Every year, Americans experience about 2 million fractures, most of which thankfully heal normally. But some of these fractures can cause serious complications, such as infections, long-term loss of mobility, and more. So what causes these breaks, and how do you know if you have a broken bone?
There are several common types of fractures that you may get in an accident. Read on to learn more about these injuries and what to do if you break a bone.
Types of Broken Bones
There are two basic types of broken bone injuries: simple and compound. A simple fracture happens when the bone breaks underneath the skin, and they tend to carry less risk of infection.
A compound fracture is when the bone breaks through the skin. These fractures carry a much higher risk of infection since they create an external wound.
Within simple and compound fractures, however, you can get a variety of other types of breaks. These breaks are classified by the pattern of the break in the bone.
Different fracture types include
- Comminuted fractures – The bone is broken into at least three pieces and there are bone fragments at each of the break sites
- Compression fractures – The bone gets crushed and so looks wider or flatter than normal
- Greenstick fractures – Only one side of a bone breaks, but the other stays intact
- Oblique fractures – The break runs in a diagonal line across the bone
- Segmental fractures – The bone is broken in at least two places, leaving a “floating” section of bone
- Spiral fractures – The break wraps around the bone in a spiral
- Transverse fractures – The break cuts straight across the bone
Some fractures may be more obvious than others, so it’s always a good idea to get checked by a doctor after an accident to make sure you don’t have any breaks lurking.
Symptoms of a Broken Bone
There are a few symptoms that can indicate you may have a broken bone.
- Pain – Broken bones almost always cause intense pain, especially at the site of the fracture. You may also experience tenderness, numbness, or tingling at or around the site of the break.
- Swelling – The area around a broken bone often swells as blood rushes to the area to heal the injury. You may also see bruising or discoloration at the site of the fracture.
- Abnormal movement – You may not be able to move the fractured part of your body like you normally would.
- Deformity – You may see a bump or lump on your body at the site of the fracture.
If you experience any of these symptoms after an accident, get examined by a doctor as soon as possible.
Common Causes of Broken Bones
Several different kinds of accidents can cause broken bones. In kids and older adults, falls are an extraordinarily common cause of broken bones. Kids tend to be more accident-prone, and older adults may suffer from osteoporosis, which can make their bones more fragile. In fact, 95 percent of hip fractures are caused by a fall.
Car crashes can also cause broken bones, especially in the face and arms. Sports injuries may cause broken arms, legs, toes, and fingers, and activities like running may cause stress fractures.
Most Common Broken Bone Injuries
Some bones tend to get broken more frequently than others. In babies and children, collarbones actually tend to be the most frequently broken bones. Sometimes, babies’ collarbones can get broken during birth, and children often break their collarbones falling or playing sports.
About half of all adult fractures happen in the arms, and arm fractures are the second-most common type in children. Wrist fractures are also incredibly common.
As adults get older, hip fractures become incredibly common as bone density decreases. They may also tend to break ankles, which can actually put them at greater risk of falls.
Statute of Limitations for Broken Bones
If you received a broken bone in an accident in Chicago, you might be able to file a personal injury claim. But there’s a limit on the amount of time after the accident you have to file a claim. This is called the statute of limitations, and in most cases, it starts the day of your accident.
In Illinois, the statute of limitations on personal injury cases is two years. This means that, in most cases, you have two years after the date of your accident to file a personal injury claim.
In some cases, you may be able to file a claim for a broken bone more than two years after the injury happened. For example, if you discover a complication from the injury more than two years after the initial break, you may be able to file a claim for that within two years of the date of discovery.
Two years may seem like a long time, but it can fly by when you’re trying to recover from an injury. It’s best to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident to begin work on your case.
Broken Bone Injury Compensation
If you do plan to file a personal injury claim, there are a few kinds of damages you can recover.
- Economic damages – These damages cover losses with an inherent dollar value. This may include your medical expenses, the wages you lost while you were recovering, any property damage associated with the accident, and so on.
- Non-economic damages – This type of compensation covers losses that don’t have an attached dollar amount. This may include pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional trauma, scarring and disfigurement, and more.
- Punitive damages – This type of compensation is meant to punish a defendant for acting particularly heinously during an accident. It’s extraordinarily rare to get this type of compensation in a personal injury case.
A Chicago injury lawyer can help you calculate all the types of damages you’re owed and fight for a full and fair settlement.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
Broken bones can be painful and may take months to heal. These injuries can happen in car accidents, falls, or during sports activities. If you’ve been involved in an accident and you have pain, swelling, or tenderness around a certain area, make an appointment with your doctor.
If you’ve broken a bone in Chicago, you could be entitled to compensation. Our lawyers from Attorneys of Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers will investigate your case, gather evidence, and negotiate with the insurance companies to get you a fair settlement. Schedule a free consultation with us today and start getting the compensation you deserve at (312) 929 2884.