer than for a wrist fracture, for instance. Treatment often consists of procedures where a doctor will insert a rod, screws, or plates to help secure the area to begin the healing process.
The pelvis sits between the base of the abdomen and the thighs at the base of the spine. Many factors, including seat belts, may cause pelvic fractures. Seat belts are essential to ensuring you remain securely in your seat when a collision occurs and should be utilized at all times, but they can have the opposite effect of hurting your pelvic area. Front-end collisions also commonly cause pelvis fractures due to the force of the impact, which can thrust the steering wheel, engine, and other parts of the car toward individuals riding in the front seat.
Motorists and passengers might instinctively brace themselves using their legs in anticipation of a collision, leading to fibula and tibia injuries. The fibula and tibia connect the knees to the ankle area. These bones can also fracture if a motorist or passenger becomes crushed when part of the car caves in on impact, causing a person to become stuck between the floorboard and the dashboard. These fractures will usually be treated using a cast, though some tibia and fibula fractures may require surgery.
The femur is another leg bone that frequently fractures in a car accident, despite being one of the body’s strongest bones. When an individual locks their legs to brace for impact, or part of the car caves in and crushes the leg. Due to the femur’s size and thickness, the recovery period for a femur fracture can be significantly longer than for other bones.
The collarbone is also known as the clavicle. The clavicle is delicate and can be easily fractured due to pressure from the shoulder strap of your seat belt. Because the clavicle bone cannot be put into a cast, you may need to have your arm set into a cast to limit your movements while the clavicle bone heals. Physical therapy can also help expedite the recovery process.
Just like clavicle fractures, seat belts can also cause rib fractures. Airbags, another essential safety feature designed to protect you in the event of a crash, can also sometimes cause rib fractures. The ribs can also be crushed upon impact, creating a potentially dangerous situation where a broken rib punctures your lungs. To heal correctly you will need to limit your movements and get plenty of rest. Like certain other fractures, rib fractures can’t be put in a cast.
Skull fractures are commonly associated with TBI’s or traumatic brain injuries. Skull fractures may occur due to blunt force trauma or a violent blow to the head. For instance, a driver may bang their head against the steering wheel or the windshield in a collision, causing the skull to fracture and potentially causing hematomas, or bleeding on and around the brain. Skull fractures are usually treated with surgery, as are severe TBI’s.
Compensation For Bone Fractures
If you sustained bone fractures in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you might be entitled to recover compensation. Compensation is designed to cover the cost of certain expenses related to the crash. New York is a no-fault state, which means that you would typically turn to your own insurance policy to recover financial losses caused by your injuries.
However, in New York, fractures are considered “serious injuries.” This means that if you sustained a bone fracture in a car accident, you might qualify to step outside New York’s no-fault insurance law and pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. While your own no-fault insurance policy would cover medical expenses and lost earnings, it would not cover non-financial damages.
Through a personal injury lawsuit, you could claim compensation for:
- Hospital bills and other medical expenses
- Lost income due to inability to return to work
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages, if appropriate
If you have sustained a bone fracture in a car accident caused by negligence, you should consult with a seasoned personal injury attorney right away. An attorney can advise you of your legal options and help you determine the best course of action.
Contact A New York Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you suffered a bone fracture injury in a car accident, you might be entitled to seek compensation. At Finz & Finz, P.C., our team will be ready to discuss your rights and legal options when you reach out to us for a free consultation.