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Seattle Broken Bones Attorney
A fracture anywhere in the skeletal system takes time to heal. Some complex fractures require more than an x-ray and wearing a cast for 6-8 weeks. They may require surgeries, medical implants, and rehabilitation. While some fractures happen as the result of bad timing or personal carelessness, others involve the careless or malicious acts of others. If you have been injured, call our broken bone injury lawyers at Colburn Law today. We can visit you at home, in the hospital or in our office.
The Nature of Fractures
Cracked and broken bones happen because of some form of strain or trauma. Some of the preventable causes of fractures include falls, getting pinned between two objects, being struck, and engaging in repetitive motion activities. A bone can crack under strain, break into several pieces, buckle when compressed against another bone, or break and pierce through the skin.
The impacted bone and the seriousness of the injury determine how much a fracture will impact someone’s life. For example, a broken toe or nose may feel uncomfortable, but will rarely affect an individual’s quality of life. A femur or hand that breaks into several pieces, on the other hand, may prevent an individual from engaging in normal daily activities for weeks or months at a time.
Some fractures, particularly open fractures that pierce through the skin, may also affect nearby nerves, tissues, and blood vessels. Complications from the break can result in chronic pain, infection, and permanent nerve damage. Fractures range from minor to severe. They may cause a number of symptoms and experiences. In other words, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment or claim value for those who experience preventable fractures.
Fracture Injury Liability Considerations
Preventable fractures happen because of someone else’s failure. Claims involving fractures commonly arise from car accidents, construction accidents, incidents involving defective products, child and elder abuse, and assault.
To prove fracture liability, an injured individual must prove that the fracture would not have happened if another party had acted in a more reasonable manner. If, in contrast, you would have tripped or fallen anyway, you may not have a legal claim against another individual or company.
In Seattle, many different parties may bear liability for a fracture injury including business owners, schools, product manufacturers, employers, homeowners, and drivers. In some cases, more than one party may come under scrutiny for a fracture causing incident. If, for instance, an improperly supervised child suffers a growth-plate damaging fracture while using Seattle area school yard equipment, both the school and the equipment manufacturer may face a degree of responsibility.
In Seattle fracture injury liability claims, the plaintiff must prove the defendant failed to meet an expected standard of care and that failure directly contributed to the fracture. Through a carefully investigated insurance claim or lawsuit, a fracture injury victim can recover financial support for past, present, and future medical care, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Common Broken Bone Complications
Broken bones can cause significant pain, lead to lengthy recovery times, and result in significant complications without proper and prompt medical treatment. While normal fracture mending involves some level of inflammation and pain, life-threatening complications can occur throughout the healing process, including the following.
- Damage to the blood vessels and arteries
- Issues with the respiratory system and difficulty breathing, in broken rib cases
- Loss of mobility
- Damage to organs and other structures such as the brain, lungs, bladder, nerves, and skin
- Infections for fractures that involve open wounds
- Fat embolism
- Blisters over the fracture site
- Deformities or disturbances in the regrowth of the bone
- Damage to the tissue around the fracture site
In addition to the physical complications, broken bones and fractures can have a serious impact on your day-to-day life and your ability to complete routine tasks. For example, if you work in an industry that requires you to perform physically demanding work, such as construction, a broken bone can put you out of work for a significant period of time. If your job relies on typing or performing tasks with your hands, any fractures to this area can also cause you to lose large amounts of wages.
You may also struggle with performing normal tasks for your health and well-being. Cooking, eating, cleaning, and many more routine tasks can take a blow if your injury prevents you from completing them. As a result, the physical, emotional, and financial complications of broken bones reach far beyond the initial accident and fracture — and you can suffer from significant damages as a result.
What Bones Are Frequently Broken in a Car Accident?
Car accidents are some of the most common causes of personal injury-related broken bones. Along with fractures, these collisions can lead to additional significant injuries, such as lacerations, bruising, nerve damage, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord damage. Some of the most common broken bones that car accident victims suffer from include the following.
- Arm fractures: During a car accident, you may instinctively brace yourself for impact by shielding your face with your arm. This action can lead to your arm colliding with the steering wheel or dashboard, leading to a break.
- Rib fractures: These are some of the most common injuries sustained in a car accident due to the safety mechanisms we have in our vehicles. The impact of the collision combined with the force between your body and the seatbelt or airbag can lead to a broken bone.
