Broken bone injuries are some of the most common injuries sustained in car accidents. Any bone in the body can be impacted by an accident, depending on the severity of the collision, where the injured victim was seated, and where the point of impact was. However, some of the most commonly injured bones are those in the lower extremities.
Because of where the legs are located in proximity to the front console and dashboard — they can easily be injured, especially if the front of the vehicle is crushed and the console or steering wheel end up pushed into the legs.
One bone that is highly susceptible to injury in these cases is the femur or thigh bone. While a fractured femur can be treated, these injuries are severe and can take a long time to heal. Once the bone has healed, many victims still suffer from long-term issues with their injured legs.
If you fractured your femur in a collision, our Maryland car accident injury lawyers at Zirkin & Schmerling can help with your case.
Though car safety features have improved over the years, upper leg injuries continue to be an issue. Most vehicles are designed with a dashboard and center console because that is really the only place to house necessary instrumentation and, now, car computer systems. But when car accidents happen, the force of impact can easily cause front seat passengers — especially drivers — to hit their upper legs on the console, dashboard, or steering wheel. And the bone that is most often injured in these situations is the femur bone.
The femur (thighbone) is the strongest bone in the body, and it provides crucial support. When this bone is fractured, it is considered a serious injury that requires emergency medical treatment and potentially months of rehabilitative care.
The femoral shaft is divided into three parts: distal, proximal, and middle, and as such, the specific type of femur fracture can vary depending on what part of the shaft was injured. The most common types of femoral fractures include the following:
- Transverse: This is a break that runs straight across the femur in a horizontal line.
- Oblique: This is an angled break across the femoral shaft.
- Spiral: This type of break results in a fracture line that circles the femur bone like stripes on a candy cane.
- Comminuted: This kind of break results in the femur bone fracturing into three or more pieces.
- Open: An open fracture means that the femoral bone is protruding out of the skin, causing an open wound.
Most fractured femur injuries require emergency surgery. These injuries can be especially problematic if they break through the skin because they can result in significant blood loss. In rare cases, minor fractured femurs can be treated with a cast instead of surgery, but this is typically only used for young children who heal more easily.
The surgery required for a fractured femur is extensive. Usually, it will require either an external fixation, which is the use of metal pins and screws to hold the bone and leg together until it heals, or internal fixation, with the insertion of a metal rod along the canal of the femur.
Additional metal plates and screws may also be used to hold the thigh bone in place until it grows back together. After surgery, the doctor will then place the patient in a splint or traction system to keep the leg stabilized and aligned for as long as possible to aid healing and maintain the length of the leg.
As you can imagine, this kind of treatment is costly, and it can take months of rehabilitative care, which adds even more to the medical bills. As such, victims of fractured femurs from car accidents should work with an attorney to file a compensation claim. A car accident injury attorney will be able to handle your case for you while you focus on recovery and can ensure you are awarded the high-value settlement you need to pay for your medical bills and other potential damages.
Walking after a femur fracture will be challenging. In most cases, the patient will not be able to walk until the injury has healed. However, even after the femur bone has healed, there are usually residual symptoms that can result in complications. Bones can grow back misaligned, surgical hardware left in the leg can cause irritation, and there could even be damage to the nerves and tendons in the area.
Because the femur is such a major supportive bone in the body, any issues with this area can cause other parts of the body to compensate, which can lead to misalignment and pain. Issues with the hips and knees, for example, often arise after a fractured femur injury. And in many cases, the patient may need long-term physical therapy to help them recover.
There is not an average amount awarded for fractured femur cases, as each situation is unique. Multiple factors can affect how much a case is worth, such as who was injured, who was at fault, and how severe the injury is. Things like emotional distress from the accident and an injury that causes permanent disability or disfigurement can also contribute to the final settlement awarded.
Generally, the more severe the fractured femur injury is, the more money the victim will be awarded. The settlement will be even higher if the victim requires long-term treatment and care for their injury and if they end up disabled and unable to work to support themselves.
If you sustain a fractured femur injury after a car accident in Maryland, the team at Zirkin & Schmerling can help you with your claim. Our team has experience handling various Maryland car accident cases, including those with severe leg injuries, and we are dedicated to ensuring every one of our clients gets the full and fair settlement they deserve.
Contact us or call us at 410-753-4611 to set up an appointment with one of our personal injury attorneys today.