Many of our clients have suffered orthopedic injuries to a lower extremity due to negligent conduct of others. “Broken legs” come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including:
- The upper leg (femur fractures)
- Lower leg (tibia and fibula fractures)
- Bones of or near the foot (including metatarsals, calcaneus (heel) and malleolus and talus (ankle) fractures.
Orthopedic surgeons may place hardware over the fracture (AKA “open reduction internal fixation” (ORIF)). Most of us simply call it “hardware,” which may include metallic plates, fixation screws, or use of long rods (intramedullary rods) to treat fractures of the femur and tibia. The goal is to obtain reduction of the fracture site, or “union,” and for the patient to return to normal weightbearing activities as soon as possible.
Legs are weight bearing extremities, so lower extremity fractures involving joints (fractures extending into the hip, knee or ankle joints) can be especially serious and have life-long physical and economic complications. When representing individuals that have sustained any type of a lower extremity fracture, we do an exhaustive workup of damages, including retaining various experts (orthopedic surgeons, vocational rehabilitation specialists, life care planners and economists) to determine our client’s future physical and economic losses, such as
- Future weightbearing limitations
- Restrictions on physical activities
- Future surgical care needs and expenses
- Impairment to future wage earning capacity
Only after conducting such a detailed workup can we obtain reasonable compensation for not only what our client has suffered but will likely suffer in the years ahead.