FRACTURED HUMERUS IN BRECKENRIDGE SKI ACCIDENT: WHAT IS MY CLAIM WORTH? 

Were you injured in a collision with another skier or snowboarder at Breckenridge or another ski area and broke your arm? Want to know what a Breckenridge skier collision claim is worth? Upper arm fractures are common in Breckenridge Ski accidents and collisions.

 

These injuries aren’t usually life-threatening. However, they can still cause a great deal of discomfort, lead to substantial medical bills, and may impact one’s ability to work. There are many consideration that go into the value of this type of claim. Remember – unless the at fault skier or snowboarder has homeowners insurance, renters insurance or is independently wealthy – the value of the claim is irrelevant. Why? There is no point in pursuing a claim against a party that has no ability to pay. That is the unfortunate reality. 

What types of fractures of the humerus can occur in a Breckenridge skiing collision?

The humerus is the upper arm bone. It’s a very strong bone. This bone, along with the femur, tibia, and fibia, is considered a “long bone”. On average it is the 4th longest bone in the body. It is also fairly robust. When it’s been broken in a skiing collision it’s the result of a serious accident, such as a high-speed collision with another skier or snowboarder on the slopes of Breckenridge.

There are three types of fractures that typically occur:
•    promixal humerus fracture – the break occurs close to the shoulder joint and oftentimes the rotator cuff is also damaged; 
•    distal humerus fracture – close to or at the elbow, which often requires surgery; and
•    diaphyseal humerus fracture – mid-shaft breaks that typically don’t necessitate surgery.

What are the signs and treatment of a fractured humerus?

As with most fractures, common signs of an upper arm fracture include:
•    pain;
•    bruising;
•    stiffness; and
•    swelling.
Breckenridge ski patrol or other patrollers will usually place your arm in a splint and immobilized you for the sled ride to the bottom of the mountain. There you will be triaged and either take an ambulance or other transport to the medical center. X-rays and exam will determine the type of fracture. 

Types of fractures that generally require surgery are those that occur close to or at the elbow (distal humerus fracture) or when the bone fragments are significantly out of place. Casting and splinting for approximately 6 weeks or more are routine. 

Humerus fractures can impact hand function as well. This can occur when the nerves that run into the hand become damaged in the accident. The signs of nerve damage are usually numbness and weakness in both the hand and wrist. In this case, not only does the person have to recover from the fracture but from nerve damage as well. Depending on the nature of the injury and extent of damage, recovery could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
So what is the claim worth? There is no formula such as 4 or 5 times medical bills. An expert injury lawyer can help demonstrate the impact of the harms and losses for the insurance company so that the claim can be fully valued. Every economic (money) loss must be considered. Beyond medical bills this can be hotels, travel, wage loss, loss of household services. Household services is the valuation of the loss of what you would normally do around the house such as cook, clean, and home maintenance. Sometimes an expert is needed to determine this value. In addition all non-economic losses must be considered. These include pain and suffering, impairment to function and quality of life, nerve damage, scarring, emotional distress and any other loss must be considered. When there is surgery involved – these claims have a value into six figures.

If you or a friend or a loved one has been involved in a skier collision or snowboarding collision and have questions about the value of the claim I encourage to you contact me. Consultations are always free. Call me at 303-300-5060 or email: dj@theskilawyer.com.