Every year, about six million Americans break bones, and the average person will break a bone twice in their life.
There are some interesting facts to know about this common injury.
Experts estimate that:
- More than a third of fractures are the result of osteoporosis.
- Between 30 and 50 percent of adults over the age of 50 will break a bone in their spines.
- 90 percent of the 300,000 annual hip fractures in the United States are the result of a fall.
- About 25 percent of hip fracture patients die within a year after their injury.
Fortunately, up to 95 percent of fractures heal normally.
Types of Broken Bone Injuries
There are two basic types of broken bone injuries: simple and compound.
Simple fractures, also called closed fractures, happen when the bone breaks, but the skin stays intact. These tend to be much less risky than compound fractures since the chance of infection is lower.
Compound fractures, also called open fractures, happen when the bone pokes through the skin. A fracture may also be considered compound if a wound exposes the broken bone. These fractures carry a higher risk of infection and may be more complex to heal from.
You may also hear about different fracture types that describe the shape of the break:
- Greenstick fractures – When only one side of a bone breaks, but the other stays intact
- Transverse fractures – When the break cuts straight across the bone
- Spiral fractures – The break curves around the bone in a spiral
- Oblique fractures – The break runs diagonally across the bone
- Compression fractures – The bone gets crushed and so looks wider or flatter than normal
- Comminuted fractures – The bone is broken into at least three pieces and there are fragments at each of the break sites
- Segmental fractures – The bone is broken in at least two places, leaving a “floating” piece of bone
While some broken bones injuries are apparent, others may not appear as severe at first. It’s always a good idea to get examined by a doctor after an injury of any sort.
Symptoms of a Broken Bone
There are several symptoms that can indicate you might have a broken bone. Of course, pain and swelling are two of the first symptoms you’ll notice. The area will probably be tender, and you may notice some bruising at the site of the injury.
Depending on where the fracture is, you may not be able to move that part of your body the same way you normally can. You might also see a bump or deformity at the site that isn’t usually there.
Any time you experience a fall, especially if you’re older and/or have a history of osteoporosis, it’s a good idea to see a doctor.
Common Causes of Broken Bones
A wide variety of accidents can cause broken bones, but a few tend to show up more often than others. Car accidents can commonly result in broken bones, especially in the face, arms, and legs. Sports injuries are another common culprit of broken bones, particularly in the ankles, legs, fingers, and toes.
But the most common cause of broken bones overall is falls. About 20 percent of falls cause a serious injury, including broken bones, and 95 percent of hip fractures happen because of a fall. This is an especially serious problem for older adults and those suffering from osteoporosis or bone cancer.
Most Common Broken Bone Injuries
While it is possible to break almost any bone in your body, some tend to break more often than others.
You might be surprised to learn that the collarbone is one of the most common fracture sites, especially in children. Babies can sometimes suffer collarbone fractures during birth, and children may break their collar bones while playing contact sports.
About half of adult fractures happen in the arms, and arms are the second-most broken bone in children. Wrists are also common, and hip fractures become a huge risk as adults pass the age of 75. Older adults may also tend to break ankles, which can leave them at an even greater risk of falling.
Statute of Limitations for Broken Bone Cases
If you broke a bone in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you might be able to file a personal injury claim.
Common personal injury cases that result in broken bones can include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Workplace accidents
In most cases, you have a certain amount of time after the accident occurs to file a compensation claim. This is called the statute of limitations, and once it passes, you will not be able to apply for compensation. In Louisiana, the statute of limitations on personal injury cases is one year.
There are some rare cases when a personal injury case can be heard after the statute of limitations has passed. For instance, in a medical malpractice case, you may not know about the injury until well after the incident occurred.
In most cases, however, it’s best to file your claim as soon as you can after your accident. One year can fly by, especially when you’re recovering from a serious injury. If you think you may be entitled to compensation for your broken bone, you need to speak to a Lafayette personal injury lawyer immediately.
Broken Bone Injury Compensation
Compensation amounts for broken bone injuries can vary widely depending on the severity of the break. In general, your compensation offer will cover both the expenses you had to pay after your injury and the suffering you experienced.
A broken bone injury settlement offer can cover the following:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished capacity to work
- Long-term care
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
In certain rare cases, you may also be able to collect punitive damages. These damages serve to punish the defendant in cases where they acted maliciously or with gross negligence.
Talk to a Lafayette Personal Injury Lawyer for Help With Your Injury Claim
Broken bones take months to recover from and may even leave you permanently disabled. If you broke a bone in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you need to act quickly. In Louisiana, you only have a year to file a compensation claim before the statute of limitations passes.
A Lafayette personal injury lawyer can help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and even file a lawsuit if the insurers refuse to make a fair settlement offer. Schedule a free consultation with our personal injury attorneys at Kenny Habetz Injury Law to discuss the details of your case at (337) 399-9000.