Breaks and Fractures
Common Auto, Truck and Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Approximately six million people in the United States break a bone each year. These fractures range from minor breaks to more serious compound fractures. While any type of trauma can cause a bone to break, car accidents are one of the most common causes.
Unfortunately, after a car accident, injured accident victims do not always take fractures seriously. They may believe that their injuries are not that severe and that they will make a full recovery after the initial treatment is done. This is far from true. Many car accident victims lose range of motion or suffer from chronic stiffness and pain long after the injury has healed.
While minor fractures may not pose any long-term danger, more serious fractures can result in significant complications, impairments, and a lifetime of chronic pain and suffering. That is why accident victims need an experienced and skilled Arkansas car accident lawyer in their corner. Your attorney will be able to help you obtain the money you need to recover after a significant fracture.
What is a Fracture?
A fracture is a break in a bone. It can happen to any bone in the body, including the ribs, hips, legs, and arms. Facial fractures and skull fractures are some of the more complex breaks because they can cause lifelong deformity and disability.
The severity of the fracture depends on the force that caused the break. Falling off your bike at a low speed may not result in the same debilitating type of fracture that a motorcycle accident would cause. The higher the force, the more damage is done to the bone. Smaller amounts of force result in a crack in the bone. More moderate to severe forces will result in the bone breaking all the way through. Extreme forces, such as those found in car accidents and falls, will result in the bone being shattered.
There are many different types of fractures, including:
- Stable fracture – The broken ends of the bone line up perfectly. This type of fracture is not as serious.
- Open, compound fracture – This type of fracture may pierce through the skin or it might be visible through a wound.
- Transverse fracture – This type of fracture has a horizontal fracture line.
- Oblique fracture – This type of fracture has an angled pattern.
- Comminuted fracture – This type of fracture is serious because the bone has shattered into three or more pieces.
Common Causes of Fractures
The body is not made to withstand significant force. It is also not made to bend in the wrong direction. Any activity that causes the body to contort or twist inappropriately could result in a significant break or fracture.
However, the most common causes of breaks and fractures include:
Signs and Symptoms of Fractures
When you fracture a bone, it is a painful experience. Most accident victims are very aware they have broken a bone because it hurts and is difficult to move. However, some more minor fractures may not be identified as quickly. If you notice any of the following signs and symptoms of a fracture, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911.
- Swelling of the extremity
- Discoloration in the extremity
- Tenderness around the injury
- Extreme pain in the injury
- Difficulty moving the affected bone
- Deformity of the limb
- Visual site of bone puncturing through the skin
Diagnosis and Treatment of Fractures
If you believe you have broken a bone or multiple bones, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. When arriving at the emergency room, your doctor will perform a series of medical tests and examinations to determine the full extent of your fractures. This may include physical exams, as well as X-rays. These tests can help radiologists locate the fracture and determine the best course of treatment.
The treatment of the fracture depends largely on the bone that is broken, as well as the severity of the fracture. Some of the most common treatments for fractures include:
- Cast immobilization – A plaster or fiberglass cast is placed on the affected extremity for four to six weeks.
- Functional cast or brace – This type of cast allows for limited motion. It can be used to treat some types of fractures.
- Traction – This helps to align the bones by gently pulling them to put them into proper position.
- External fixation – Metal pins or screws are placed into the bone above and below the fracture site.
- Surgery – Open reduction and internal fixation is a type of surgical treatment. Through surgery, the bones are put back into place, and special metal pins, rods, and plates help hold the bones intact.
It is always important to follow your doctor’s orders and your treatment plan after a car accident. Failure to do this could jeopardize your ability to collect the money you need because the insurance company may believe that your injuries were not as severe as you claimed.
Compensation for Fractures
When seeking compensation after a serious broken bone or fracture, it is important to understand the long-term consequences and complications you may face. Recovery following a fracture can take months to heal. In some cases, however, the fracture may never fully heal and result in a lifetime of pain and limited range of motion.
Injured accident victims who suffer a fracture or a break often need to be compensated for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
What to Do If You Think You Have a Fracture
Fractured bones should be taken seriously. Immediately after an accident, you should seek medical help immediately if you suspect you have broken a bone. While you may want to stay at the accident scene and collect evidence, your first course of action should be to protect your health and call 911. If you are able, you can instruct friends, family members, or eyewitnesses to gather any evidence you might need.
If you believe you have suffered a broken bone in a car accident, it is important to take the following steps immediately.
- Seek medical attention (call 911)
- Gather the other driver’s contact information
- Obtain eyewitness contact information
- Talk to the police or fill out an accident report
- Take pictures of the crash, as well as your injury
- Keep copies of all receipts and medical records
- Journal your experience
- Contact an experienced and skilled Arkansas car accident lawyer
Our Experience Matters
At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, our car accident lawyers have successfully represented various car accident victims in Arkansas and Tennessee who have suffered from serious broken bones and fractures. Here are just a few of the clients we’ve helped in their quest for justice.
- $1,215,000 – Auto accident victim with head injuries and broken bones
- $1,000,000 – Car accident victim with fractured vertebrae and compound leg fracture
- $700,000 – Car accident victim with brain injury and fractured back
- $625,000 – Car accident victim with fractures and collapsed lung
- $550,000 – Car accident victim with brain injuries and broken bones
- $525,000 – Car accident victim with broken hips and legs
- $300,000 – Drunk driver caused an accident resulting in broken bones
We’re There When You Need Us
If you’ve suffered fractures or broken bones, it is important to understand that these injuries can be severe. While most individuals do not consider fractures to be a “serious” injury, many car accident victims find their quality of life extremely diminished after recovering from fractures. In some cases, fractures may result in long-term disability, pain, and suffering.
At Rainwater, Holt, & Sexton, our Arkansas car accident attorneys know how devastating these injuries can be. With six offices conveniently located throughout Arkansas and Tennessee—Little Rock, Fayetteville, Conway, Hot Springs, Bryant, and Memphis—our lawyers are there whenever you need us.
Tell us how we can help.
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