If you suffer damage to your sternum due to a car accident, it can cause significant pain. Breaking your sternum can leave you and your family with substantial medical expenses and an inability to work for months.
While your health should be your primary concern after an accident, it's also wise to consider your legal options.
As a personal injury attorney who has worked on several fractured sternum injury cases, I will explain what a fractured sternum might be worth regarding your damages claim.
- You may be eligible for financial compensation exceeding $1 000 000 if you have experienced physical and emotional trauma due to a fractured sternum.
- If your injury prevents you from engaging in activities that bring joy, you can receive compensation for the loss of quality of life.
- When you suffer from fractured ribs, it can lead to an interruption in your place of employment.
What Is a Fractured Sternum?
A fractured sternum is an injury to the lengthy, flat bone located in the central chest region that connects to the ribs using cartilage. It is also known as the breastbone.
This bony structure is essential since it guards vital organs such as your heart, lungs, and digestive system from injury.
Unfortunately, serious medical attention must be sought out immediately when this bone fractures due to extreme impact or force .
What Is a Fractured Sternum Worth?
A fractured sternum can be worth between $85,000 to $1,269,936. Depending on the specifics of each case, insurance companies can be notoriously remiss when covering broken rib injuries - particularly those that don't involve any additional traumas.
However, how much compensation a victim can receive depends on their allocated financial limits for paying out the client's personal injury and accident lawsuits.
Types Of Compensation You Can Collect
The types of compensation you can collect are economic and non-economic damages.
Let me explain each in detail.
Economic damages are simple to prove, as they cover all of the tangible losses a victim suffers from an accident. There is no restriction to the amount you can claim in this category as long as your documentation supports the costs incurred.
This category covers injuries that are more difficult to quantify monetarily yet nevertheless cause substantial harm and deserve compensation.
This may include:
- Physical Pain and Suffering
- Emotional and psychological trauma
- Loss of quality of life
"Settlements depend greatly on the unique circumstances of each case, so the average payout for a sternum fracture claim varies greatly."
- Erik Abrahamson, Personal Injury Lawyer
4 Types of Damages in a Broken Sternum Injury Case
If a broken ribs injury incurs financial losses or other, more severe injuries, you can claim these as damages to seek compensation in a personal injury claim.
These are some of the most common types of damages associated with fractured sternum cases:
1. Medical Bills
You may seek legal restitution to cover the cost of medical treatment and procedures, such as those involving a fractured sternum.
The total expense varies depending on any additional complications that might arise from this condition.
A simple fracture could only incur ambulatory costs, medical bills, and emergency room fees. Yet, complex fractures can result in more serious issues like pulmonic injuries, rib fractures, spinal compression wounds, lung damage, shoulder impairments, or even heart problems.
2. Lost Income
When you suffer from a rib fracture, it could result in your inability to continue working either temporarily or permanently. If this is the case for you, you are entitled to reimbursement for any lost wages resulting from the accident.
You must prove your past and future earnings by having substantial evidence that supports your claim.
3. Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages are intended to compensate victims for the physical and mental anguish they experience due to their broken ribs or soft tissue injuries.
Fractured sternum injuries cause excruciating chest pain that can last for two whole months on average.
Moreover, these activities become even more painful when deep breaths, coughing, or sneezing are involved. The tender area above the sternum hurts if it's touched too.
You may also be eligible for compensation due to the emotional distress caused by your car accident.
4. Loss of Quality of Life
If your rib injury affects your daily life and stops you from participating in activities that bring joy to your life, you can obtain damages for loss of quality of life. This especially applies if the car accident injury is permanent.
The degree of broken ribs will decide the disruption it has on your life and finances. If you require surgery, this means a certain period of work with a loss in income to accompany that absence.
It's essential to be aware of how significantly this exceptionally painful injury can influence both aspects if left untreated.
Related Article: Herniated Disc Car Accident Settlement
What Are Factors in a Fractured Sternum Injury Case?
The factors in a fractured sternum injury case include the degree of the fracture, the medical treatment received, and other damages related to the injury.
However, here are some other factors in a fractured sternum claim:
Possible Future Surgery Needs
Sternum fractures may cause lasting complications, such as the need for surgical correction if the fractured area hasn't properly healed. In some cases, a plate and screws or sternal wires are required to fix displaced or unstable fractures.
People commonly break their sternum in car accidents due to the impact of striking against a deployed airbag, steering wheel, or seatbelt.
Even though it is usually easy to identify who was at fault for such an accident, the insurance company will often be unwilling to take full responsibility for any associated damages and other injuries sustained by a sternum fracture.
To try and avoid doing so, they will initiate investigations that seek out if the injury victims had some contributory role in causing their own damage.
When a motorist is involved in a car accident, and the airbag fails to deploy, insurance companies may try to reject claims of responsibility and instead accuse the producer of the airbag for any ensuing head injuries.
To decide liability, insurers assess whether or not the victim had their seatbelt on at impact as well as if they were sitting too close to their steering wheel.
Furthermore, if the accident involves multiple drivers or insurance providers, things can become even more complicated as each party attempts to deflect liability.
These cases necessitate an accomplished car accident lawyer who will fight for your right to receive proper compensation.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Strenum Fracture?
Symptoms of a sternum fracture include rib fractures, chest soreness, discoloration along the breastbone, crunching sounds, catching sensations during movement, swelling around the injury site, breathing pain, and breathlessness.
How Much Can You Get For A Broken Sternum?
You can get from $85,000 to $1,269,936 for a broken sternum.
How Serious Is A Fractured Sternum?
A fractured sternum is a serious injury and can lead to long-term consequences if the victim does not receive proper medical attention. The resulting pain and physical limitations can also significantly impact the individual's quality of life.
Can You Work With A Broken Sternum?
No, you can not work with a broken sternum. Everyday tasks such as getting dressed, cooking meals, and carrying out household activities can become daunting or unbearable experiences due to the pain that you feel.
How Long Does It Take To Heal From A Sternum Fracture?
It can take about 4-6 weeks to heal from a sternum fracture. Despite the normal healing process, it is typical to experience some soreness after this period still. It typically takes 2-4 weeks for bruises to heal completely.
Get An Average Settlement for Fractured Sternum Injuries
After being involved in a serious accident, contacting an experienced car accident attorney is essential.
At Schmidt & Clark, LLP our attorneys are here to assist you and guide you through the process of defending your rights while understanding the complexities behind broken breastplate injury cases.
We want to ensure that victims claim compensation for any fractured ribs, injuries, and sufferings endured during this difficult time - so don't hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation session.