Do you remember Bono’s “high energy” Central Park bicycle accident in 2014? He suffered an eye orbit fracture, three fractures of his left scapula, six fractures of his left humerus and a left pinky ring fracture. His arm was put back together by an orthopedic trauma surgeon who used three metal plates and 18 screws.
More than a million a year
Bono is an avid cyclist, so his accident shouldn’t have been a surprise. Bicycle accidents aren’t surprises to medical professionals either. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, they account for 1.2 million doctor visits, 580,000 emergency room visits, 23,000 hospital admissions and about 900 deaths every year. Although collisions with motor vehicles only involve a minority of bicycle accidents, they’re responsible for the most injuries and fatalities. A common thread in those injuries and fatalities is multiple fractures.
Common bicycle accident fractures
A bicyclist ordinarily has little or nothing to protect his or her face, chest, arms or legs. Those body parts are exposed and vulnerable to impact injuries and resulting fractures. Some bones are more frequently broken in bicycle accidents than others. Some of those fractures include:
- Collarbones after extending the arms out to break a fall
- Wrists, hands and fingers for the same reason
- The pelvis or hip from a motor vehicle side impact or landing on pavement
- Femurs from motor vehicle side impacts
- The skull with an accompanying traumatic brain injury
Types of fractures
The chances of a bicyclist reaching a complete recovery from a fracture usually depend on the type of fracture that was suffered. They fall into five types. Those consist of:
- Simple fractures that almost always heal completely
- Compound or open fractures that pierce the skin like Bono’s humerus fracture
- Transverse fractures going across a bone
- Comminuted fractures in at least three pieces that usually require surgery
- Greenstick fractures on the sides of bones
Broken bones need to be positioned correctly to give them the best opportunity to heal. They might require immediate surgery for that purpose. Plates and screws might need to be implanted for proper alignment. That’s known as an open reduction of the fracture. When surgery isn’t needed, doctors set the bone by doing a closed reduction.
Damages and compensation
If you’ve been hurt in a bicycle crash anywhere in or around San Francisco that was the fault of somebody else, you might be eligible for compensation for your injuries. Just some of the things that you can seek damages for include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost earnings
- Any permanent disfigurement
- Any permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of a normal life
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is a broken bone worth in an auto accident?
The amount of compensation a victim gets for a broken bone in an auto accident depends on the severity of the break, the amount of medical treatment and the ability of the person to fully recover. If the victim has permanent damage or disfigurement, then the amount will be higher. Another consideration is the amount of the insurance policy available to pay compensation.
How long do I have to file a personal injury case involving a fracture?
In California, a victim has two years from the date of injury to file for any personal injury claim based on negligence. If this date is missed, then the victim might lose their right to get compensation for their injury. In many cases, the claim will settle before the deadline, but that’s not guaranteed.
Can I get compensation for my pain for a bone fracture?
California law allows the victim of an auto accident to claim compensation for pain and suffering along with other damages like medical bills, lost time from work and mental anguish. There is no amount set by law that one gets rather it’s up to the jury to decide what value to put on someone’s pain and suffering.
Contact Bay Area Bicycle Law
You can contact us by phone or email to arrange for a free consultation and case review. If we’re able to assemble the necessary facts and insurance information, we can bring a claim or lawsuit on your behalf, even if you were in a hit-and-run with a motor vehicle. There’s no obligation, and we don’t even get paid any legal fees unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you. Contact us sooner rather than later. We’ll want to get started on your matter right away. The law has imposed strict time limits for filing a claim or lawsuit, especially if it’s against a government entity. We’ll take care of your San Francisco or Northern California bicycle crash claim or lawsuit while you work toward maximum medical improvement.
We are the only firm in Northern California to specialize exclusively in representing bicyclists.