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Injury Library

Broken Bone Injuries

If your accident left you with a broken bone, we want to hear your story. No two cases are alike, and having an experienced injury lawyer analyze your potential case is critical to protecting your rights.

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The following document is designed to be a comprehensive resource for personal injury victims who have suffered a broken bone.

If you were asked to name a type of injury that causes a person the most physical pain, it would be no surprise if you immediately replied with, “broken bone.” Just hearing those words are enough to make most people wince.  

With more than 20 years’ experience helping seriously injured people across Indiana, attorney Boulton has presided over and handled cases that have involved every type of broken bone imaginable.  

In addition to understanding the relationship between various broken bones and the type of accident that caused the injury, attorney Boulton also has an acute understanding of the required medical treatment, ongoing therapy and rehabilitation, and their potential long-term physiological effects. 

Ultimately, Boulton Law Group’s first-hand experience and knowledge of broken bone personal injury claims benefits clients who want to be fairly compensated by insurance companies for the offending accident. 

How common are broken bones?

While its expected that a large number of Boulton Law Group’s clients will have sustained a broken bone, it is important to put that number in perspective. 

When we look at the entire U.S. population, it is estimated that each year nearly 7 million people will experience a broken bone. Additionally, on average, a human being will suffer two broken bones in their life.

With regard to personal injury cases, broken bones are most commonly associated with the following practice areas:

Ultimately, the numbers and estimates associated with broken bone occurrences may be somewhat low due to the number of people who suffer a break but mistake it for a bad bruise, sprain, or something other than a fracture.   

Break vs Fracture: What’s the difference?

Having spoken with countless callers who suffered a bone break, our office has learned that “broken bone” and “fractured bone” often have various meanings to people depending on the severity of the break.

For example, we have spoken to many accident victims who believed that a fracture was less severe than a break, most often because they relate a fracture with the term “hairline fracture,” which is in actuality a less severe bone break.

However, in truth, there is no difference between a broken bone and a fracture. Your doctor will use the terms interchangeably, with one not being worse than the other. As such, there is no difference in treatment for a broken bone and a fractured bone.  

With this in mind, while the phrases mean the same thing, it is critical to realize that there are many different types of breaks/fractures, each having their own specific term and treatment type. 

Types of broken bones

Depending on the severity of a collision or fall, accident victims can suffer a variety of broken bones, and depending on the physical characteristics, it will be termed one of the following:

Types of broken bones

Transverse break – In instances where a large amount of energy and force occurs perpendicular to the long axis of a bone, a transverse fracture can occur. As pictured above, the break is seen as a mostly straight line across the bone.

Transverse breaks can also be the result of a stress fracture when a large number of tiny breaks arise from repetitive stress, as sometimes seen in runners.

Oblique (without offset) break – Often occurring in larger bones such as the tibia or femur, an oblique fracture will reveal a diagonal beak. 

If an accident victims suffers an oblique fracture without offset, this simply means that the ends of each break are aligned with one another, leaving the bone positioning in a relatively straight line.

Longitudinal break – As pictured above, a longitudinal fracture occurs when an accident victim’s break runs the length or axis of their bone.

Oblique (with offset) break – A diagonal break that leaves the two ends of the bone offset or misaligned. 

Accident victims who suffer and oblique break with offset can have longer healing periods and or therapeutic sessions.

Spiral break – While all broken bones are serious, spiral fractures are especially dangerous. 

As indicated by the above diagram, accident victims who sustain a spiral fracture have had a long bones forced in half by a twisting force or pressure. This type of fracture is commonly associated with the arm and leg bones.

This type of fracture can potentially cause infection and a number of other complications. It is imperative that spiral breaks receive immediate medical treatment.

Comminuted break – Often seen in people who have been involved in serious car accidents or fallen from a great height, comminuted breaks leave the bone broken in more than two pieces. In some instances, it can appear that the bone has a grinding appearance.

In almost every case, comminuted breaks will require surgery and ongoing physical therapy to ensure full physical recovery.

Impacted break – When a bone sustains an enormous amount of pressure it can sometimes force the fractured ends into one another, essentially shortening the length of the bone.

Avulsion break – This break occurs in an area of the bone where a tendon or ligament is attached.

