Car Accidents and Broken Bones: An Almost Certain Combination
Were you injured in an auto accident? Learn how a lawyer can help you receive a fair settlement to cover the cost of any broken bones cause from your car accident.
Settlement for Broken Bones Due to a Car Accident
You have 213 bones in your body if you’re an adult. Of these, 206 have their own individual names. The five fused vertebrae of your lower back make up your sacrum, while your coccyx, i.e., tailbone, actually consists of three to five additional tiny vertebrae fused together.
Unfortunately, virtually all of your bones are at risk of breaking in a motor vehicle accident. Bones break when something hard forcefully hits them or when they’re subjected to excessive stress and pressure. Believe it or not, if you weigh 175 pounds and your car crashes while you’re going only 25 mph, your body might as well have been hit with 2,785 tons of bricks! The result is the same. Your bones break.
Bones Likely To Break in a Car Crash
Given the tremendous forces present in a car crash and the extent of your skeletal structure, it’s no wonder that broken bones represent some of the most common motor vehicle accident injuries. You stand a good chance of breaking one or more of the following bones:
- Hip, pelvic, leg, ankle, foot and toe
- Arm, wrist, hand and finger
- Neck and back
- Facial bones
Types of Bone Fractures
When your bones break during a car crash, they can do so in a variety of ways. Each type of fracture has its own name:
- Avulsion fracture – One of your ligaments or tendons that’s attached to a bone pulls off a piece of it.
- Comminuted fracture – Your bone breaks in three or more pieces, leaving fragments at the site of the fracture.
- Compound fracture, also called an open fracture – Your bone pierces through the skin surrounding it.
- Displaced fracture – A fragment is torn away from the bone.
- Spiral fracture – One or more of your limbs twists, breaking the bones within it.
- Transverse fracture – A force applies pressure directly to one of your limbs, breaking the bone at a right angle.
Broken Bone Car Accident Settlement
When you sue the person whose negligence caused your accident and therefore your broken bones, you naturally want to receive adequate compensation. It should be enough to cover not only your medical expenses and lost wages but also your pain and suffering and other intangible noneconomic damages. Arriving at an adequate settlement amount, however, is often tricky when it comes to broken bones. Numerous factors are involved:
- Which bone(s) broke
- The severity and complexity of the break or breaks
- Whether the break caused muscle or nerve damage and the extent thereof
- Which part of your body was affected
- The amount of medical care you required
- The length of time it continued
- Whether you had to undergo surgery
- Whether the injury left a scar, its extensiveness and on which part of your body it appears
Additional considerations include whether the injury made it difficult or impossible for you to fully resume your life, thereby partially or totally disabling you, whether you will require future medical or rehabilitation treatments and therapies, your age and the area of the country and state in which you live.
No two bone breaks are exactly alike. Therefore, it’s impossible to know for sure how much the guilty party’s insurance company will offer your attorney in the way of a settlement. However, an experienced local personal injury attorney can have a good idea of the typical settlement amounts in your area of the country. They’ll be able to share with you the average settlement amounts for broken leg and broken arm car accident settlements.
Insurance companies are known for trying to pay the least amount of compensation they possibly can when plaintiffs sue their policyholders for negligently causing accidents that result in broken bones and other injuries. This is why you need to choose an attorney who possesses excellent negotiation skills and has a good track record of obtaining favorable settlements for your type of injuries.
Insurance companies seldom make a large initial offer. This is another area in which your attorney’s experience helps your case. The law firm is ethically bound to tell you the amount of any settlement offer the insurance company makes. But, they will also advise you whether you should accept it or will likely receive a better offer if negotiations continue. It’s not unusual for an insurance company to make several offers over the course of negotiations, each one higher than its predecessors, before you accept the final one. You therefore need to have patience and not expect a quick resolution.
Why You Need an Attorney
Broken bone injuries involve many complexities. Contact a local personal injury attorney if one or more of your bones break in a motor vehicle accident. Not only can the firm assess your injury and estimate its potential compensation, but it can also help you gather medical records that may increase the amount of your ultimate settlement.
Keep in mind that to obtain a favorable settlement for the physical and emotional trauma you suffered because of your broken bones, you must first file a lawsuit against the motorist who caused the accident. Most motor vehicle personal injury lawsuits are based on negligence. This means that the defendants did not intentionally seek to harm their victims. Rather, they drove in such a reckless or distracted manner that they caused the accident and therefore the plaintiff’s injuries.
Once your attorney files the lawsuit on your behalf, the law firm and the defendant’s insurance company begin settlement negotiations. These could take several months. It depends on how willing the insurance company is to pay you a reasonable amount of compensation. The more evidence your attorney can present regarding the seriousness of your broken bones, the greater the likelihood that the insurance company will be cooperative. This is why it’s so important that you and your attorney amass your medical records, X-rays, surgical notes and doctors’ statements as to your long-term prognosis.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer
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