Broken Bones and Fractures

Broken bones and fractures are some of the most common injuries suffered in an accident. They are also the subject of many medical myths. For example, some mistakenly believe that breaking a bone is worse than fracturing it, or vice versa. In reality, a bone break and a bone fracture are the same thing — one is no worse than the other, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOC).

Some also mistakenly believe after an accident or healing period that, because they are not in pain, they have not broken any bones or that their bones are well enough to resume normal activities. After an accident, you may remain mobile and oblivious to the true extent of your injuries. The AAOC cautions that broken bone pain usually stops before the fracture is solid enough to handle regular activity.

Indeed, when you suffer a bone break or fracture, your ability to work or resume normal activities may be limited well beyond the removal of your cast. You will also likely lose muscle strength during your recovery and may require prolonged physical therapy to regain muscle strength, joint motion, and flexibility.

At Mann Law, our Maine broken bones and fractures lawyers know that your successful recovery requires appropriate medical care for however long it takes. We know the cost of your broken and fractured bones goes beyond your medical bills. Our experienced catastrophic injury attorneys know how to get and maximize compensation for your medical and financial losses. To learn more about how we can help you, schedule a free consultation.

Types of Bone Fractures

There are several categories to describe different types of broken bones and fractures according to severity. The severity of a bone break is generally based on the force that caused the fracture. For example, when the force is extreme — like that experienced from a car accident or gunshot — then the bone may shatter into multiple pieces as opposed to simply breaking or cracking.

In medical terms, doctors describe bone fractures according to these most common types of features:

  • Single Fractures – The bone breaks in one place.
  • Partial/ Stress/“Greenstick” Fractures – The bone bends/cracks on one side but does not break into two separate pieces.
  • Complete Fractures – The bone breaks into two pieces.
  • Comminuted Fractures – The bone breaks/shatters into three or more pieces.
  • Closed Fractures – The injury does not break open the skin.
  • Open, Compound Fracture – The bone breaks the skin at the time of the fracture.
  • Displaced Fractures – A gap forms where the bone breaks.
  • Stable Fractures – The bone’s structure remains largely in place.
  • Transverse Fractures – The fracture has a horizontal fracture line.
  • Oblique Fractures – The fracture has a diagonal fracture line.
  • Spiral Fractures – The fracture occurs in a twisting pattern.
  • Compression Fractures – The bone gets crushed or flattened.
  • Impacted Fractures – The bones are driven together.
  • Avulsion – A tendon or ligament pulls off part of the bone.

Seeking competent medical treatment is especially important with a bone fracture. Like many injuries, bone fractures and their lingering negative impact may not always be obvious at first. The Cleveland Clinic warns that bones fracture can lead to complications, including:

  • Blood clots
  • Cast-wearing complications
  • Compartment syndrome.
  • Hemarthrosis

When too much force is exerted on your bone, it will break. Thus, an important question in your bone accident case is what force caused your injury.

Common Causes of Bone Fractures

 Some of the most common accidents that cause bone fractures in Maine include:

If your bone fracture was caused by someone else’s negligence or disregard for your safety, then you are entitled to full and fair compensation for your injuries.

Compensation for Bone Breaks and Fractures in Maine

Bone fracture injuries can be costly — not just to your finances, but to the way you live and enjoy your life. Thus, in Maine, personal injury damages are designed to compensate you for your out-of-pocket expenses (economic damages) and pain and suffering (non-economic damages).

State law allows you to recover for a variety of specific damages and expenses suffered in your bone fracture case. For example, you may be compensated for your:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Lost wages or earning capacity
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Damages to relationships

If your bone fracture injuries were the result of another’s reckless disregard for your safety or intentional conduct, you may also be entitled to punitive damages, which are designed to punish the other’s bad conduct.

There are some limitations. Maine is one of a dozen states that follow a comparative fault rule in bone fracture cases. This means to recover any damages, you must be less than 50 percent responsible for your bone fracture, and your recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you suffered $10,000 in damages and your fault is assessed at 20 percent, your recovery will be $8,000. Claimants who are f0und more than 50 percent liable cannot recover any damages whatsoever, making it imperative to work with an experienced lawyer.

The specific damages available to you in your bone fracture claim will depend on the facts of your case, the applicable laws, and whether you assert your claim in a timely manner.

 Timeline for Filing a Lawsuit

Legal deadlines for filing lawsuits are imposed by laws called statutes of limitations. In Maine, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is six years. The six-year limitations period is usually measured from the date of the accident, but it is not always that simple or straight forward.

For example, different — and shorter — statute of limitations periods may apply if:

  • Someone died in the accident that caused your bone fracture injury and there is a wrongful death claim; or
  • Your bone fracture resulted from a medical malpractice claim; or
  • You are suing a governmental entity like a city, county, or state.

Beware, too, the statute of limitations does not apply to a car insurance claim process. That process, which typically has “prompt” notice requirements that are measured in days and weeks, applies whether you are claiming against your own or another driver’s insurance company. And if you do not settle with the insurance company and want to file a personal injury lawsuit, the applicable statute of limitations will have been ticking since the date of your accident.

Missing an applicable deadline can end your claim for compensation. Do not let that happen to you. Get an experienced bone fracture accident attorney on your side.

How Mann Law Can Help

Christiana Mann and the Mann Law team can help you mend your life after a bone fracture accident and get you the compensation you deserve.

We are your Maine broken bones and fractures lawyers. We are a statewide firm with satellite offices for easy access. Contact us for a free consultation to learn how we can help you heal with the just compensation you deserve.