Many types of accidents can occur within Chicago’s city limits, from car accidents to slip and falls at one of the city’s high rises or historical buildings to injuries to children on the playground or the ball field. A common type of injury in these accidents is a broken or fractured bone. We may think bone injuries heal within weeks with prompt medical attention. However, the body’s bones play essential roles in the body’s ability to move and function. Severe or improperly healed bone fractures can impair motion and function, sometimes permanently. If you have suffered a bone fracture or other injury affecting the bones because of someone else’s negligence, an experienced Chicago bone injury lawyer from Zayed Law Offices can help seek compensation for your injury.
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Common Types of Bone Injuries
When it comes to broken bones, not all injuries are equal. In truth, bones can break crosswise, lengthwise, and in multiple pieces.
Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have compiled a list of some of the more common types of bone injuries that occur:
- A stable fracture: This is generally the easiest bone fracture to treat, as the broken ends of the bone line up and are barely out of place. The physician can more easily set the bone and you have a better chance of complete recovery from the injury.
- Displaced fracture: With this type of injury, the broken ends of the bone move so that they are not lined up straight and will require a physician to set the injury.
- Open (compound) fracture: This bone fracture penetrates the skin or tears it open. The bone is not always visible by looking at the wound involved in a compound fracture.
- Transverse fracture: This type of injury occurs when the bone breaks horizontally.
- Oblique fracture: These fractures generally present with an angled pattern to the break.
- Comminuted fracture: This is one of the more serious bone fractures, as the bone breaks into three or more pieces. Often, when you hear someone talking about “shattering” a bone, they refer to a comminuted fracture.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE BROKEN A BONE?
Imaging scans such as X-rays diagnose bone injuries after the patient seeks treatment for symptoms that can include:
- Swelling or bruising that appears over the bone.
- The inability to bear weight on the affected limb.
- Loss of function in the injured area.
- A noticeable deformity in the bones of the arms or legs.
- Pain in the area that worsens with movement or when pressure is applied.
- A bone protruding through the skin (if the fracture is compound).
COMMON COMPLICATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH BONE INJURIES
You cannot treat bone fractures at home and recover in days. Instead, these serious injuries can cause complications, chronic conditions, and sometimes death. Some common complications of bone injuries include:
- Damage to surrounding tissues such as muscles, tendons, or ligaments due to the displacement of the bone. Sometimes, even after a doctor diagnoses a bone fracture, medical treatment can include other diagnostic imaging scans, such as a CT or MRI, to diagnose injuries to the soft tissue alongside the bone.
- Infection that can spread through the bloodstream and result in life-threatening sepsis.
- Reduction, which is a procedure that is performed on serious fractures to reposition the bones to their proper placement and often requires pins, plates, and screws to hold the bones in place.
- Impairment of the growth of a fractured limb in a child due to the break occurring on the growth plate. This can result in the sufferer having one limb that is shorter than the other.
- Chronic pain and loss of the range of motion due to improperly healed or particularly severe fractures.
THE PROGNOSIS AFTER INCURRING A CHICAGO BONE INJURY
- The age of the person suffering the fracture. A child with a broken bone may heal more quickly than an adult.
- The severity of the fracture. A simple fracture sustained by someone who seeks prompt medical treatment and follows their doctor’s instructions regarding activity limitations may heal faster than a comminuted fracture requiring the surgical placement of plates and screws.
- Which part of the body sustained the fracture. Weight-bearing bones such as those in the hips, legs, or feet often require a longer recovery than those involving body parts that don’t bear the person’s weight.
- Participation in physical therapy and rehabilitation, which will help the sufferer regain strength in the damaged area and help those with particularly severe fractures to learn new methods of movement.
What Causes Bone Injuries in Chicago?
The most common causes of bone injuries are traffic accidents and falls, both of which are among the highest accidental injury risks in Chicago. Falls are of particular concern due to Chicago’s aging population, in which an estimated 300,000 people are aged 65 and older. The most severe type of bone injury to impact this age group is a broken hip, which can result in their inability to live independently or even cause death. Chicago roads see more than 300,000 motor vehicle accidents each year, including more than 65,000 injury crashes. Broken bones generally occur due to a blow or pressure against the bone that causes it to break. In traffic accidents, we often see broken femurs from broadside collisions on the side of the vehicle the occupant is sitting on; broken arms and wrists, often resulting from the body’s instinctive urge to catch itself during the collision by stiffening the arms and wrists; clavicle (collar bone) as a result of pressure from the seat belt during the collision, and facial or skull fractures from impact against the steering wheel, dashboard, or other areas.
