Pain and Suffering are Often the Basis for Significant Jury Awards
Femur fractures are extremely dangerous because the forces required to break the femur often result in multisystem injuries. Although the femur is the heaviest and strongest tubular bone in the entire human body, high-energy forces sometimes cause fractures to the bone, or a complete break. Falling from heights and car accidents are some of the main causes of femur injuries such as femoral shaft fractures, supracondylar femur fractures and proximal femur fractures. Regardless of the type of femur fracture, it causes excruciating pain.
A 25-year-old man, who survived a bad car accident in 2004, said that when he fell out of the vehicle and noticed the unnatural angle of his leg, he realized his femur was fractured. When he tried to move, he experienced the worst pain thinkable. He also said it was the most intense pain he ever felt just before he lost consciousness. His doctor told him that repairing a femur fracture is one of the most violent surgeries one can go through. It took more than eighteen months for this 25-year-old to recover, and he describes those months as a complete inconvenience. Today, the man says he never understood what lawsuits meant by pain and suffering until he broke his femur.
Chad Kagy fell from a flair whip gone wrong on the Mega Ramp on the first night of the X Games in July, 2011. The world watched in shock as the 32-year-old went faster into the quarter than normally and then fell about eighteen feet. He knew immediately something was wrong with his leg. Kagy is no stranger to painful injuries as he underwent fourteen surgeries, suffered a neck injury in 2003 and then made a full recovery. He describes the broken femur pain he went through before surgery as astronomical and says it was the most ridiculous thing he has ever undergone.
Jurors do recognize the pain and suffering from femur fractures. In November, 1994, a 26-year-old taxi driver, Mohammed Mostafa, got pinched between two vehicles at a gas station. His femur was broken in more than two distinct fragments. In November, 2008, a Kings County jury awarded Mostafa over $2.7 million for pain and suffering.
How to Value Pain and Suffering
Every case is different and there is no set value for an injury with pain and suffering such as a femur fracture. Trial attorneys usually assess the details of a particular case to determine how much suffering was endured as the result of the injuries sustained. Many factors affect recoverable damages, including insurance coverage.
In the Bronx County case of Carl v. Daniels, a twelve-year-old girl, Colette Billups, was a passenger in a car accident and suffered a femur fracture on her left leg. The damage was severe. The jury awarded her $4.8 million, including $2.5 million for future pain and suffering. In the case of Moore versus MTA, Supreme Court, New York County, an 87-year-old woman was awarded $200,000 for future pain and suffering.
What is a Femur Fracture?
A break in the thigh bone is referred to as a femur fracture and can occur at the lower end near the knee, the upper end near the pelvis or the main shaft of the bone. Femur fractures are typically caused by motorcycle accidents, vehicle accidents, osteoporosis, or falls from a high place or a contact sport. They can be a life-threatening injuries and requires immediate medical attention. Along with consistent pain, healing of a femur fracture takes a long time and often requires more than one surgery to repair the damage. Femur fractures among older people above the age of sixty have a death rate of seventeen percent and only twenty-five percent returns to the same level of activity they had before the injury. Patients sometimes suffer lifelong disability and pain after a femur fracture.
Can a Femur Fracture be Prevented?
Weight-bearing exercises and eating foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D can help reduce the risk of fracture. It is highly recommendable that when participating in contact sports or athletic activities to make use of the required safety equipment, padding and obey all safety protocols. Many femur fractures occur in car accidents; therefore, it can be prevented by not driving while under the influence of alcohol and by wearing a seat belt while in a vehicle.