At Abels & Annes, P.C. our Chicago injury attorneys often represent clients who have sustained a fracture or broken bone in an accident. A fracture can occur when force is applied to a bone that is stronger than the bone itself. Your risk of a fracture can depend in part on your age. Children are likely to sustain a fracture, however they tend to be less complicated than a fracture to an adult. When you are older, your bones can become more brittle and a fall that might not hurt a child could seriously injure an adult.
There are many types of broken bones, but the most common categories are:
- Complete fracture – bone snaps in two
- Incomplete fracture – the bone breaks, but not into pieces
- Compound fracture or open fracture – the bone breaks the skin
- Simple fracture – transverse, oblique, comminuted, impacted, stress and hairline
Some fractures or breaks are far more serious than others.
We have represented many clients who have had to undergo open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) surgery to repair fractures. This is a procedure where surgeons repair a fracture site by securing it with screws and plates, or an intramedullary rod. Sometimes the hardware remains in the fracture site temporarily, and sometimes it is permanent.
Broken Bones from Car Accidents
One of the most common ways to sustain a broken or fractured bone is after being involved in a car accident. When cars collide, the forces involved may cause the metal body of a car to crumple or distort, which in turn can lead to injuries of the occupants of the car. A collision can also cause a passenger’s body to travel forward and then backward in a seat, potentially striking a steering wheel, a dashboard, a gear shift, or even contact with the seat, all of which can cause injury.
A car accident at any speed can produce forces great enough to break a bone, but the faster the car at the time of the crash, the more likely a bone will break. This is because bones can only withstand so much force before they break under pressure, and this force increases exponentially as speed of a car increases.
The most common types of broken bones sustained in a car accident are broken arms, legs, ribs, and vertebrae in the neck and back. Broken ribs can cause severe internal injuries, like punctured lungs and punctured organs. Particularly dangerous are fractured vertebrae, or the bones that make up the spinal column in the neck and back. When a vertebra is fractured, it can cause damage to the spinal cord, which may result in partial paralysis.
Broken Bones in Falls
A very common cause of broken bones results from slip and fall or trip and fall accidents. In a slip-and-fall accident, something causes a victim to lose her footing and fall. These incidents can be caused by snow, ice, water, cleaning solutions, defective surfaces or stairs, or uneven sidewalk sections, to name a few. A trip and fall is similar but it involves an initial trip over an object followed by a subsequent fall. Often, we see these accidents arise from an improperly placed or maintained rug or mat in a restaurant or store, a defective curb or stairwell, or a foreign object placed in someone’s path of travel.
When a victim begins a fall to the ground, often the first thing done is to put out an arm to instinctively break a fall. This natural reaction might help lessen the severity of overall injuries but often it can lead to a fractured arm. Another common fracture that results from a fall is a fractured hip. While a broken hip may sound like an injury that only affects the elderly, in truth, this is a common result of a fall. The structure of the hip makes this an easy area to break, especially if a falling victim lands on his or her hip.
Broken Bones in Workplace Accidents
Depending on the type of site, a workplace can be relatively safe or extremely dangerous. Regardless of what type of job is performed, all Illinois workers are protected by law for injuries they sustain while working, including any broken bones that occur.
Some workers that are more likely to experience fractures include construction workers, city employees, assembly line and warehouse workers, and anyone who drives for a living, including long haul truckers. When a job involves moving materials, heavy machinery, or risks associated with driving on the open road, a simple mistake or an accident can have severe consequences, including broken bones, some of which may need surgical repair.
Workers who are injured on the job may have multiple claims and multiple avenues for recovery. This can depend on who is at fault for the accident or who is involved. Even if the injured employee bears some of the responsibility for an incident, there can still be a recovery.
If you have sustained a fracture, request a Free Case Consultation or call (312) 924-7575 to speak with a lawyer now.