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Broken bones, whether resulting from a motor vehicle accident, ladder fall on a construction site, or a slip and fall on unsafe premises, can be serious injuries, requiring extensive surgeries to heal and sometimes leaving the victim with lifelong pain or disability. These facts about fractures may not be well-known among the general public, who make up the juries which decide damage awards in personal injury cases. Obtaining a recovery that reflects the plaintiff’s needs requires a new york broken bones attorney experienced in serious accident cases who understands the costs associated with different types of fractures and is able to communicate those matters persuasively to judge and jury.
Many factors are involved, such as the type of fracture and the age of the victim, in determining the severity of the break and is implications over the long term. If the fracture was not treated immediately, the chances of it healing properly are diminished, and the chances of long-term complications are greatly increased. Serious complications from a fracture include damage to the blood vessels, a type of infection in the bone known as osteomyelitis, and nerve damage.
Fractures can be displaced or non-displaced and open or closed. In a displaced fracture, the bone is broken into two or more pieces, while in a non-displaced fracture the bone is broken yet not out of alignment. The difference between an open (compound) or closed (simple) fracture depends upon whether or not the bone is protruding through the skin. When the bone has broken through the skin, the risk of osteomyelitis is much greater. Obviously, a compound fracture is much more serious than a simple fracture, and a displaced fracture is more difficult to heal than one which is non-displaced.
Whenever the head is hit hard enough to cause a fracture, even a hairline fracture, the victim should be thoroughly examined for a possible traumatic brain injury, itself a very serious injury. A fractured skull can be quite serious and endanger the life of the victim. In the case of a depressed skull fracture, pieces of bone may be pressing on the brain and must be carefully removed to relive pressure on the brain. If the skull fracture is comminuted, it means that the bone has shattered into fragments. Delicate surgery is often required in these cases to remove pieces of bone which have become embedded in the brain. A break to the base of the skull is known as a basilar skull fracture, which can cause nerve damage to the facial and cranial nerves. Evidence of a basilar skull fracture can be observed from blood welling up in the sinuses and cerebrospinal fluid leaking from the nose and ears.
A broken back or broken neck can be very painful and difficult to repair, and back surgeries often result in a diminished range of motion and mobility, lessening one’s ability to work and perform daily activities. Also, a fractured vertebra can cause a spinal cord injury, when a piece of bone cuts or presses on the spinal cord, causing permanent paralysis such as paraplegia or quadriplegia.