- Hip fractures: Injuries to the hips are another common car accident injury. This may occur due to the force of the body against the seatbelt, or damage sustained in the crash itself, especially if the other vehicle collided with the side of your car.
- Clavicle or collarbone fractures: Our seatbelts may also play a role in clavicle fractures during a car accident, but this bone is much more fragile than others. As a result, it is susceptible to fracturing during a crash.
- Wrist fractures: Our wrist bones are also some of the most fragile in our bodies, and you may suffer a fracture to this area during a car accident. For example, bracing your face with your arm before impact can lead to a broken wrist.
- Facial and skull fractures: Our face and head are vulnerable areas of the body, and you may experience damage to this area during a collision. For example, your face may slam against the windshield if you were not wearing a seatbelt, or you may hit your head on the steering wheel with great force. Damage to the skull can result in traumatic brain injury as well.
- Back fractures: It is very common to experience some damage to your back during a car accident, especially to your disks. These are common injuries in head-on collisions and rear-end crashes.
- Leg fractures: You may experience a broken femur, tibia, or fibula during the course of a car accident. Although these bones are some of the strongest in the body, a high-impact collision or a crumpling car can easily snap these areas.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Broken Bone Injury Claim?
If you are suffering from a broken bone as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, it is imperative to contact a personal injury attorney from Colburn Law as soon as possible. This will ensure that you file your claim within the statute of limitations, a deadline that the state of Washington imposes for personal injury cases.
You have 3 years from the date of your accident to file your claim in Washington civil court. If you file your claim after this deadline passes, the court will refuse to hear your case and you will lose your chance at claiming the compensation you need to recover.
In addition, if you wait longer to file your claim, evidence and witnesses may disappear and become more difficult to locate. To maximize your chances of obtaining the compensation you need to recover, contact Colburn Law as soon as possible.
What Damages Can You Claim in a Seattle Broken Bone Claim?
Broken bones can lead to significant physical, financial, and emotional hardship — but depending on the cause of the fracture and the nature of the accident, you can claim compensation for these damages through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Under Washington state law, you can claim two main types of damages in personal injury cases.
- Economic damages include the out-of-pocket expenses you suffered from as a result of the broken bone. These may include costs for medical treatment, the wages you lost while the bone was healing, disability accommodations such as wheelchairs or improvements to your home or vehicle, and damage to your property sustained in the accident.
- Non-economic damages include the emotional and physical impacts of the broken bone you cannot provide a monetary value or receipt for. These may include emotional anguish, chronic pain, a reduced quality of life, disability or disfigurement, and the development of mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
You and your attorney will work closely together to determine which damages you may be able to claim and to gather the evidence necessary to prove your right to compensation.
How Does Comparative Negligence Work in Washington State?
If your bone injury lawsuit proceeds to trial, the court will decide if you should receive a settlement and how much that settlement will be. However, the court will make this decision on the basis of fault — in other words, you have to prove that the person who is responsible for your injuries breached his or her duty of care to you, leading to your injuries and causing the damages you seek to claim.
In some situations, you may share a portion of the fault with the person you are holding liable in your lawsuit. Washington operates on a comparative fault basis to assign a percentage of fault to each party involved in a personal injury case. If you share a portion of the blame, the court will reduce your settlement by the percentage of the fault it assigned to you.
For example, perhaps you suffered a facial fracture in a car accident that the other person caused, but you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, leading you to strike the windshield and break your facial bones.
At the conclusion of your trial, the court may assign the at-fault party 60% of the blame, but since you were not wearing your seatbelt, you are at-fault for 40% of the accident. If the court values your settlement at $30,000, you will only receive $18,000. The court will not require the at-fault party to pay the remaining $12,000.
Free Consultation With a Fracture Injury Claim Attorney in Seattle
Colburn Law represents individuals in accident cases involving serious and complex fractures. Our team can help you find orthopedic specialists around Seattle and pursue a claim against the individual or company responsible for your or your child’s injury. A fracture that seems “minor” on paper can have a real and costly impact on lives. After a preventable accident, you have the right to fair compensation. While you focus on recovery, our Seattle injury lawyers will protect and pursue a full settlement or trial verdict. Discuss your case with our office today for free
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Greg guided me through a stressful process involving a car accident and the insurance company. Not only did he put me at ease, but he was truly an advocate for me and my family. I am truly thankful for his help, and would highly recommend him to any of my friends or family.
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