Fractured Sternum Injury
Sternum or sternal fractures can occur whenever a person experiences blunt force pressure or trauma to the chest. In a car accident, you can sustain such an injury if your chest impacts the steering wheel or panel or, for a passenger, the dashboard or seat in front of you. Elderly persons or those with fragile bodies are more susceptible since less force could result in a fractured sternum injury just by a sudden flexing of the chest. Otherwise, it generally takes an impact of considerable force to cause such injuries in healthy individuals. Call the personal injury lawyers at Burns & Jain if you or a loved one sustained such a fractured sternum injury.
Sternum fractures are a cause of great concern since they can indicate serious internal injuries. If you suffer a fractured sternum injury, be aware that any of the following conditions may be present:
- Fractured vertebrae
- Fractured ribs
- Concussion and other head injuries
- Abdominal injuries
- Heart and lung contusions
- Punctures or lacerations of the diaphragm
It is vital that a doctor or hospital immediately conduct tests, which may include a CAT scan, MRI or other diagnostic tests to see if internal injuries exist. The mortality rate for persons who suffer internal injuries from sternum fractures is from 25 to 45% so prompt attention to this kind of injury could be life-saving.
Symptoms of a Fractured Sternum
Most victims will be aware that their chest has been injured since it can be very painful. Other symptoms to be aware of include:
- Bruising and tenderness in the chest
- Trouble breathing or pain when breathing
- Having experienced a crunching sound in the chest area
- Pain when twisting or bending
- Deformed appearance of the sternum
Sternum fractures can take months to heal. Your movements need to be restricted and you may find it difficult to sleep without a sleep aid. Often, a regimen of physical therapy is prescribed to strengthen the chest muscles. In severe cases or where the bone is unstable, surgery may be required. If internal injuries occur, then the rehabilitation and healing time can be longer.
Damages in a Fractured Sternum Injury Case
If your injury was caused by the negligent conduct of another motorist or party, then you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. Your chest injury lawyer can be instrumental in demonstrating to an insurance adjuster, insurance defense lawyer or a jury how this injury has substantially affected your enjoyment of life and ability to perform the activities we take for granted.
You can be compensated for the following economic and non-economic losses:
- Loss of past and future income
- Past and future medical expenses including physical therapy
- Emotional trauma
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium claim by a spouse
If the sternum fracture caused internal organ damage that resulted in your loved one losing his or her life, then under Massachusetts law, the administrator for the decedent’s estate may bring a wrongful death claim for the benefit of the immediate family members. Damages can include:
- Loss of financial support
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering if the decedent was conscious and observed to have experienced pain before succumbing
- Loss of the decedent’s love, moral support, guidance and companionship
- Punitive damages if the defendant’s conduct was grossly negligent
Contact the experience lawyers at Burns & Jain for your chest injury case. They have handled serious injury cases since 1985 and obtained millions of dollars in compensation for injured clients. As always, the initial consultation is free.