There are many people who believe that a broken leg is a minor injury that doesn’t justify the legal proceedings involved in a personal injury case. However, in many cases, a broken leg, a dislocated knee, or a fractured ankle is a much costlier venture than those people would initially guess.
Consider the fact that a broken leg can keep a person out of work for many weeks, or even months, depending on the severity. Imagine that there is a construction manager, who is required to climb ladders, carry heavy loads, and drive big machinery in the course of an average day. One evening, while out with his family, he is walking down the outdoor staircase of a St. Petersburg restaurant and a stair gives out due to defective repair. The fall breaks his right leg in two places making it impossible to walk without crutches. He definitely won’t be driving or climbing ladders in the near future. After a few weeks, it is determined that the break isn’t healing correctly, and the doctors must re-break and set the leg, which means surgery and an extended healing period. Oftentimes, even when it has healed “correctly,” there are calcium deposits and scar tissue which lead to pain, arthritis, and predisposition of future injury.
With the lost wages racking up as the weeks turn into months, the cost of surgery, two casts, crutches, pain killers, and repeated visits to the doctor’s office, there is a lot of money going out and very little coming in for this construction manager. Let’s assume that this man usually earns $650 per week. As a result of his leg accident, he owes $30,000 in medical bills, will be in physical therapy at $100 per visit for a year or more, and has missed three months (13 weeks) of work. That’s nearly $34,000 that this man will lose as a result of this accident, unless he seeks legal help. A personal injury attorney can help him recoup those sums.
Those are just a small part of the injury/damage caused. The real injury is the pain of having to go through all that and the treatment. We call the non-economic damages pain and suffering.
It is not entirely unusual for a broken leg to become a serious financial burden and the courts recognize that fact. Cases have been heard in Saint Petersburg and throughout the country.
There are many instances when large sums were awarded in cases involving broken legs and ankles. In fact, one of the largest cases involved a construction worker and union member, who fell at a jobsite. The tumble resulted in serious ligament tears and the need for multiple surgeries. The victim was awarded more than two million dollars after the accident.
Of course, the vast majority of these cases do not settle for such large sums. However, a personal injury attorney can help you evaluate your case, taking into account medical bills, lost wages, as well as possible pain and suffering. As has been demonstrated, a mere broken leg may denote much greater losses than one would expect. So, the short answer to the question is “yes, a broken leg is worthy of a personal injury lawsuit.” Attorneys, judges, and juries understand this. Each case is different, so it is important to speak to a lawyer about the particulars of your accident and the resulting medical care.