A broken bone is an emergency medical situation. Depending on the severity and location of the break, victims may suffer limited mobility and have trouble performing ordinary day-to-day tasks. Sometimes, a fracture can result in long-term complications.
It is widely acknowledged that car accidents cause a variety of bone fractures and injuries. In Poughkeepsie, New York, broken bones typically result from motor vehicle crashes, slip and falls, and workplace accidents, according to statistics from the Accident Data Center’s report of Dutchess County injuries.
Before filing a lawsuit, broken bone victims of Poughkeepsie will need to know if they’ve met New York’s serious injury threshold and what their insurance will cover. After receiving medical attention, it is in a victim’s best interest to speak with a personal injury attorney to seek full compensation for damages.
Broken Bone Statistics
Statistics for Poughkeepsie broken bone injuries are comparable to the rest of the country:
- Bone fractures count for 16% of all reported injuries in the U.S.
- On average, 887,679 hospitalizations occur each year in the U.S. due to broken and fractured bone accidents
- Falls are the leading cause of bone injuries as the population ages
- Upper limb fractures (arm, forehand, wrist, hand) account for slightly more than half of all fractures (52%-59%)
- Fractures of the upper arm (humerus) are the least common in upper limb fractures
- More than 2/3 of lower limb fractures occur in the ankle, foot and toes
- Fractures to the lower leg (tibia and fibia) are the least common overall
When a Broken Bone Becomes a Personal Injury Claim
Falls, being struck by or against another force, and motor vehicle traffic accidents are and have been the top three leading causes of emergency department visits for all NY residents with broken bones.
Broken Bones from Slip and Fall Injuries
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that about one fifth of all falls cause serious injuries such as broken bones. Falls are the leading cause of hospitalizations among NY children aged 0-4, and adults over 25. The following bones are commonly broken in Poughkeepsie slip and fall injury cases:
- Back and spinal cord
Poughkeepsie business, home, and property owners can be held liable for any dangerous condition they caused or failed to correct in a reasonable amount of time. Most people will fight to avoid liability by claiming the hazard should have been obvious to the victim. This reasoning is fallacious. New York is a comparative negligence state, which means that at-fault individuals can be held liable for an accident even if the victim is deemed partly responsible for the injuries.
Most often, the condition that causes a slip and fall is temporary, like a slippery floor caused by tracked in rain or snow. Other conditions/locations where slip and falls may occur in Poughkeepsie are:
- Uneven sidewalks
- Parking lots
- Cluttered store aisles
- Poorly lit areas
- Broken handrails
Claims in this area of law fall under premises liability. Property owners have a duty to regularly inspect the property for unknown dangers and either correct the hazard or properly caution visitors.
Broken Bones from Workplace Injuries
Fractures can occur as the result of several types of accidents and can occur in any workplace environment. Fortunately, the New York Workers’ Compensation Board is designed to protect any worker injured on the job by providing financial support no matter what caused the injury. After breaking a bone in a workplace accident, workers can expedite a recovery by understanding their rights and legal options.
Accidents that lead to broken bones at a job in Poughkeepsie include:
- Slipping on a spill on the floor
- Tripping on a misplaced item
- Falling off scaffolding at a construction site
Medical bills and other losses resulting from a workplace broken bone injury will typically only be paid by the workers’ compensation carrier. An injury may call for a separate lawsuit if the victim can establish that there was intentional harm done by the employer. Any third party separate from the employer and employee that played a role in the injury may also be held liable.
A thorough guide to getting compensated through New York Workers’ Compensation process can be found here.
Broken Bones in Poughkeepsie Car Accidents
According to current data from DutchessNY.gov’s Lower Hudson Overview, 25.9% of all lower Hudson Valley injury crashes take place in or around the city of Poughkeepsie in Dutchess County. This clearly reveals that driving in and around Poughkeepsie is particularly dangerous.
Any bone can break during an accident depending on the severity of force applied to it. However, car accident-related injuries most commonly occur to the following bones:
Poughkeepsie car accidents can also result in skull fractures. It is critically important for victims to be thoroughly examined after a crash, as fractured skulls can endanger life and be very serious. In worst case scenarios, pieces of bone may press against the brain. Plus, head injuries of any kind may conceal dangerous damage to the brain, with or without a fracture.
Clearly, there is a wide range of severity for bone injuries. For victims, it’s important to understand how these levels of harm impact their case values.
