Fractures and broken bones occur if a force exerted on a bone is stronger than the bone. As someone ages, fractures become more common because their bones are more brittle. There are numerous types of fractures, categorized based on how the bone breaks. For example, in a displaced fracture, a bone breaks into two or more pieces that are misaligned. In a non-displaced fracture, a bone cracks partway but retains alignment. When a fracture is in multiple pieces, it is a comminuted fracture. Open fractures are those in which the bone breaks the skin, while closed fractures occur when the skin is not wounded. There are also oblique, transverse, Greenstick, stress, and buckled fractures. At The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC, our California personal injury attorneys can help you seek damages if your broken bone or fracture has been caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful conduct.
Bringing a Claim Based on a Broken Bone or Fracture
How severe a fracture or broken bone is depends on where it is located and the damage that has been done not only to the bone but also to nearby tissue. Some fractures may result in complications like an infection of the bone or damage to nerves. How long it takes to recover from a fracture depends in part on your age and health, as well as the type of fracture. If you suffer broken bones or fractures as a result of a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, or dangerous property condition caused by someone else, you may bring a personal injury lawsuit.
Often, these accidents result from negligence. You will need to establish another person’s negligence by proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the other person owed you a duty of care, violated the duty, and caused your injuries because of the violation. In slip and fall or dangerous property condition cases, you will also need to show the defendant’s actual or constructive notice of the condition that caused your fall. In most cases, it is challenging to establish actual notice. You may be able to establish constructive notice based on how long a dangerous condition existed, but it is important to contact us right away so that we can start preserving evidence.
Damages may vary significantly when broken bones and fractures are at issue. Unlike some injuries (such as soft tissue injuries), broken bones and fractures are usually clearly documented by medical imaging. Insurers have less room to fight the fact that you were actually injured. It is important to obtain medical care and documentation right away if you suspect that you have suffered a fracture or broken bone in an accident.
Broken bones and fractures tend to be more serious in an elderly person than in a younger victim. Assuming that you establish the elements of negligence, the defendant is nonetheless obligated to pay you the full amount of compensatory damages for your injuries. California follows the eggshell plaintiff doctrine, which requires a defendant to take an injured person as they find them. When a victim is more susceptible to harm, a defendant remains liable for the full amount of damages.