Femur Fracture Injury Lawyer
The femur (thighbone) is the strongest and longest bone in the human body. It usually requires an incredible force to break the femur bone. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), the number one cause of broken femurs is motor vehicle crashes. Femur shaft fractures are generally considered medical emergencies requiring immediate evaluations in a hospital. Treatment varies on the extent and pattern of the break and the fracture location.
If you suffered a broken thighbone in an accident, a skilled femur fracture injury attorney could provide the guidance, support, and legal representation you need. Set up a consultation with one of our lawyers today for free, friendly advice on your potential case at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.
Protecting yourself just is not enough when it comes to preventing a broken thighbone, and that is where an experienced accident attorney comes in. Our personal injury law firm has the experience, skills, and resources necessary to assess your situation and determine your potential options for recovery. We can gather, preserve, and present compelling evidence to insurance companies to prove your injuries and damages incurred. Our legal team at AutoAccident.com is fully prepared to litigate your femur fracture case in civil court, if necessary.What is a Femoral Shaft Fracture?
The femoral shaft is the straight, long part of the femur. Any break along this area of the bone is called a femoral shaft fracture. This type of fracture often requires surgery for the healing process. A medical professional may place the patient’s leg in traction or in a long-leg splint in the time between initial emergency care and surgical treatment.How is a Femur Shaft Fracture Classified?
This type of injury is classified based on:
- The location of the break (the femoral shaft is divided into thirds: proximal, middle, and distal)
- The pattern of the break in the bone
- Whether the muscle and skin over the bone have been torn as a result of the trauma
According to OrthoInfo of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, broken thighbones are common in young individuals due to the force of collisions. This may include:
- Motor vehicle crashes
- Motorcycle collisions
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and falls
- Gunshot wounds
When a broken thighbone is suffered in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, an injured party may file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party for damages incurred. For more details, contact an experienced broken bone injury attorney today.Understanding Femur Fracture Open Reduction and Internal Fixation
When a femur has been fractured, open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) is often necessary for stabilizing and healing the broken bone. This type of surgery works by bringing the bones back into place and helping them heal.
An orthopedic surgeon will reposition the bone fragments during surgery to help them align properly in open reduction. Conversely, closed reduction involves a medical professional physically moving the bones back into place without exposing the bone through surgery.
Internal fixation is the method by which the bones are physically reconnected. This may involve the surgeon placing nails, wires, rods, plates, or special screws inside the bones to fix them in the proper place. This helps the bones by preventing them from healing abnormally.
For a break in the long middle portion of the femur bone, a long metal rod may be inserted through the middle of the bone by a surgeon. This type of procedure requires the patient to be asleep under general anesthesia.What are the Symptoms of a Fractured Femur?
Common symptoms of a fractured femur include:
- Immediate, severe pain from the affected leg
- Inability to place weight on the thigh or move it
- Numbness, tingling, bruising, bleeding, swelling, or muscle pain
- Obvious deformity of the leg with one being shorter than the other and no longer straight in appearance
A fracture of the thighbone can be a severe, life-threatening injury. Immediate hospitalization is often required to protect the injured area from further damage. The signs and symptoms of a life-threatening femur shaft fracture include:
- Being unable to move the leg
- Experiencing low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Fragments of bone protruding through the skin
- Loss of consciousness
- Profuse bleeding in the fractured area
- Unbearable pain in the thigh area
A medical professional will determine the type of break a patient has before recommending a specific treatment or physical therapy. The most common types of femur bone fractures include:
- Compound Fracture: Fragments of bones have pierced through the skin.
- Comminuted Fracture: The bone has been broken down into three or more fragments.
- Oblique Fracture: The break in the femur bone has an angled line.
- Open Fracture: A wound has penetrated down to the broken femur.
- Spiral Fracture: A break that occurs when a long bone has been twisted with force.
- Transverse Fracture: The break in the bone is a straight horizontal line.
