Fractured bones are a common result of trucking accidents, and, unlike some injuries, which can require extensive diagnostic procedures, fractures are usually readily apparent within moments. A break is often accompanied by a snap or cracking sound. The immediate area around the break will be quite sensitive to the touch and will likely swell. In the case of a broken limb, that limb may appear crooked or deformed. A simple x-ray is usually sufficient to confirm the diagnosis of a fracture.
There are five basic types of fractures. A closed or simple fracture involves a broken bone but no skin laceration. An open or compound fracture is a situation in which a piece of the broken bone may protrude through the skin. In a transverse fracture, the break in the bone is at right angles to the bone’s long axis. A greenstick fracture is characterized by a break in one side of the bone, which causes a bend on the other side. A comminuted fracture leaves three or more bone fragments that must be mended back in place.
The instant a fracture occurs, the body begins the healing process. A blood clot forms, and bone cell threads on both sides of the break grow together to mend the bone. Doctors aid the body in its healing using external or internal fixation methods. External fixation devices include casts, braces, and splints, and internal fixation devices include screws, pins, and metal plates. Both external and internal fixation devices hold the bone in place while healing occurs.
While most fractures heal within several weeks, more severe fractures may require several months to fully mend. The severity of a fracture is not the only factor in determining the length of time it takes a patient to heal. Diligent adherence to medical instruction on the part of the patient is essential to proper and expedient healing and we don’t mind reminding clients to follow doctor’s orders!
One of our greatest strengths as a firm is our expertise in dealing with the many legal and medical ramifications of injuries sustained in trucking accidents. As you may know all too well, an accident with a big rig often involves serious injuries and even fatalities. We aren’t doctors, but we consult with the medical professionals who treat our clients. It is crucial that we thoroughly understand the diagnosis and prognosis of each injury, the optimal approach to treatment, and the extent of recovery that can be hoped for so that we can convey essential understanding of medical complexities to jurors who need it in order to render a fair verdict.