Fractures are some of the most common injuries in the U.S., with the average American suffering two during his or her lifetime. But when a fracture is caused by the negligence of another person, it should be treated as anything but commonplace.
Car accidents, unsafe building conditions, and unsafe products are just a few causes of fractures that can lead to a personal injury claim. Fractures require serious medical treatment and rehabilitation, both of which incur huge medical bills. If the fracture is the result of someone else’s carelessness, holding the guilty party accountable is the best way to recover losses—both financial and otherwise.
If you have suffered one or multiple fractures in a car accident, workplace accident, or other incident of negligence, Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi can help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are ready to investigate your unique case and aggressively pursue compensation for your injuries. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to schedule your consultation today. The initial consultation is always free, and no fees are due until we win your case.
Types of Fractures
Fractures, commonly known as broken bones, occur when the physical force exerted on the bone is stronger than the bone itself. As you grow older, bones become less resilient and the risk of a fracture increases. Therefore, falls and other seemingly minor events can cause serious fractures in adults, whereas they would not have an effect on children.
The overarching categories of fractures are:
- Displaced: the bone snaps into two or more parts and moves so that the two ends are no longer aligned
- Non-displaced: the bone cracks (either part or all of the way through) but maintains its proper alignment
- Open: the bone breaks through the skin, after which it can recede back into the wound and out of sight (which presents a serious risk for deep bone infection)
- Closed: the bone breaks but does not puncture the skin
The severity of a fracture depends on several factors, including the location of the break, the damage done to the bone, and the impact on the surrounding tissue. More serious fractures carry additional risks like damage to blood vessels, damage to nerves, infection of the bone, and infection of the surrounding tissues.
In addition to the broad categories listed above, certain fractures are given more specific descriptors, such as:
- Greenstick fracture: an incomplete fracture that bends the bone
- Transverse fracture: occurs at a right angle to the bone’s axis
- Oblique fracture: a break with a curved or sloped pattern
- Comminuted fracture: the bone splits into several pieces
- Impacted fracture: the ends are driven into each other
- Pathologic fracture: caused by a disease that weakens the bones
- Stress fracture: caused by repeated use of the same bone, which wears down the strength of the bone
Some fractures can be remedied by putting the affected area in a cast and keeping pressure off of it for several weeks or months. However, more serious fractures come with the risk of infection or the need for surgery. Some fractures require surgical setting to put the bones back in place, often with the use of metal pins or rods.
Causes of Fractures
A wide variety of incidents can lead to broken bones, including:
- Motor vehicle crashes
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Construction accidents
- Unsafe construction equipment
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Unsafe building conditions
- Unsafe products
It is important to note that a vast majority of fractures are not the result of negligence. Everyone from children to grandparents can suffer broken bones, and most are the result of simple accidents.
However, negligence contributes to a significant number of fractures every year. More than 2.3 million drivers and passengers were treated for car accident-related injuries in 2009, contributing to an economic impact of approximately $70 billion per year. Car accidents, workplace accidents, and falls all have serious potential to lead to broken bones.
Damages in a Personal Injury Case
If you suffered a broken bone at the hands of someone else, a personal injury lawsuit is typically the best way to recover your losses. Most personal injury cases deal with “compensatory” damages, which are designed to compensate the victim for the harm caused. This includes compensation for:
- Medical treatment, including hospitalization costs, ambulatory services, surgical costs, medication, and rehabilitation. Compensatory damages are awarded to compensate the plaintiff for medical treatment already received, as well as the estimated cost of medical care in the future.
- Income, including reimbursement for income lost while recovering from the fracture, as well as money the victim would have made in the future if not for the accident. In other words, if the plaintiff now stands to make less money as a result of the injury (due to decreased function or complete inability to work), he or she is entitled to compensation for the lost income.
- Property damage, including any damage to your vehicle, clothing, or other personal items that resulted from the incident.
- Pain and suffering, meaning the physical pain or discomfort caused by the accident.
- Emotional distress, which is the emotional aspect of “pain and suffering.” This includes any sort of mental pain and suffering, including fear, loss of sleep, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.
- Loss of enjoyment or consortium, which compensates the plaintiff for less tangible losses, such as the sudden inability to pursue hobbies, inability to engage in recreational activities, loss of enjoyment of day-to-day life, loss of companionship, or inability to maintain an intimate relationship with one’s spouse.
Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered a bone fracture due to someone else’s negligence, we can help. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have more than 80 years’ worth of experience fighting for compensation in and out of court. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have won multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for construction accidents, medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, burns, and workplace accidents, just to name a few.
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have the legal expertise and dedication to see your case through to the very end. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to speak with one of our seasoned attorneys today. Your initial consultation is free and confidential, and there are no fees due until we win your case.