Imaging tools allow medical professionals to look inside the body to get a picture of the bones, cartilage, muscles, nerves, organs, and tendons. This allows the healthcare provider to determine if there is an abnormality present. Diagnostic imaging includes:
- Computed Tomography (CT) Scans
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
There are several risk factors for having a fractured femur, the biggest drivers being age and gender. According to American Bone Health, other risk factors for a fracture may include:
- Alcohol: Drinking alcohol in excess has an influence over bone mass and structure.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: A debilitating autoimmune disease causes the body to attack healthy tissues and cells around the joints, resulting in severe bone and joint loss.
- Smoking: The National Institute of Health Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases has reported that smoking was tagged as a risk factor for bone loss more than two decades ago. Smokers, for instance, are more susceptible to suffering a fracture as they often have poor diets, exercise less, and tend to drink alcohol more.
- Steroids: Also known as corticosteroids, they are often prescribed for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions. Using steroids at increased doses has been found to increase calcium loss through the urine, prevent calcium absorption in the gastrointestinal tract, and hinder bone formation.
Recovery of a femur bone fracture may take six weeks. This may depend on where the fractured area is, whether surgery is necessary, and any complications from the femoral shaft fracture.
If surgery was required, the healing process might take longer. The recovery process can take three months to a year. During the first three months, the fracture must be protected. This means that crutches will be required to avoid putting weight on the injured leg.Motor Vehicle Collisions and Broken Legs
Car accidents resulting in femur shaft fractures may be caused by a wide array of factors, including common examples of negligence like:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI)
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Following too closely or tailgating
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Speeding or traveling too fast for weather or traffic conditions
If you suffered a broken thighbone in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or carelessness, you might be eligible for personal injury compensation. This may consist of economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Past medical expenses that are deemed reasonable and necessary
- Costs of medical treatment that are reasonably expected to be incurred in the future
- Lost wages and loss of future earning potential
- Loss of consortium for the effect the femur shaft fracture has had on the patient’s spouse and marriage
- Permanent injury or disability, including out of pocket expenses for accommodations to the home
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
The types of amount of compensation may differ from case to case. To determine your eligibility for personal injury damages, contact an experienced femur fracture injury lawyer today.What is the Statute of Limitations for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in California?
A broken femur is a serious injury that is likely to be with you for the remainder of your life. If you suffered a fractured femur in California because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you have a limited amount of time to bring a compensation claim.
Under the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1, a claimant has two years from the date of the femoral shaft fracture to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. This means an injured party must accept an insurance settlement or file a lawsuit in court within the two-year statute of limitations. If this filing deadline is not met, the case may be dismissed by the court, and the claimant may lose the right to compensation.
Personal injury cases against a government entity are subject to a shorter statute of limitations. A notice of claim must be filed with the government agency within six months or 180 days, as outlined in the California Government Code Section 911.2. The government entity has 45 days to respond to the claim once it has been filed. If the government denies the claim during the 45 days, the claimant has six months to file a lawsuit in court from the date on which the denial letter was delivered or mailed to them.
In medical malpractice claims, injured parties have one year from the date they knew or should have known about the femur fracture or three years from the date of the injury to file in civil court, whichever is the earlier date. This is by the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.5. Healthcare providers must be served with a 90-day notice before filing. Refer to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 364 for additional information on the professional negligence of healthcare providers.Which Factors Influence the Value of a Femoral Shaft Fracture Case?
The factors that impact the value of a personal injury settlement for a broken thighbone case include:
- The type and location of the fracture
- The extent of special damages and general damages
- How the claimant’s life has been impacted by the fractured femur
The unfortunate reality is that insurance companies do not have the best interests of claimants injured by the negligence of their insured. To learn about the factors and tactics insurance carriers use to downplay the value of personal injury cases, watch the video below.Contact a Femur Fracture Injury Attorney Today
A femoral shaft fracture may result in mounting medical expenses, lost income, and other consequences. That is why it is essential to reach out to an experienced injury attorney for assistance. Retaining legal representation can help when seeking financial recovery of economic and non-economic damages.
Our law firm has helped residents of California with their personal injury cases since 1982. If you suffered a broken thighbone in an accident caused by another party or entity, our legal team could help. Schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced femur fracture lawyers to learn more about how we can help you and your family through this difficult time. Call (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 to get started today.
Editor's Note: updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 4.13.23]
Image Credit: depositphotos.com
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