Rear-end car accidents are often related to avulsion breaks. In this type of collision, there is sudden, unexpected movement that causes a person’s bone to move in an opposite direction from the attached ligament. 

Segmental break – Especially unique, a segmental break occurs when there are multiple fractures isolate a segment of bone, as pictured above.

Segmental breaks will often require immediate surgical intervention to ensure further damage is not sustained.

Torus break – Unlike fractures that exhibit a defined break and edges, a Torus break is known as an incomplete fracture that is identified by a bulge that results from large amounts of pressure placed along the length of a bone. 

Greenstick break – If it is discovered that a person’s bone has been “cracked,” instead of broken or fractured into separate pieces, it is likely that they have sustained a Greenstick break.

As seen in the above diagram, the bone will have more of a divot appearance vs a vertical or horizontal line that divides the bone.

Compound/Open break – A visible fracture, compound breaks occur when the bone pushes through the skin and is exposed. 

Compound breaks require immediate medical attention to set the bone in place and avoid any risk of infection. 

Treatment for broken bones

Depending on the severity and type of break, an accident victim can undergo a number of treatment types, each with a unique application method and purpose.

The majority of our clients will have undergone one of the following treatments for their broken bone(s):

Slings/Splints – For less serious breaks, a doctor may determine that a sling or splint will suffice. In these instances, the purpose of the treatment is to simply immobilize the affected area until it is fully healed.

Casts – The most recognized form of treatment, plaster casts have long been the standard for treating a majority of broken bones. 

Once the doctor has repositioned the bone so that it will heal properly, a cast is applied and worn for a period of several weeks to ensure proper healing.

Traction – For certain fractures, such as an offset oblique break, a mechanical apparatus may be set up to provide a constant mild pulling effect in an attempt to realign the broken bone. 

External fixation – Fractures will sometimes require one or a series of pins that are inserted into the skin above and below the fracture. The pins are held in place by a secondary device to ensure that they remain stable and promote healing of the break(s).

Internal fixation – Often required for severe breaks, surgeons may be required to insert hardware to stabilize and heal the fracture.

Hardware commonly used include pins, screws, plates, metal rods, wires, etc. In some instances, the hardware used will be permanent. 

No matter the type of treatment a broken bone requires, it is imperative that the patient follow the post-op care of their surgeon and doctor. 

A period of instability always follows a fresh break. If too much pressure or force is applied to a fractured bone, additional damage can occur.

Broken bone personal injury cases

When an accident leaves someone with soft-tissue injuries, it is commonplace for insurance companies to debate the severity of the injury as well as its short and long-term effects. 

Conversely, broken bones signify objective injuries that make it more difficult for the insurance companies to dismiss. In addition to the visible injury, treatment and potential long-term effects are also easier to document.

That said, Boulton Law Group always recommends that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer before speaking with the insurance company. While your injury may be obvious, it will not make the fight to receive fair compensation any easier.

No two cases are alike, and this is especially true when the injuries involve broken bones. Several factors can come into play when trying to determine the value of your broken bone case, including type of accident, severity of the break(s), insurance coverage, treatment methods, your age, long-term prognosis, and medical documentation, etc.

If any of these factors are ignored or misrepresented, a person runs the risk of having their personal injury claim significantly undervalued.

Additionally, the time it takes to settle broken bone cases can vary greatly. Attorney Boulton will be able to determine when it is time to make a demand from the insurance company, largely based on your overall recovery.

Having an experienced attorney handle your claim will help to ensure your case is appropriately reviewed as well as reduce some of the hassle that may follow your injury, such as calls from bill collectors. 

Broken bone personal injury lawyer 

If your accident has left you with one or multiple broken bones, attorney Matt Boulton and the staff at Boulton Law Group want to hear your story. 

Having helped people who have been in a similar situation as the one you are no facing, we understand the frustration and emotions you may be experiencing.

Our goal is to help you through this time with friendly guidance and confident answers, while always protect your rights from an insurance company whose only goal is profit.

We offer a Zero Fee Guarantee to all of our clients who suffered broken bones. This means you will never pay for a consultation fee or initial investigation, and the only way we are paid is if we recover on your behalf.

You can reach attorney Boulton direct by dialing 317-350-2680, or you can write to us with the details of your story by using our confidential contact form.