Any broken bone (also called a fracture) is a serious injury to us! If you have any fracture / broken bone, please call us days/nights/weekends at 1-800-487-8911.
A broken bone or bone break is a bone fracture. A fracture is simply a break in the continuity of the bone but there are many types of fractures.
Serious fractures, such as a displaced fracture, are usually obvious to a doctor and are almost always diagnosed in the hospital ER. A displaced fracture is where the two broken pieces of the bone are not together. With a nondisplaced fracture, the two pieces are together.
However, fractures often do not show on the initial X-ray in the hospital and are diagnosed a day or two later. If you were taken to the emergency room after an accident and the x-ray did not show fracture but were told a couple of days later that you have a broken bone, you probably have a non-displaced fracture.
This can happen if the x-ray is taken at the wrong angle, if you move at the time it was taken, or if the radiologist just didn’t see it. However, fractures which did not show in the hospital x-ray at the time of the accident are almost always undiagnosed because the swelling prevents the fracture from showing in the x-ray.
A bone fracture can often be diagnosed clinically and then confirmed with x-ray. A clinical diagnosis is one made by your doctor upon a review of the medical history given and a physical examination without use of laboratory tests or x-ray. Diagnosis of a bone fracture is evidenced by imaging with x-ray, computed tomography (CT scan), or magnetic resonance imaging (MR or MRI).
If you were taken to the emergency room at a hospital and were told that x-rays did not show a fracture (broken bone) and you have pain and swelling the next day, you should see a doctor to find out if you have a fracture which was not seen at the emergency room.
Read why a diagnosing a broken bone is important if you were injured in a car accident.
A broken nose or nasal fracture is a serious fracture and often requires surgery for optimal healing without side effects such as breathing problems and a crooked nose. A plastic surgeon is the type of surgeon usually used for nose surgery but plastic surgeons don’t accept payment from No-Fault and will usually ask you to pay $8,000 up front. Don’t fall into this trap because you will be reimbursed a lot less. If you need plastic surgery for a nose fracture, we can get your plastic surgeon paid up front at no cost to you!
We have obtained as much as $50,000-$75,000 for a broken nose with surgery. If facial scarring is involved with the injury it will substantially increase the value of your case.
Even a broken rib, finger or toe is serious but defense insurance companies don’t believe them to be serious so they have to be convinced. As an example, we obtained a $35,000 settlement for a client who only saw the doctor one time for a broken pinky toe which was a non-displaced 5th metatarsal fracture. His doctor advised him to wear a boot and he refused which is not good for his case. See how we prove a broken rib is a valuable serious injury.
Extremely serious fractures
Fractures involving a joint or which require surgery are extremely serious fractures. This is true even if only involving the joint of a finger.
In this case, our client was a dentist who broke his pinky finger in a car accident. He needed surgery and was out of work for 2 months. Allstate initially denied the claim because there was no damage to either car and the police were never called. Allstate later offered only $5,000. We refused the offer. We demanded and obtained the entire insurance policy. We made the medical illustration below which convinced Allstate to pay the entire policy.
In another case, an accident caused exostosis (abnormal bone growth) to the joint of our client’s thumb. The insurance company offered a take it or leave offer of $5,000. We filed a law suit and the insurance company agreed to arbitrate the case and our client was awarded $100,000.
The reason a fracture involving a joint or another anomaly such as exostosis (abnormal bone growth) is a serious injury, is that the injury will substantially worsen over time due to traumatic arthritis. Insurance company doctors love to claim that the alleged traumatic arthritis is age related osteoarthritis and that has been going on for a long time because arthritis was seen on x-rays within a couple of months of the accident which is too soon for traumatic arthritis to occur. This is false and your lawyer needs to be prepared to prove it.
Traumatic arthritis begins to occur immediately after an accident, while osteoarthritis usually takes as long as 60 years. A study published by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, found that traumatic arthritis began within the first month after injury.
An internal plate and screws may be installed to keep the separated bones in place or an external fixation device may be used. An external fixation device is temporarily placed on the outside of the skin with pins inserted into the separated bones.
This is photo shows our client with an external fixation device for a broken ankle. The external fixation device holds the broken bone together but is outside of the body and is temporary. Although this client was “falling down drunk” (.203) and GEICO believed he caused the accident, we settled the claim for $155,000.
We made these 3-D color images of our client’s x-rays which show an Ulnar Styloid fracture and an Impacted Distal Radial fracture before surgery.
This 3-D color x-ray image shows the same fractures after the surgical repair with an internal plate and screws. The internal plate is usually permanent and is not visible outside the skin. However, sometimes the plate and screws cause pain, especially if the screw start to loosen and the plate may later have to be removed or replaced with another surgery.
Lateral view (side view) X-ray showing the same external fixation device.
This X-ray shows a broken radius and ulna with internal fixation (plates screwed into the bone to keep the broken bone together). See an external fixation device below.
Our client had several serious injuries from an accident. This X-ray shows one of his fractures repaired with internal fixation using a rod inserted and kept in place with two screws into the bone. Later, when walking, the rod bent at the bottom screw shown outlined in red. The rod had to be removed and major surgery was needed. This is a very serious injury worth several million dollars.
Radius and Ulna – Anatomy Tutorial Video