Bone Fractures In Florida Car Crashes
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimate that among serious injuries sustained in car accidents, bone fractures are one of the top three most common injuries suffered. While many bone fractures are seen as inconsequential injuries, especially compared to the potentially life-threatening harm that can be suffered in a car accident, in reality they can cause lifetime impairments, especially if they are not treated appropriately. If you have sustained broken bones in a car accident, there are certain things about the legal process that you should be aware of as you try to seek compensation.
Severity Of Fractures Will Vary
The type of broken bones people sustain after an auto accident will largely depend on the type of auto accident they have experienced. For example, if you experience a rear-end collision, you may be more likely to sustain fractured wrists, arms, or vertebrae, as you try to shield yourself from impact against the dashboard. Fractures of the hips or knees can also occur, either of which may lead to avascular necrosis (death of the bone due to a lack of blood supply) and permanent paraplegia.
While it is true that some fractures are less severe than others, every fracture has the potential to cause long-term problems if it is not treated properly. This is doubly true for very young children, whose bones may not have completely solidified, and for the elderly, whose bones may be more brittle. In these cases, injuries may be more severe than they would otherwise be in healthy adults, though they should be compensated just the same as anyone else’s injuries sustained in a similar accident. (This is referred to as the eggshell plaintiff rule, which states that even if a defendant’s injuries were not necessarily foreseeable or ‘proportionate’ to the reasonable person, they must be compensated just the same as any other person’s.)
Dealing With No-Fault Insurance
Something that often complicates recovery for auto accident victims is Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system. Florida and a handful of other states have chosen the no-fault system, which means that instead of filing suit in the relevant court, car accident claims are settled by filing claims with one’s personal injury protection (PIP) insurer. Every Florida driver is required by law to have at least $10,000 of PIP coverage, and $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL) insurance, and if you are involved in an auto accident, you are intended to use this coverage to pay for medical bills, instead of filing suit.
There are occasions where an injured auto accident victim is permitted to sue the person who allegedly caused their injuries, but their injuries must have resulted in over $10,000 worth of medical bills, and the victim must have sustained a “significant and permanent” injury, such as the loss of a bodily function. There are some types of fractures where one’s medical bills can easily total over $10,000 – for example, certain types of skull fractures – so do not think that filing suit is impossible if you have no other major injuries.
Call A Tampa Broken Bones Attorney
Broken bones happen commonly, but just because they are frequent does not mean they are not serious, with the potential to cause long-term harm. The Tampa fractures attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group can help you understand your options, and to decide the best way for you to try and obtain compensation for the harm you have been through. Contact our offices today to set up a free consultation.