New York Broken Bone Injury
A broken bone, also referred to as a fracture, occurs when excessive force is placed on the bone causing it to break or shatter. Some fractures break the bone completely, while others just cause a crack in the bone. Broken bones often occur in car accidents, bike accidents, slip and fall accidents, and construction accidents. Having a broken bone can be debilitating, resulting in not only physical pain, but a decreased ability to carry on daily activities. Like other serious injuries such as a brain injury or a back injury, in some cases broken bones leave victims with permanent disabilities. If you suffered a broken bone or some other type of serious injury in an accident due to the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to compensation for the losses that you suffered as a result of the accident. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced New York broken bone lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With over 20 years of experience successfully representing clients injured by the careless acts of others, we have the experience, skill, and resources to ensure that your legal rights are protected.Broken bones and accidents
Because of the force that is exerted on the body when cars collide, it is not surprising that broken bones are one of the leading injuries that victims suffer in car accidents. Broken bones also frequently result from slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, bike accidents and motorcycle accidents. Bones that are most often broken include bones in the arm, ankle, foot, toe, hand, finger, leg, nose, jaw and the collarbone.Liability for a broken bone injury
Most accidents happen because someone acted negligently, recklessly, or intentionally. The fundamental concept behind personal injury claims is that someone’s wrong act caused the victim to suffer damage such as a broken bone. Common examples of personal injury claims that may lead to liability because of a broken bone include car accidents, dog bites, slip and falls, medical malpractice and motorcycle accidents. However, just because you were in an accident and it was the fault of another person does not necessarily mean that you will be awarded compensation. The basic elements of a personal injury claim include:
Duty. In order to win a personal injury lawsuit you must show that the at-fault person owed you some kind of duty. Depending on the circumstance of the incident and the relationship between you and the other person, the law can impose a duty on the other person in a variety of ways. For example, your local department store has a duty to make sure their store is safe for you and other customers while you are shopping on its premises. On the other hand, your doctor has an elevated duty of care because of the existence of a doctor-patient relationship.
Breach of duty. The next requirement to win a personal injury lawsuit based on broken bone or any other type of injury is that the other person must) have failed to meet the duty that he (or she) owed. For example, a department store fails to clean up a spill on the floor for over 30 minutes. As a result a customer slips and breaks her arm. In this example, the store had a duty to the customer, and the store breached that duty. On the other hand, if the spill had been on the floor for only 2 minute, it is not likely that it would have been found to have breached its duty because there would not have been enough time for the store to be made aware of the hazard and correct it.
Loss. In order to prevail with your personal injury claim, you must have suffered a loss. This means that you must have had a serious injury such that you suffered damages. If you broke your leg as a result of a fall in a department store, if you broke your arm in a car accident, or if you broke your wrist in a bike accident, then you would have suffered a loss that at a minimum would include your medical expenses.
Cause. There must be a causal connection between the breach of duty and the injury to the victim. If the store had a duty, breached its duty, and as a result the customer slipped, felled, and broke her arm, there would be causal connection between the breach and the injury. On the other hand, if the store breached its duty, the customer slipped and fell, but suffered no injury, the store would not be liable because the customer suffered no loss that was related to the store’s breach.
As an experienced New York broken bone lawyer will explain, liability for injury does not have to be based on an accident, a defendant can be liable for an injury caused by an intentional act as well.Types of broken bones
There are numerous types of broken bones, including:
- Compound fracture. A compound fracture is a very serious type of broken bone injury, involving a full break of the bone with separation of the bone fragments. With a compound fracture there is a higher risk of a deep bone infection.
- Greenstick fracture. A greenstick fracture occurs when the impact causes the bone to bend. This type of fracture is commonly seen in children.
- Spiral fracture. A spiral fracture occurs when part of the bone is twisted. This typically occurs when the impact causes the victim’s body to move while the extremity does not.
- Comminuted fracture. With a comminuted fracture the bone splinters into multiple pieces.
- Open fracture. An open fracture is one involving a bone that breaks through the skin.
- Closed fracture. With a closed fracture the bone breaks without puncturing the skin. Oftentimes the bone can be seen pushing the skin, but it does not break the skin. As a result there is no open wound.
