Average Settlement for a Fractured Sternum After a Car Accident
The sternum is an incredibly important part of the human body. Also known as the breastbone, it sits at the front of the ribcage and helps protect the heart, lungs, and major blood vessels from injury.
If you suffer damage to your sternum, it can cause great pain. Sternum fractures might make you unable to work for months and leave you and your family with significant medical costs.
So, if you file a claim for an injury like this, what can you expect to recover? Is there an average settlement for a fractured sternum?
Causes of Fractured Sternums and Secondary Injuries
Most fractured sternums are the result of impact trauma. This can happen in a slip and fall accident or other negligence situation, but it is most likely to occur during an auto accident. The person’s chest may hit the steering wheel, glove compartment, or dashboard. In addition, a taut seatbelt or fully inflated airbag can cause the sternum to fracture.
These safety measures can keep a passenger from being thrown from the vehicle during an accident, but the violent nature of a crash can still cause injury.
Unfortunately, sternum injuries can sometimes result in very serious secondary injuries. This includes injuries to the heart, lungs, and all the vessels that provide blood to the chest and its organs. In addition, the impact may cause damage to the abdominal area and its organs like the spleen and stomach.
Other bones and major nerves may experience injury as well. This may mean a person cracks a rib or damages the spinal cord. One of the scariest possible car accident injuries, a traumatic brain injury, can also be tied to sternum fractures.
What Compensation Can I Collect?
Florida personal injury damages consist of three general categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages cover the concrete losses a victim suffers due to an accident. This is usually the easiest category to prove. This includes any accrued medical bills, lost wages, and damage to your vehicle. As long as you provide the right documentation to prove the costs, there is no limit to this category in Florida.
This category compensates for injuries that are a little harder to put a number to but are still significant losses. This includes damages for physical pain and suffering, emotional and psychological trauma, loss of quality of life, and indefinite other losses.
As with economic damages, there is no limit (cap) to this category in Florida. However, it is important to consult with an attorney before accepting a fractured sternum injury settlement to make sure you are being properly compensated.
The first two types of damages are compensatory damages, intended to compensate you for your losses. On the other hand, punitive damages, as the name suggests, punish a defendant and send a message.
Courts typically award these damages only in the most serious personal injury cases when the at-fault party commits extreme and reckless conduct that results in injury. They are generally capped at three times the amount the plaintiff receives in compensatory damages.
What Is the Average Broken Sternum Car Accident Settlement?
The simple answer is, there is no average settlement. Every single personal injury case is different, and this is true even for each fractured sternum claim.
Insurance companies often try to get victims to accept lowball offers that don’t cover all the losses they suffered or will suffer as a result of the accident. This is why it is important to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney.
They can help you calculate a fair amount to seek in settlement but will also prepare to take your case to trial if necessary.
Fractured Sternum in Florida? Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk for a Free Consultation Today!
If you suffered a broken sternum or any related secondary injury due to someone else’s negligence, we know that you might be struggling. In addition to the physical pain, you are probably worried about the medical bills and wages you’ll lose if you aren’t able to work.
At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we are here to help. Our experienced team of personal injury attorneys will put our years of experience to work for you and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
We have offices in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and New Port Richey and offer a free case evaluation.
Get in touch with us anytime via phone at 800-753-5203, text us at 727-312-1275, or fill out our online contact form.