Snellings Law PLLC Attorneys are
Broken Bone Lawyers
Unfortunately, we see quite a few vehicle occupants that suffer broken bones in car accidents. Certain types of crashes more often lead to certain types of injuries due to how the occupant will move in the vehicle at impact. Here are some examples:
Frontal accidents – We many times see fractures to feet, lower legs, knees, femurs, sternum (breastbone), hands, and wrists. The vertebrae in the neck and lower back are also vulnerable as the spine flexes and extends. As the vehicle strikes something from the front and comes to a very quick stop, our bodies want to continue moving forward in relation to the vehicle. While seatbelts tighten and airbags deploy, there may still be enough energy that goes into our body to cause fractures. Our legs can load into the dashboard or we can jam our feet on pedals leading to lower body injuries. We also grip our steering wheels and tense which can cause extra energy to be absorbed by our hands, wrists, and forearms causing fractures. We have several cases where our clients have broken their sternum or their clavicle (collarbone) when they loaded into their seatbelt.
Rear-end accidents – The most common fractures we see in these type crashes are to the bones in the knees and lower legs. When we are hit from behind, our body loads into the seatback and head rest. If the impact is severe enough, we can actually bend or twist our seat backs rearward. In some cases, the seatbacks can even break potentially ejecting the occupant into the back of the vehicle and opening him up to more significant spinal injuries. When struck, our legs will also come upwards and many times hit the underside of the dash potentially causing fractures in the knee or lower leg areas.
Side impact accidents – When our vehicle is struck from the side, we are much more vulnerable to injuries. There is less vehicle mass between us and the collision, which means there is less metal there to absorb the impact. We also do not have a seatback or the full protection of a seatbelt to help restrain us. Most vehicles on the roadway today have side impact airbags of some sort. These airbags provide considerably more protection for the vehicle occupants, but they do not help as much with opposite side impacts. Obviously, the driver is not going to benefit from the passenger side airbag when he is struck on the driver’s side. However, he can benefit from his own side airbag, if deployed, for any rebound injuries. In side impacts, we see many broken ribs, broken bones in the pelvis, fractures in the shoulder area, and skull fractures.
Rollover accidents – When a vehicle rolls over, we lose the benefit of a lot of the safety systems put in place to protect us. As far as broken bones, it really depends on whether the occupant was ejected or not. If they were ejected, then all bets are off in terms of likely injuries as the ejected occupant could land on any number of different body parts, objects, or be struck by their vehicle or other vehicles. If the occupant remains in the vehicle, then we would ask if they remained in their seat. If they were thrown within the vehicle, then similar to the ejected occupant, they could have injured any potential body part. If they did remain in their seat, then hopefully the safety mechanisms provided as much protection as possible. Their likely injuries would depend on the direction of force as well as the amount of force from the impact.
TYPES OF BROKEN BONES
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons lists out the common types of fractures as follows:
- Stable Fracture – The broken parts of the bone are lined up and barely out of place;
- Open, Compound Fracture – The bone or a blow breaks the skin open at the time of the fracture, but the bone may or may not be visible in the wound;
- Transverse Fracture – The fracture line is horizontal (across the bone);
- Oblique Fracture – The fracture has an angled pattern;
- Comminuted Fracture – The bone fractures into 3 or more pieces.
We have walked many clients who have suffered broken bones through the insurance claims process. We are experienced in explaining to the adjusters not just the stories our clients tell us regarding how these injuries have affected their lives, but also showing a compelling case for the down-the-road consequences of broken bones. We use this experience to obtain the best possible result for our clients who have suffered broken bones, whether in a car accident, motorcycle accident, 18-wheeler or trucking accident, bicycle accident, or even as a pedestrian.