How Broken Bone Cases are Valued and Compensated
Broken bones will always remain in the realm of possibility within any kind of car accident. Every driver in New York is required to carry no-fault insurance in the event their vehicle is in an accident. No-fault insurance covers drivers for their injuries even if they were partly or totally at fault for the crash. This is meant to swiftly reimburse victims while avoiding legal complication. Basic no-fault insurance coverage includes:
- A minimum $50,000 coverage per person: the driver, all passengers injured in the car, and any pedestrians injured by the car
- 80% of lost earning from work, up to $2,000 per month, for up to three years from the date of the accident
- Up to $25 a day for up to a year from the date of the accident to help reimburse necessary expenses
In most cases the insurance policy will be enough to reimburse victims, but policy minimums won’t always cover the full extent of someone’s personal injury damages. However, no-fault insurance does not cover non-economic losses such as pain and suffering. Additionally, not every broken bone is sustained in a car accident. So, it is important to understand New York’s serious injury threshold and insurance law.
What is New York’s Serious Injury Threshold?
A victim may be eligible for a personal injury lawsuit if they are able to establish that he/she incurred more than $50,000 in damages (and thus exhausting their insurance policy), or by sustaining a “serious injury.” Serious injury is defined by law as a personal injury which results in one or more of the following:
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss of function or significant limitation of a body part or organ
- An injury or impairment which prevents the injured person from performing usual and customary daily activities for no less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the injury
How Severity of Injury Affects Settlement Value
There are various types of broken bone injuries that commonly occur within personal injury cases:
- Transverse fracture: when a direct hit or force causes the bone to snap cleanly into two parts, usually at a 90-degree angle.
- Compound fracture: when the bone gets pushed outwardly and starts to protrude, breaking the skin. These are among the worst types of fractures in terms of pain and high infection rate.
- Comminuted fracture: when a bone gets shattered into three or more pieces, which is very complicated to repair.
- Buckle fracture: when a bone bends without actually breaking.
- Stress fracture: when one side of a bone bends while the other side breaks.
- Oblique fracture: when the bone breaks cleanly in a diagonal manner. This happens when one side of the bone gets trapped and the other end is twisted.
- Avulsion fracture: when the bone detaches itself from the soft tissue or tendon. These fractures are extremely painful and much surgical attention is required to repair them.
- Hairline fracture: when the bone partially breaks or sustains small cracks. People are usually oblivious to these fractures at first, but they can weaken the bone or become bigger and worsen with time.
Sobo & Sobo does not cite actual settlement values for our clients’ cases, even anonymously, for reasons of privacy. From time to time we may include publicly available individual case histories and ranges of general, US settlement values that are published by reliable sources. These, however, should not be interpreted as representing Sobo & Sobo cases or suggest future outcomes at Sobo & Sobo.
The following are real-world awards and settlements to give broken bone victims in Poughkeepsie an idea of the range in different case values:
- $1,000,000 on behalf of a victim for suffering a hip fracture and kneecap fracture (both requiring surgery) after a car accident
- $115,000 settlement with county on behalf of a victim who fractured her finger and partial amputation of fingertip when a tree limb fell through her windshield and caused her to crash
- $2,195,000 to a worker who fell 11 feet through an opening in the floor of a renovation site. He suffered fractures to his vertebrae, jaw, eye socket and both wrists.
- $ 250,087 for a woman who slipped on spilled detergent in a general store and suffered broken vertebrae
Damages Bone Injury Victims Can Recover with Compensation
A broken bone can be an expensive injury. Most cases require paying for pain medication, setting the bone, casts, and multiple episodes of follow-up care. In worse scenarios, surgeries to replace pins or screws may be necessary. Overall, care and accommodations you need may not be cheap. Damages victims may seek to recover include:
- All medical expenses including physical therapy, surgery, medications, and ongoing medical care
- Compensation for any lost wages from missed work
- Ongoing lost income if the broken bone prevents the victim from going to work within the same capacity as before the accident
- Pain and suffering and emotional distress
A Poughkeepsie personal injury attorney can help you ensure that you are getting the economic and non-economic damages you need.
Contact Sobo & Sobo for Poughkeepsie Broken Bone Injury Lawyers
The personal injury attorneys of Sobo & Sobo have been serving the people of Poughkeepsie and surrounding areas in the Hudson Valley for over 50 years. Our attorneys are well-prepared to handle a wide variety of broken bone cases due to car accidents, slips and falls, workplace accidents and other people’s negligent actions. We protect your rights while fighting for maximum compensation every step of the way.
For a free initial consultation, call 845-400-8034 to reach our Poughkeepsie office located at 219 Church Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601. There are never any fees unless we win, as they are paid with a portion of the settlement. This means our clients can never owe us money.