WE PROVIDE AN UNMATCHED LEVEL OF CLIENT REPRESENTATION AND CARE
If the accident that caused your broken bone(s) was caused by the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to compensation. At Zayed Law Offices we pave the road to your recovery by representing you in your bone fracture personal injury case stemming from:
- Truck accidents
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Premises liability
- Product liability
- Construction accidents
- Train accidents
- Nursing home abuse
If you have sustained a fractured bone or a broken bone due to someone else’s negligence, please contact Zayed Law Offices immediately for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Seeking Compensation After a Bone Injury In Chicago
If you have suffered a broken bone in an accident, you can seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of the injury through the personal injury claims process. This process generally begins when your attorney sends a demand package to the at-fault party’s insurance provider. This package includes details of the accident, documentation of expenses, and a demand for the total value of the claim. Upon receiving and reviewing the demand package, the insurance provider has three options:
- Accept the liability of their insured and pay the claim as submitted, at which point your claim resolves.
- Deny the claim and provide the claimant with a reason for the denial. At this point, you and your attorney will likely opt to file your claim in court as a personal injury lawsuit and let the court decide the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive.
- Offer a settlement. A settlement offers less compensation than you demanded but you receive it now to resolve the claim. Your attorney can entertain settlement offers on your behalf, but it is your decision whether to accept the settlement that is offered or have your attorney make a counter-offer.
Settlement negotiations do not have to end when you file the claim in court. Often, filing your lawsuit is the motivation that a reluctant insurer needs to begin making reasonable offers. As long as the court has not decided, you can settle, even if you have already begun litigation.
PROVING LIABILITY FOR YOUR INJURY
The success of your bone injury claim depends on your ability to prove that someone else was liable (legally responsible) for the accident that resulted in your bone injury. You must show:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care in the circumstances leading up to your accident to take reasonable actions to avoid causing injury or property damage to others.
- A breach in the duty of care occurred when the at-fault party took reckless or careless actions that failed to protect others from harm.
- This breach caused your bone injury that resulted in expenses and psychological impacts.
THE TYPE OF COMPENSATION YOU CAN RECEIVE
In Illinois, bone injury claimants can seek compensation for their injury’s financial and psychological costs. Some expenses and impacts that Chicago bone injury cases commonly claim include:
- Medical treatment for the injury and associated complications, such as emergency treatment, diagnostic testing, surgery, physician services, prescription medication, hospitalization, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and assistive devices such as crutches.
- Lost wages for the period in which you were too injured to work.
- Loss of future earning capacity if the injury results in permanent disabilities that impact your ability to earn an income.
- Property damage stemming from the accident, such as the cost of repairing the vehicle you drove if your injury occurred due to a motor vehicle accident.
- Physical pain and suffering from the bone injury or the treatment of it.
- Emotional distress, including the loss of the ability to enjoy hobbies and activities that your injury prevents you from participating in.
THE SERVICES THAT AN ATTORNEY CAN PROVIDE TO ASSIST YOU WITH YOUR CLAIM
An experienced personal injury attorney is a crucial component of a successful bone injury claim. They bring to your case legal knowledge and an understanding of the compensation needed after your injury. The services your attorney provides can include:
- Establishing all sources of liability and their associated insurance resources. Because insurance policy limitations may restrict the money available to pay for your injury, leaving you with out-of-pocket costs, your attorney may look for additional sources of liability so you can seek the maximum amount of compensation available to you.
- Determining the value of your claim, which is based on the severity of your injury, how much work your bone fracture caused you to miss, the expenses and impacts you already incurred, and those you will likely face.
- Managing communication with the at-fault party’s insurance provider to protect your claim from the common tactics used by insurance companies to reduce or even eliminate large payouts and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
- Gathering the evidence and witness testimony to help prove your claim in court.
- In the absence of a fair settlement offer, litigation services include delivering opening and closing statements, presenting evidence, and examining witnesses.
- Collecting your settlement or award.
Contact Zayed Law Offices today to get started.
Contact a Chicago Bone Injury Accident Lawyer Today
Bone injuries are not always simple. Many require months of medical procedures, limited activity, and pain. Unfortunately, bone fractures can also lead to death or further injury in some cases. Let our Chicago bone injury lawyers at Zayed Law Offices answer your legal questions, explore your options for seeking compensation, and provide you with information about the services we can provide to help you with your claim. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or call (312) 726-1616. Contact Zayed Law Offices today.