Fractures from Car Accidents Lawyer in Washington DC

Fractures are among the most common injuries suffered by victims of car accidents. Depending on where the fracture is and the severity of the break, a victim may suffer pain, disability and emotional trauma long after the collision.

“Fracture” is simply the medical term for a broken bone. A fracture occurs when the force that is exerted on a bone is more than the bone can handle without breaking.

There are four basic categories of fractures:

  • Displaced – A displaced fracture happens when a bone breaks, or snaps, into two or more pieces and the pieces then move in such a way that the ends no longer meet where they should. A comminuted fracture is a displaced fracture that shatters into many pieces.
  • Non-displaced – A non-displaced fracture occurs when the bone cracks or breaks but the pieces do not move, meaning the bone retains its proper alignment.
  • Open – This is a fracture that also includes an open wound where the bone actually breaks through the skin.
  • Closed – In a closed fracture, there is no puncture through the skin. Sometimes there is no outward sign the fracture.

How a Car Accident Can Cause a Fracture

Fractures are very common in car accidents. A typical adult human has 206 bones, any one of which could break as a result of the force exerted in a car crash.

The legs of a front seat occupant, for example, are typically underneath the dashboard, where an impact can cause them to slam into the dash with great force. Backseat passengers’ legs will often suffer the same fate except that their legs hit the seat in front of them. In either scenario, the force of the impact will often cause a bone located in the leg to fracture.

Occupants of a vehicle tend to act reflexively when a crash is imminent. Most people push their feet to the floor, as if to stop the collision or brace for its impact. People also tend to put their arms out for the same reasons. These actions can actually increase the chance that a leg or arm bone will fracture as a result of the impact.

Broken ribs are also common in car accidents. Even when an occupant is wearing a seatbelt, the forces of a crash can break rib bones, resulting in severe discomfort and even puncture wounds to the lungs or other internal organs.

Although fractures in the arms, legs and ribs are more common, any of the bones in the body can break or shatter in a car accident. A fractured pelvis or spine are also common and severe injuries from car accidents. Even a relatively small fracture can take months to heal and could result in a permanent injury.

The Severity of a Broken Bone

The severity of a fracture depends on a variety of factors, such as:

  • Location – Because the bones vary in size and function, the location of a fracture will be important in determining the severity of the fracture. A minor fracture in the arm, for example, is usually less serious and typically heals faster and with less risk of long-term impairment than a fracture to the pelvic bone.
  • Alignment – A fracture that is non-displaced is typically easier to set than a displaced fracture. In addition, a non-displaced fracture usually heals faster and with less chance of permanent damage.
  • Wound type – An open fracture carries some additional risks and concerns, such as infection and blood loss. A deep bone infection can be very dangerous, difficult to treat and may heal slowly.
  • Age – Bones become more fragile with age. A relatively small fracture in an 80-year-old car accident victim may be more serious and result in more complications than the same fracture in a healthy 25-year-old. Fractures in young children can also be more problematic because their bones are still growing, meaning that it may be more difficult to re-set the bone without long-term complications.

Treatment for Fracture Injuries

If a fracture is suspected as a result of a car accident, the first step is usually to try to stabilize the area, immobilize the victim, apply ice and seek immediate medical treatment. At the emergency room, doctors will typically take X-rays of the injured area to confirm the fracture.

Once a fracture is diagnosed, a temporary cast or splint will often be applied to the area for a few days. A permanent cast may not initially be used because a fracture usually causes swelling in the area of the fracture, which could cause pressure to build up under a permanent cast. If, however, the fractured bones require re-alignment, then a permanent cast may be used from the beginning.

Surgery is required in some cases. The need for surgery depends on a variety of factors that boil down to whether the bones will heal properly without surgical intervention. If the doctor is concerned that the bones will move or will not align properly with just a cast, then surgery may be recommended. If surgery is required, it may be simply to ensure proper alignment of the bones or it may be to insert metal hardware in the bones to hold them in place during the healing process. If metal rods, screws or plates are required, they may be removed once the fracture has healed completely or they may be left in permanently depending on the severity of the fracture.

Broken Bone in a D.C. Car Crash? Talk to Our Accident Lawyers Today

If you have suffered a bone fracture as a result of a car accident in Washington DC, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you have suffered. The personal injury attorneys at Abelson Personal Injury Law Firm, can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Although the law can protect victims who have suffered broken bones in a collision, the law also limits the time within which a victim must pursue a claim. Don’t waive your potential right to compensation by waiting too long.

Contact our Washington DC car accident lawyer now by using our online contact form for a no-cost, no-obligation review of your case. You will not be charged any attorney fees unless we are successful in recovering compensation.

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If you find that you are in need of a personal injury lawyer, I HIGHLY recommend Attorney Michael Abelson. I suffered a permanent disabling injury in a car accident. Mr. Abelson worked hard on my case and prepared carefully for trial. He guided me every step along the way. His diligent preparation led to a settlement agreement that greatly exceeded my expectation. Date published: 09/07/2018
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