Orthopedic injuries are injuries to the musculoskeletal system, which include bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. As you can imagine, injuries to this system can be caused by a wide range of factors, including trauma from car accidents or sports activities, overuse or repetitive strain injuries, and degenerative conditions like arthritis.
Because the musculoskeletal system encompasses such a large part of the body, an orthopedic injury can vary in severity and complexity. The impacts on a victim’s life can range from minor and inconsequential to extensive and life-altering.
Working with a personal injury lawyer in San Jose who specializes in orthopedic injuries is important because the path forward with this unique type of case requires a deep understanding of things like medical terminology, treatments, procedures, and the impact these injuries can have on a victim’s life.
Contact Caputo & Van Der Walde, LLP For a Free Consultation
Caputo & Van Der Walde, LLP has served San Jose and surrounding areas for over 30 years, specializing in personal injury cases, including orthopedic injuries. Our firm offers a free consultation for victims to discuss the specifics of their injuries, including the cause and impacts they have already had on their lives.
Take a look below to get a better idea about orthopedic injuries and how to recover compensation after being injured.
Contact Caputo & Van Der Walde, LLP right away to request a consultation to learn more about how we can help you get your life back on track after an injury that someone else caused.
Common Orthopedic Injuries
The following are just a few examples of the many different ways that someone can suffer orthopedic injuries. They are common in motorcycle accidents, car accidents, commercial truck accidents, and many others. Whether or not you see your own injuries listed below, contact our firm right away to speak with an experienced attorney.
When a bone completely breaks or cracks down the length of the bone, it may need to be set by a doctor. In many cases, it needs to be held in place (internally fixated) as it heals, often with surgery, metal hardware, screws and a cast or splint. Depending on the severity, fractures can take weeks or even months to heal — and may require surgery in some cases.
A sprain happens when a ligament is stretched or torn and is common in sports when an athlete’s body is forced into an awkward position. Recovery from these types of injuries may or may not require surgery depending on the severity, but often must be immobilized for extended periods of time.
A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon when it is stretched or torn. Muscles and tendons can suffer strain injuries from overuse, repetitive motion, or sudden trauma.
A dislocation happens when a joint is forced out of its normal position, typically due to trauma such as falls, car accidents, or sports-related incidents.
Tendinitis happens when a tendon becomes inflamed due to repetitive motion or overuse. It is commonly referred to as “Tennis Elbow” because it is often associated with athletes who perform repetitive motions, such as throwing, swinging a racket, or running.
Aggravation of a Pre-existing Asymptomatic Condition
An accident can aggravate a pre-existing condition such as age related degeneration, even if it was previously asymptomatic. The sudden impact, force, or trauma from an accident can cause additional damage or stress to the body, causing existing medical conditions to become symptomatic. For example, a person with a pre-existing back condition that was not painful may experience pain or spinal complications after a car accident due to their greater susceptibility to injury. The accident-related injuries and associated physical stress can worsen inflammation, disrupt healing processes, or strain weakened areas, leading to pain, loss of function or other complications. This can and should be included in any resulting lawsuit.
Consequences of Orthopedic Injuries
Orthopedic injuries vary on a case-by-case basis, and the consequences of an injury will depend on a variety of factors, such as the location of the injury and the severity, the victim’s age, and more. In some cases, these types of injuries may require surgery to repair the damage and help the victim regain function in the affected area. Physical therapy is an important part of recovery for any orthopedic injury, so a patient properly regains strength and mobility in the injured area.
If not treated and managed by a medical professional, these injuries can lead to issues like chronic pain, mobility issues, and a significantly decreased quality of life.
Even a seemingly minor injury can have long-term consequences if not treated properly, so it’s essential that you seek medical attention as soon as possible following an injury. This will help reduce the risk of long-term consequences or secondary injuries.
Understanding The Legal Process For an Orthopedic Injury
If you have suffered an orthopedic injury due to someone else’s actions (or inactions), then you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit or through a claim against their insurer in many instances. The following steps are meant to give you a general overview of the process, but the best way to make sense of your unique situation is to connect with Caputo & Van Der Walde, LLP for a free consultation.
Your first step is to consult with an orthopedic injury attorney in San Jose. During your consultation, the attorney will review your situation, answer questions you may have — both about your case and the way they work — and will be able to advise on the best course of action.
Once you and the lawyer decide to work together, you will either file a legal claim or a lawsuit against negligent parties in the California courts. First, your lawyer will conduct a detailed investigation into the specifics of your accident and gather all relevant documentation about the injuries you have sustained. This will include things like medical records, eyewitness statements, car accident reports, and anything else related to your legal claims against the negligent party.
Damage Calculations and Demand Letter
As your attorney gathers evidence, they will also begin to calculate the dollar value of the damages you have suffered, including lost wages, medical bills, and more. They will then send a demand letter to the responsible party or their insurer outlining your injuries and suffering, resulting damages, and a request for a specific amount of compensation.
Insurance companies rarely, if ever, willingly pay the full and fair amount to a claimant, so your attorney will go through a series of negotiations to reach a fair settlement.
If negotiations fail or your attorney believes that a lawsuit is the best path forward, they will file a lawsuit and prepare to present evidence to a judge or jury.
Many lawsuits are settled before trial, but if yours goes to trial, both sides will present evidence and arguments to a judge and jury, who will then decide the outcome of your case.
Settlement or judgment
If you win at trial or your attorney reaches a settlement agreement, you will then receive compensation for your injuries and damages.
Each case is different, so these steps above may not mirror yours exactly. However, your attorney from Caputo & Van Der Walde, LLP will keep you informed each step of the way so that you know exactly what is happening with your case.