If you were in a car accident and suffered broken bones, you might be entitled to compensation.
How much are broken bones worth after a car accident? That can be difficult to calculate exactly. Each case has unique circumstances that must be considered, and sometimes injuries are not always obvious at the outset of a personal injury claim.
Types of Broken Bones
In the medical field, there are 10 different types of bone fractures, each one describing either the angle of the break or the extent/severity of the fracture. When it comes to car accidents and broken bones, the severity of the injury matters the most.
Most fractures will heal within 6-8 weeks, but this varies depending on a person’s prior health and the location of the injuries. A wrist fracture might heal in six weeks, but a tibia fracture might take 20 weeks.
These are the most common types of broken bones people receive from auto accidents:
This is the most minor one on the list. With a stable fracture, the broken pieces of the bone line up perfectly and are barely out of place. If you fail to receive treatment for this kind of fracture, you could cause more damage to it later on.
Open or Compound Fracture
A compound or open fracture is extremely painful and frightening because the bone breaks through the skin. This injury might take longer to heal because the damaged soft tissue has to heal as well as the bones.
Open fractures are also more susceptible to infection and non-union (when the bones fail to heal back together). These are factors that will increase how much you can recover from an auto accident.
With a comminuted fracture, the bone has been shattered and is in three or more pieces. This type of injury is usually treated with surgery. It can take several months to completely heal.
The location and severity of the fracture will determine the type of surgery that a person needs. Some surgeons insert metal rods or pins to hold the bone fragments together while they heal.
Factors That Influence Settlement Amounts
It is difficult to estimate how much a person can recover from a car accident with broken bones because many factors affect the total. These are the six factors that carry the most weight when determining settlement amounts.
Number of Broken Bones
How many bones break as a result of the car accident will be a determining factor in how much you recover.
A closed ankle fracture costs less and doesn’t impair someone’s life as much as multiple broken bones and fractures would.
Body Part That Was Injured
All broken bones impair daily activities, no matter where they occur. However, some locations take longer to heal than others.
Not only do some types of bones take longer to heal, but they impair activities in different ways as well. Whereas someone might be able to still function with a broken wrist, they would likely experience more hindrances with a broken hip.
Sometimes, a broken bone will leave lasting effects that limit the range of motion for an individual for the rest of their life. These kinds of long-term impairments are critical to calculating the final settlement amount.
For example, if someone develops Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) as a result of broken bones, they might experience chronic pain that will never quite go away.
Anything from decreased range of motion to complete disability is all taken into account when calculating recovery amounts.
Total Recovery Time
Since most people cannot work at the same ability or level while they are recovering from broken bones, the total recovery time is another factor which must be taken into account.
Some fractures will heal without any need for physical therapy or surgery. Others have a longer recovery time.
All medical expenses are part of the amount of recovery equation as well. This includes medical transportation, X-rays, doctor visits, and any assistive devices you have to use as a result of your injury.
Surgery and physical therapy are also considered in the total cost of medical treatment.
All medical expenses that occur as a result of the auto accident are considered in the final settlement amount.
Time Off Work/Lost Wages
Any time off work that is attributed to injuries sustained in a car accident is a factor in how much you can recover.
Higher settlement amounts are awarded to people who go on disability because they are unable to work as a result of their injuries.
Even time off work to go to doctor’s appointments can be considered in the total settlement amount.
Another thing that will be considered is how much you earned before the injuries and whether your broken bones caused you to function at a lower level and therefore lose out on wages or bonuses.
Pain and Suffering
Even though it is more difficult to calculate, pain and suffering is a consideration when it comes to broken bones. One way pain and suffering is calculated in Georgia is per diem (per day). They award an amount based on the severity of the pain and multiply it by the number of days it took to recover.
For example, if the per diem is $250, and it took the person 50 days to recover completely, their pain and suffering amount would be $12,500, or $250 x 50 days.
Our experienced lawyers will be able to give you a more accurate answer based on your individual situation. Please contact us with questions about pain and suffering amounts you might be able to recover.
Contact a Georgia Lawyer About Car Accidents and Broken Bones
Scholle Law has the experience to help our clients through the claims process. This will allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries with the knowledge and comfort that you will receive full compensation for your injuries and your pain and suffering.
If you suffered broken bones from a car accident, contact us to find out how much you can recover from the painful experience.