The medical expenses and needed time off work after suffering broken bones in a car crash can create a serious financial burden, especially if you were already struggling to make ends meet. If you've been injured due to another driver's negligence, it's vital that you understand how to protect your right to a fair personal injury settlement.
Broken Bones Associated With a Car Accident
Common types of broken bone injuries after a car accident include:
Arms, Wrists, and Fingers
It's instinctive to attempt to brace or block with your arms when you're involved in a car accident. However, this can result in multiple broken bones.
Legs, Ankles, and Toes
Accidents that crush the vehicle often result in broken legs, ankles, or toes.
The impact from a seatbelt, an airbag, or foreign object in the vehicle can result in broken ribs.
Hip or Pelvis
A break in this area of the body is a severe injury requiring extensive recovery time.
After a severe accident, it's not uncommon to have more than one broken bone or broken bones accompanied by injuries such as a concussion, internal bleeding, or organ damage.
Diagnosing Broken Bones
The signs of a broken bone vary depending on the type of fracture and the location but may include:
- Significant swelling and bruising
- Pain that gets worse when pressure is applied to the area
- Pain when bearing weight
- Loss of function
Although most people assume you know immediately if you have a broken bone, this isn't always the case. Sometimes, the adrenaline and stress associated with an accident can cause a delay in symptoms. It's also possible that a person might brush off the pain of a less severe break as a normal response to the situation.
To protect yourself, you should always seek a medical evaluation following a car accident. If there are signs that suggest you may have one or more broken bones, your doctor can order X-rays to identity the type of fracture and assess the severity of the injury. A CT scan or MRI might be ordered if complications or additional injuries are suspected.
Treating Broken Bones
Fractured bones need to be set in place to heal properly. In most cases, this involves the use of a plaster or fiberglass cast. However, surgery might be needed in complex breaks where rods, screws, or pins are used to keep the bones in place while they heal. Painkillers are typically prescribed after the bone is set. Antibiotics may be necessary to prevent infection if there is an open fracture. Additionally, physical therapy is often recommended to help regain strength and mobility.
Receiving Compensation for Broken Bones
Injured drivers or passengers typically have one year from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim under Louisiana's statute of limitations. If your injuries are from a car accident caused by another person's negligence, you are entitled to compensation for the following accident-related damages:
- Medical expenses, including emergency medical care, diagnostic tests, physical therapy, painkillers, and crutches or other assistive devices
- Lost wages, including applicable loss of future earning potential
- Vehicle expenses, including the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any necessary rental car expenses
- Pain and suffering, including physical pain as well as emotional trauma
Drivers who are partially at fault for the accident that caused their injuries can still file a personal injury claim. However, Louisiana law requires partially at-fault drivers’ settlements to be proportionately reduced by their assigned percentage of fault to reflect their role in accumulating damages.
How Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Can Help
An experienced personal injury attorney can help protect your right to a fair settlement by documenting your accident-related damages, establishing liability, and negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf. Neblett, Beard & Arsenault is committed to providing aggressive representation for individuals who've suffered serious injuries in accidents caused by negligent drivers.
Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at our Alexandria office. If your injuries prevent you from traveling, we are happy to come to you to discuss your legal options in greater detail.