For most, a fractured arm, ankle, or toe is almost a rite of passage in childhood. Often, these fractures are not high impact breaks, and they heal in a matter of months. However, broken bones come in a variety of forms, and depending on how, when, where, and what bone is broken can drastically change the seriousness of your condition. Further, if a broken bone is not set right, a serious infection called osteomyelitis can set in, which can potentially require amputation of the limb simply as the result of a fracture. If you broke a bone in an accident, it is important to understand the seriousness of such an injury before you consider settling the matter.
Types of Fractures
As you can imagine, the severity of a fracture tends to depend on the amount of force applied, the strength of the bones, and the direction in which the force is applied. The following are the most common types of fractures:
- Greenstick Fracture: when the bone is slightly broken as the result of being bent;
- Stable Fracture: The bone is broken but the ends line up;
- Open/Compound Fracture: when the bone pierces through the skin at the time of fracture;
- Transverse Fracture: when the bone fractures horizontally;
- Buckle Fracture: when the broken bone ends are driven into one another;
- Oblique fracture: when the bone fractures at an angle; and
- Comminuted Fracture: when the bone shatters into three or more pieces.
Open fractures are among the most dangerous types of fractures because the bone is severed completely and will pierce through the skin, causing a greater risk of infection. These are the types of fractures most commonly seen in car accidents because of the high impact of a crash. Because bones do have some bend and give, it takes a powerful force to sever the bone completely. Further, comminuted fractures are also commonly seen after a high-impact car crash because it takes considerable energy to shatter a bone into multiple pieces. This type of fracture, however, can be the most difficult type to treat because it requires setting the bone in multiple places, which can often mean the need for surgical intervention. Accordingly, a fracture can mean much more than the need for a cast.
Complications from Fractures
- Knee or ankle pain;
- Incomplete healing due to blood flow disruption to the limb;
- Never and blood vessel damage;
- Compartment syndrome, which is a condition that causes pain, swelling, and disability in the muscles near the bone;
- Arthritis; and
- Unequal leg length leading to back pain.
Some of these complications can have serious consequences, such as loss of use of a limb or even amputation, which some patients will elect in order to relieve the pain of compartment syndrome. Often, these complications will not manifest until later in the healing process, which is why it’s important to always take any type of fracture seriously. For example, if a child’s leg was fractured at the school playground, it may not be apparent until the child begins to grow that he or she will be suffering from unequal leg length, which can lead to a lifetime of spinal problems. Further, a fracture that extends to a bone’s joint or that does not heal in proper alignment can cause arthritis or osteoarthritis years after the initial break. It is important to consider all potential complications of a bone break when attempting to calculate the value of your Florida personal injury case.
Florida No-Fault Threshold and Fractures
Because Florida’s courts are inundated with personal injury litigation from car accidents, no-fault law is designed to reduce litigation by “guaranteeing” you some form of compensation regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Under this system, however, Florida law sets a medical “threshold” for personal injury recovery, meaning that your injuries must meet certain pre-qualifications if you wish to pursue a personal injury claim in Florida courts. There are four categorizations of injuries in Florida that meet the “threshold” standard that would allow you to seek compensation above that paid out by your no-fault carrier:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function;
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability;
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, and
Due to the seriousness of all fractures, however, broken bones will almost always push you past the Florida threshold requirement in personal injury cases. Only car accident cases, however, have personal injury thresholds, and broken bones are just as likely to occur in a trip and fall or crushing accident. It is especially important to seek immediate medical help if a child or elderly individual suffers from a broken bone. While a child may heal more quickly if the fracture is not set properly this may result in lifetime complications. Further, if an elderly individual with weakened bones falls and breaks a hip, it is often a difficult injury to heal from altogether.
Contact a Clearwater Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have suffered from any type of broken bone as the result of either a car accident or the negligence of another, it is important to contact a Florida personal injury attorney to discuss your case. Whether it’s a worker’s compensation claim, a car accident, or trip-and-fall injury, the law in Florida is different for each claim. Overall, you are entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, but it is important to take into consideration how a broken bone may affect you in the future when considering what you need to recover. Take advantage for your no-risk, free consultation with the Dolman Law Group, your premier personal injury lawyers in the greater Tampa Bay area. They are here to fight for your right to compensation. Contact them today at (727) 451-6900 or online.