Broken Bones After a Car Accidents in Harrisonburg, VA
If you sustained broken bones in a car accident in Harrisonburg, you may need extensive medical care to treat the fracture. You may need surgery to mend a fracture. If you were not at fault for the crash, you shouldn’t be responsible for the financial consequences of someone else’s negligent actions.
By filing a car accident injury claim, you may seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance. However, getting the full and fair compensation you’re owed from the insurer can be challenging. It can be difficult to manage the details of an accident claim and deal effectively with the insurance company while you are in pain and trying to recover from significant injuries.
The Harrisonburg attorneys at Kendall Law Firm can help you evaluate your options and determine whether you have a valid injury claim during a free consultation. Contact us to learn more about how our team can help you seek the financial recovery you need. We have offices in Harrisonburg and four other locations in Virginia to serve you.
Common Broken Bones and Fractures from Car Accidents
Depending on the nature and severity of a car accident, any of the following fracture injuries can occur:
- Arm fractures – Many people brace their arms against car windows, instrument panels, or dashboards in anticipation of a crash. That can cause the bones in the arm to sustain one or multiple fractures upon impact in a collision.
- Wrist fractures – The delicate bones of the wrist are susceptible to breakage from the violent impact of a crash.
- Tibia and fibula fractures – The tibia and fibula are lower leg bones that are extremely vulnerable in a crash. When the front or side of a car caves in after a collision, these bones often become trapped and broken.
- Fractured knees – In high-speed crashes, knees may strike the dashboard with enough force to fracture. When kneecaps are broken, victims typically experience intense pain and may not be able to bear weight on their legs.
- Broken femurs – Your femur is a strong bone located in your thigh. Despite their strength, femurs are commonly broken in car accidents when upper legs are crushed or braced against the impact of a collision.
- Clavicle fractures – Collarbones are fragile and broken collarbones occur frequently in violent car wrecks. Many clavicle fractures occur as a result of pressure from seat belt straps in an accident.
- Broken ribs – Broken ribs are often the result of blunt force trauma from airbags and seatbelts. In some cases, rib fractures can cause internal bleeding, organ punctures, and other secondary trauma.
- Skull and facial fractures – Broken bones in the skull, face, and jaw commonly occur when vehicle occupants fail to wear seatbelts. A head striking a windshield can lead to severe fractures and permanent disfigurement.
- Vertebral fractures – Broken vertebrae commonly occur in head-on and rear-end collisions, when vehicle occupants are jolted forward or back. A fractured vertebra can result in serious trauma to the spine and spinal cord.
- Broken hips – Your hip joint, which connects your leg bone to your pelvis, is susceptible to side-impact collisions. A broken hip may require the surgical implantation of screws, rods, or other hardware to stabilize and heal.
- Sternum fractures – Your sternum forms the front of your ribcage, and sternal fractures may occur after blunt force trauma to the chest. Many sternal fractures are the result of slamming into seatbelts in a car accident.
- Pelvic fractures – A broken pelvis is a serious car accident injury that can impact your ability to walk or sit up without assistance. Older adults and those in side-impact collisions are most likely to sustain pelvic fractures.
Types of Fractures
In addition to the different bones that can break in a car accident, there are several ways a bone can fracture. Doctors may diagnose accident victims with one or more of the following types of fractures:
- Hairline fractures – A hairline fracture, or stress fracture, is a thin crack that doesn’t go all the way through a bone. Hairline fractures can be painful but frequently heal on their own with proper rest.
- Transverse fractures – A transverse fracture involves a break along a straight line that is perpendicular to the shaft of the bone. In some cases, a transverse fracture may lead to the displacement of part of a bone.
- Compound fractures – In a compound fracture, or open fracture, a piece of broken bone punctures the skin. Victims with compound fractures are especially susceptible to infection.
- Closed fractures – A closed fracture is a broken bone that does not pierce the skin. However, bone fragments from closed fractures can still cause injuries to surrounding soft tissues.
- Comminuted fractures – In a comminuted fracture, the bone shatters or splinters into more than two fragments. It requires a lot of force to shatter a bone, so comminuted fractures are rare except in high-speed collisions.
- Avulsion fractures – Avulsion fractures occur when a bone is torn away from connective tendons or ligaments. Avulsion fractures are most common in hips, elbows, and ankles and typically require surgery to mend.
- Buckle fractures – A buckle fracture, or incomplete fracture, is when a bone bends and is compressed on one side but doesn’t break all the way through. These fractures are most common in children because their bones are softer and more flexible than adult bones.
- Spiral fractures – When bones are twisted unnaturally by the forces of a crash, spiral fractures can occur. Spiral fractures result in diagonal, twisting breaks and sometimes cause bones to fragment into pieces.
What Should I Do If I Sustain Fractures After a Car Accident?
If you sustain broken bones in a car crash, the steps you take in the immediate aftermath can have a big impact on your ability to claim compensation. You can protect your health and your legal rights by:
- Seeking prompt medical attention – If you are having difficulty putting weight on a limb and suspect you may have a broken bone, prompt medical care is critical. With appropriate care, you can have the fracture properly diagnosed and treated.
- Following your doctor’s orders – It’s important to listen to your treating physician and give yourself time to rest while your bones heal. Make sure you keep up with any prescription regimens and follow-up appointments as well.
- Keeping track of your medical records and expenses – To claim compensation for your injuries, you should maintain copies of all relevant medical records and bills as evidence of the physical and financial impacts of the accident.
- Establishing a pain journal – A pain journal is a written record of the pain you endure due to the accident. Keeping a journal can help you keep track of the subjective effects of your fracture injuries while the details are still fresh.
- Gathering evidence from the accident – If you are able to do so, it may be useful to gather evidence such as photos of the accident scene and names and contact information of any eyewitnesses who saw the crash.
- Avoiding posting on social media – You should assume that anything you share on social media may be used to damage your claim. Do not post any images, updates, or even innocent comments related to the crash.
- Be careful what you say to insurance companies – Avoid making recorded statements to the other driver’s insurance provider before speaking to an attorney. When you talk to insurers, stick to the facts and avoid admitting fault or apologizing.
- Contacting a knowledgeable car accident lawyer – An attorney can help you evaluate your rights and legal options, gather evidence to support your claim, and pursue the compensation you need to treat your fracture injuries.
Compensation for Broken Bone Injuries
With the help of an experienced Harrisonburg lawyer, you may seek the following types of compensation as part of a fracture injury claim:
- Past and current medical expenses – Any previous or ongoing medical costs related to your injury, including the cost of hospital stays, ambulance rides, diagnostic tests, doctors’ visits, prescription medications, and medical equipment.
- Projected future costs of medical care – If you and your doctor agree that your fracture injuries will likely require significant future care, you could be entitled to compensation for the projected costs of necessary future treatment.
- Incidental out-of-pocket costs – Any incidental costs you incur as a result of your injuries, including out-of-pocket costs for transportation to medical appointments, in-home care, and home or vehicle accessibility modifications.
- Lost wages from missed time at work – If your broken bone injury prevents you from working for an extended period of time, you may seek compensation for your lost income from missed work.
- Losses in future earning potential – If a fracture injury is particularly serious and leads to a long-term or permanent disability, it could prevent you from returning to your previous job. In some situations, you may seek compensation for losses in your future earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering – You may be entitled to compensation for the subjective costs of the physical pain, emotional suffering, and losses in your quality of life as a result of the accident.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you were injured in a Harrisonburg car accident, the attorneys at Kendall Law Firm can provide compassionate and professional assistance during this challenging time. Contact us today to discuss your legal options in a free initial case review.