At Drake & Collopy, P.C., our team of experienced Chicago personal injury attorneys are ready to represent you after you have sustained a broken or fractured bone in an accident. This injury often requires ongoing and extensive medical care and may even require surgery and long-term rehabilitation. Fractures often take a long time to heal, as well. This may result in you missing out on work and the income from working needed to support your family.
If you break a bone during a slip and fall incident, car accident, or another personal injury situation, you should seek medical treatment right away.
For injuries caused by another person’s negligence, you may be able to receive monetary compensation for your losses and damages. Our personal injury lawyers at Drake & Collopy, P.C. will help you navigate this often-difficult legal process and will work to ensure you get adequate compensation. Our goal is to help you move on with your life beyond the accident and injury you sustained.
Bone Fractures Defined
Bone fractures occur when force is applied to a bone that is stronger than the bone. It doesn’t matter if the bone is cracked or broken completely; medical professionals will generally refer to it as a fracture. Broken bones that puncture through your skin are referred to as open fractures.
Stress fractures occur when prolonged or repeated forces against your bone cause a break or crack instead of a single, traumatic event. This type of repeated stress will weaken the bone until it eventually breaks.
Are Bone Fractures Common?
Bone fractures are quite common. Every year in the U.S., there are approximately 6.3 million fractures causing accidents. Sometimes, fractures are the result of old age, while others are caused by disease, and some occur to healthy tissue because of some type of trauma.
Your risk of experiencing a fracture is largely dependent on your age. For example, while children are more likely to experience a fracture, the incidents aren’t as complicated as fractures in adults. As you get older, your bones become more brittle, which means a fall that may not cause harm to a child could cause a serious injury in an adult.
When it comes to fractures that require the person to go to the hospital for treatment, 57% of them occur in individuals 65 years or older. In this age group, the most common fractures that occur include:
- Hip related – 90%
- Pelvis related – 65%
- Vertebra related – 56%
Common Types of Fractures Seen After an Accident
If you are involved in an accident, it isn’t uncommon for bones to break, bend, and crack. While simple fractures are more common, there are several different types of broken bones that may occur, which all vary in terms of severity and require different levels of medical care and treatment.
Most bone fractures can be divided into a specific category and type. The category shows the general result of the fracture. Fracture types are more specific.
Usually, a fracture will be categorized as:
- Comminuted: The bone is shattered into three or more pieces.
- Complete: The bone snaps in two.
- Stable: The broken bone ends line up and are just slightly out of place.
- Incomplete: The bone breaks, but it doesn’t break into pieces.
- Simple: The fracture to the bone occurs, but there’s no damage to the nearby tissue, nor does it puncture through the skin.
- Closed: The bone breaks, but the skin is not broken.
- Open or compound: The bone breaks and pierces through the skin.
A bone fracture will also be categorized as one or several of the descriptions above. Getting to know these categories and types will help you better understand the injury you have sustained and what it means for your personal injury claim.
The common types of bone fractures that occur include:
- Transverse: A serious break where the broken piece of the bone is located at a right angle to the axis of the bone.
- Avulsion: A fragment of the bone is separated from the main part of the fractured bone.
- Stress: There’s a hairline crack on the bone.
- Buckled or impacted: The ends of the bone are compressed into one another.
- Spiral: The bone is twisted so far that it has broken, an injury that is seen in motor vehicle accidents and assaults.
- Wedge or compression: The bone is compressed with so much force that a break occurs. It is commonly seen in the vertebra.
- Pathologic: Fractures caused by a disease that weakens the bones.
- Greenstick: This is an incomplete fracture that causes the bone to bend and is commonly seen in children.
There are several fractures that are considered more serious than others. Usually, the severity is dependent on where and how the fracture occurred. In some cases, recovery is simple; however, more severe fractures and breaks are going to require more recovery time. They are also going to cost more to treat and result in more pain and suffering for the accident victim. There are some fractures that may even cost a victim thousands of dollars in medical costs, especially if complications or surgery are involved.
Recovering Compensation After a Fracture
To recover compensation after you experience a fracture, you should work with an experienced personal injury attorney. At Drake & Collopy, P.C., we are dedicated to ensuring our clients get the best possible outcome for their cases and situation. The first step is to get in touch with our legal team and schedule an initial consultation. We are your partner in recovery and are ready to get to work for you.