Regardless of the type of broken bone, a broken bone is a serious injury and typically takes a long time to heal. Depending on the type of broken bone and the severity of it, there are a variety of ways to treat it. One way is to immobilize the break with a cast. The use of a plaster or fiberglass cast is the most common type of treatment for a broken bone. A cast works well because once the bones have been repositioned and a cast applied, the broken bones stay in position as they heal. Another way to treat a broken bone is the use of a functional cast or a brace. This type of cast allows limited movement of nearby joints. Some fractures require the use of traction in order for them to heal properly. Traction involves using a gentle pulling action to align the bones. Another form of treatment is the use of metal pins or screws to stabilize the bones and hold them in the proper position.Pursuing compensation for a broken bone injury
A serious injury such as a broken bone may result in you suffering financially. You may not be able to return to work right away. You will accumulate medical bills for treating the injury. Whether the injury happened in a vehicle accident, a fall, or some other type of accident, New York law allows injured victims to hold those responsible accountable by filing a personal injury claim and demanding compensation. The amount of damages to which you might be entitled depends on a number of factors, including the extent of the current and future damages that you suffered. With the help of a New York broken bone lawyer, you can file claim demanding the followings of compensation:
- Medical expenses. All medical expenses associated with treating the injury caused by the accident are compensable. Treatment for a bone fracture can be significant, particularly if surgery and physical therapy are required. If your broken bone leads to complications such as an infection, expenses related to the treatment of the infection are compensable as well. Such expenses may include hospitable, doctors, specialists, medication, surgery, rehabilitation and physical therapy.
- Lost income. This includes all wages and other types of compensation you lost because you were unable to work due to your injury. In your claim you would demand payment for the wages you lost, the sick and vacation days you used, and the bonuses and promotions you missed. You would need to prove your lost income by producing paystubs, timesheets, and documentation from your employer of the time you missed and your rate of pay. If you worked for yourself, you would also be entitled to compensation for lost wages. Loss of self-employment income can be a little tricky to prove. Evidence of lost revenue, missed meetings, and unfilled orders would demonstrate the income that you were unable to bring in because of your inability to work due to the injury. In addition to showing your lost income, if your broken bone left you with a permanent injury such as a limp or a weakened arm, and as a result you are no longer able to earn the amount of money that you earned prior to the injury, you can demand compensation for loss of future earning potential.
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is another type of compensable loss. It is based both on your physical pain and suffering and on your mental pain and suffering. For example, if your broken bone requires surgery and there are complications, then your level of physical pain and suffering would be greater than if your injury required a less invasive type of treatment. Mental pain and suffering refers to the feelings of sadness, depression, fear, stress, and anxiety that sometimes accompanies serious injuries. A damage award for pain and suffering is more likely in situations where the victim suffered permanent disfigurement and other permanent or long-term reminder of the injury.
As an experienced broken bone attorney in New York will explain, if your broken bone injury occurred in the workplace and you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, the instead of filing a personal injury claim against your employer, you would have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The benefits to which you may be entitled include medical benefits that would pay for the treatment of your broken bone and any other injury related to the workplace accident. The caveat is that you must seek treatment from a Workers Compensation Board approved medical professional or facility. You would also be entitled to a cash benefit that would replace the wages you lost as a result of the workplace injury. The weekly cash benefit would not be a replacement of your entire salary or wage. Under workers compensation rules your benefit would be limited to a percentage of your wages, subject to a cap. It is important to understand that in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits for your broken bone, you must follow the required claim procedures. Failure to do so may result in a delay of your benefits or a denial.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
Whether you have suffered a broken leg, broken bone, skull fracture or any other type of broken bone in an accident that was caused by another person, contact our legal team for guidance as you may have the right to compensation or benefits. Keep in mind that here are time limits for filing personal injury claims in New York. You must file within three years from the time you suffered the injury. If you fail to file your claim on time, you will forfeit your right to pursue damages for your injury. The seasoned broken bone attorneys serving New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience representing victims seriously injured by the negligence of others. We can help. Contact us at 800.NY.NY.LAW (800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Bronx, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.