Determining the value of your injury case is hard. If you file an insurance claim or are offered a payout from the insurance company or from a settlement with the defendant, you should know whether that settlement is adequate to cover your damages.
A broken bone is often a relatively serious injury under NY law and can result in surprisingly substantial compensation. A “good” settlement for a broken bone will account for all medical expenses related to your treatment, will cover all wages you lost if the broken bone kept you from working, and will account for the pain and suffering of the injury. Consulting with an experienced attorney can help you determine whether the settlement you were offered is sufficient.
For a free evaluation of your injury case, call The Martello Law Firm’s Westchester personal injury lawyers today at (914) 685-6950.
How Much is a Broken Bone Worth in Medical Bills in a NY Injury Case
As mentioned, a good settlement for a broken bone will pay for your medical bills in full. Treatment for a broken bone can be expensive, especially if the break was quite serious or required surgery.
Many people consider broken bones to be somewhat mild injuries compared to things like spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury. However, both of those injuries often involve broken bones in the form of a broken neck or broken back or in the form of a skull fracture. As such, classifying an injury as a “broken bone” does not necessarily tell you much about how much the medical care costs, and you have to look deeper at the specific case to calculate these damages.
Broken bones can be much more expensive to treat if they are “compound fractures” that pierce the skin or “comminuted fractures” that break into more than two pieces. As mentioned, broken bones in sensitive or complex areas such as the skull, neck, or back can also be harder and thus more expensive to treat. In many cases, broken arms and legs require pins, rods, and screws to support the bone’s healing process, especially if the bone is weight-bearing and is broken at an oblique angle. Surgery might also be needed to set a bone so it can heal properly, even if no rods, pins, or screws are needed.
All in all, you can typically tell whether a settlement is sufficient to cover medical bills by looking at the total cost of all medical care you received and will need in the future. Our Yonkers personal injury lawyers can also help you with these calculations and review any settlement offers with you.
Lost Wages for a Good Broken Bone Settlement in NY
A fracture can keep you out of work for an extended period. A broken neck, back, or skull can prevent you from doing any work at all while you recover – which can take months or years. The same is true of hip fractures or other serious breaks. When it comes to a broken leg or broken arm, you might have to take a few days off to deal with the initial pain, but you might be able to return to your job in a cast after a short time. However, some jobs simply cannot be performed with a cast on, especially if your job requires lifting and carrying.
Many workers might be able to return to work at a limited capacity, and their employer might be able to give them alternate work duties or light duties for some time so they can still earn money while healing. In any case, that could still result in lost wages if your wage is less than it normally is.
Calculating lost wages typically means multiplying your average wages by the time you missed at work. In many cases, you can tell if the settlement offer is acceptable by checking whether the full value of your lost wages is accounted for in the settlement amount. If your wages were reduced, then you calculate lost wages by subtracting your new wages from your old wages and multiplying that difference by the total time the reduced wage was in effect.
In many cases, however, a broken bone can result in lost wages or lost earning capacity going forward. This is especially common if you will be left with a disability or limitations for the rest of your life. In those cases, it is much harder to calculate lost wages, and our attorneys often need to hire financial experts to project your lost earnings before we can know what a good settlement looks like for your case.
Calculating Pain and Suffering for a Broken Bone Injury Settlement in NY
Some settlement offers will not include pain and suffering damages at all. This is common in car accident cases, where your no-fault insurance will not cover pain and suffering. The same is true of workplace injury cases; Workers’ Compensation payouts do not cover pain and suffering. However, there are many ways you can still sue for these damages, in which case you will need to calculate pain and suffering in anticipation of a potential lawsuit settlement or jury award.
When it comes to car accident cases, victims can often file a lawsuit under NY law if they have any bone fractures. This means that stopping your case at a no-fault insurance claim will inevitably leave damages on the table that you could have claimed for your pain and suffering. The same is true of any work injury claim as the insurance payout you receive will not cover pain and suffering, but a lawsuit could recover these costs.
Pain and suffering can be calculated in a few different ways. First and foremost, your New Rochelle personal injury lawyers will have to analyze your situation and determine how the broken bone affects you mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and physically. We will also look at how it affects your activities of daily living and enjoyment of life. Second, we will use those gauges to either assign a multiplier to your other compensatory damages or to arrive at a per-day value for your pain and suffering and calculate pain and suffering that way. Third, we will adjust that preliminary calculation up or down to account for additional factors.
Ultimately, calculating pain and suffering without consulting a lawyer is difficult, and it is hard to tell whether a settlement offer is good or not without having a lawyer review your case.
Call Our New York Personal Injury Attorneys Today
For a free review of your potential injury case, call (914) 685-6950 to speak with The Martello Law Firm’s White Plains personal injury lawyers.