Fractured Sternum Injury Lawyer
Attorney Brit Mitchell is a lawyer that handles fractured sternum injuries caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another. Brit Mitchell understands the pain and suffering caused by a broken breastplate and will help advocate for the legal compensation you're entitled to for your injuries and damages.
A fractured sternum is an exceptionally painful injury that can have a lasting impact on your quality of life and health. Frequently sustained from the force of a seat belt in a car accident, a fractured sternum is often accompanied by other complications, such as internal, spinal, and/or head injuries, or broken ribs. Because the sternum is located at the front of the ribcage, a fracture here can make it painful to laugh, speak, or even breathe.
While your health should be your primary concern after an accident, it’s also wise to start considering your legal options. Below, we cover the basics of fractured sternum injury cases and what to think about when you begin looking for a personal injury lawyer.
What Is a Fractured Sternum?
A fractured sternum is a break in the breastbone, - the long, flat bone located in the center of the chest that connects to the ribcage trough cartilage. The sternum forms the front of the rib cage, protecting the vital organs, such as the heart, lungs, and the digestive tract.
Sternum fractures most commonly result from blunt, anterior chest-wall trauma, and deceleration accidents such as elevator falls, scaffolding collapses, head-on collisions, or trucking accidents.
What Are The Symptoms of a Fractured Sternum?
If you sustained blunt force trauma to your chest or abdomen area in an accident of any kind, it is important to understand the range of symptoms associated with sternum fracture; which may includes,
Discoloration along the breastbone
Catching sensations during movement
Swelling around the injury site
Pain while breathing
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, you should call 911 and request ambulators assistance. Sternum fractures are generally diagnosed within an emergency room trough a chest x-ray or CT scan of the chest. Doctors within the Intensive Care Unit have certain guidelines to manager patients with acute sternal fractures, which includes assessing any life-threatening conditions, and determining whether the bones are stable enough to avoid an immediate need of surgery.
Damages in a Broken Sternum Injury Case
If it can be proven that you have experienced harms and losses from your injury, it may be possible to claim these as damages in your case and seek compensation for them. Specifically, here are some common types of damages we commonly see in fractured sternum cases
The cost of medical care, including treatments and procedures fall into this category of legal compensation. The expenses related to fractured sternum range greatly depending on the medical complications involved. A simply sternum fracture might only involve the ambulatory bill, diagnostic costs, and the emergency room bills. However, displaced or unstable sternal fractures can also result in pulmonary injuries, rib fractures, spinal compression fractures, lung injuries, shoulder injuries and injuries to the heart.
Suffering a broken sternum often results in the victim temporarily or permanently losing their ability to return to work. In this happens to you, then you are entitled to be reimbursement for and lost earning are a component of compensable damaged caused by the accident. Your lost earnings (both past and future) must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence.
Pain and suffering
Pain and suffering is a category of damages that compensates victims for physical and mental anguish. Fractured sternum injuries are very painful and involve chest pain that can persist for 8 to 12 weeks. A broken sternum typically causes additional pain that gets worst when you take a deep breath, cough, or sneeze. The area over the sternum may be tender and hurt if touched.
An additional value to you may to entitled to involves the emotional trauma you may have experienced in the accident. Accidents that cause broken sternums are often catastrophic and involve falls from heights, high-impact crashes, or heavy machinery within the workplace. You might also be suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the near-death experience, which entitled you to recompense for any emotional trauma.
Loss of quality of life
If your injury affects your ability to enjoy your life and participate fully in activities, then you may be able to recover damages for loss of quality of life. This is especially true with a permanent injury.
The impact that a fractured sternum has on your life — and your finances — usually depends on how severely you are injured. If your doctor recommends more invasive procedures, such as surgery, you may need to miss work for some time, which means you could lose some portion of your income.
Additionally, if you have co-occurring issues like head trauma or a spinal injury, you may experience a lasting or even permanent effect on your ability to earn a living, as well as other impacts like the inability to enjoy favorite activities or live your life to its fullest.
What Factors Make Fractured Sternum Injury Cases Unique?
The following factors make fractured sternum cases unique compared to other forms of personal injury claims.
Most sternum injuries result from car accidents due to the frequency at which people strike their chest against the steering wheel, a deployed airbag, or the force of the seat belt. Although it is normally relatively clear who’s at fault for an auto accident, auto insurance companies are often hesitant to accept full responsibility for the injuries and damages caused by a broken sternum. Instead, insurance adjusters often initiate investigations to determine if the victim was partially responsible in causing their own damages. Insurance companies try to determine whether the victim had their seatbelt fastened at the time of the accident, or whether the driver was sitting too close to the wheel. In situations where the airbag does not deploy to protect a motorist from hitting the steering wheel, the at-fault driver's insurance company may try to deny all liability and instead blame the airbag manufacture for the resulting injuries.
Additionally, if the accident involved multiple drivers or insurance providers, that can make your case more complicated as more than one company are attempt to point fingers or deny liability in the ways mentioned above. Cases like these often require the skill of an experienced car accident attorney to full protect your right of compensation.
Possible Future Surgery Needs
Long term complications resulting from a sternum fracture can include the need of surgical correction if the compromised area heal improperly. Patients with displaced or unstable sternal fractures require operative fixation with sternal wires or similar surgical procedure using plate and screws. In cases where the the need of surgery is not detected, the victim often suffers debilitating chest pain associated with pulmonary or cardiac issues. Victims of accidents should be adequately compensated for how this complex injury has interrupted their life and wellbeing.
What Is The Average Broken Sternum Case Worth?
The typical settlement value of broken sternum injury cases litigated by our attorneys is between $50,000 and $100,000, depending on various circumstances (such as the monetary limit of the insurance company charge with paying our client). However, insurance companies notoriously undervalue fractured rib cases, especially when there are not additional injuries.
Our lawyers disagree with the insurance company on every aspect of a fractured sternum injury, from the proper settlement value of fractured sternums, to the very definition of what is a fractured sternum. This injury is serious in nature and should not be taken lightly.
How Brit Mitchell Will Handle Your Fractured Sternum Accident
Any time you are involved in a serious accident, it’s a good idea to consult with a lawyer. Attorney Brit Mitchell can help you understand what to do to protect yourself and inform you of your legal rights and options. Brit understands the complexities involved with advocating for victims that suffered broken breastplates and will ensure you receive the compensation you deserve after experiencing this devastating injury.
From our four convenient offices we handle cases throughout Texas and across the nation. Brit Mitchell and her team are widely recognized as some of the best trial lawyers in the country. Our trial lawyers also receive Super Lawyer distinctions and Top Attorney Recognitions each year. From our Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin office we help across Texas. If you can't come to us, we'll come to you.
An initial meeting with our team is always free and strictly confidential. We also handle each case on a pure contingency basis, meaning there's no up-front cost to you. Contact attorney Brit Mitchell today to schedule your initial consultation by calling us at 866-434-0014, or by filling our an an online meeting request.