Our client, a young teenage girl in high school, was a passenger in a car that was involved in a single car crash. The car was being driven at a high rate of speed on a narrow street. When the car approached a turn, the driver lost control and collided with a parked car.
Our client was treated at the scene by Louisville Metro EMS. The Patient Care Report notes that she was wearing her seatbelt and the side airbag did deploy. She reported that she was suffering right shoulder and upper arm pain, and she rated her pain 10 out of 10 on the pain scale. She was transported to Norton Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky for further care.
The Story of a Serious Upper-Arm Fracture
At Norton's Hospital Kosair, an x-ray revealed that she had a right distal humerus fracture. The consulting orthopedic specialist placed her in a cast and instructed her to follow up for further care.
A day later she followed up with her primary care physician, who helped her set up an appointment with a surgeon due to the injuries to her arm. Her doctor confirmed that she had a right humerus, distal humerus shaft fracture. He advised her that she needed to undergo an open reduction and internal fixation to repair the fracture. The surgery was set for the next day and she underwent an open reduction and internal fixation of her right humerus at Jewish Hospital. In his operative note, the surgeon stated "x-rays revealed presence of a comminuted middle and lower third junction shaft humerus fracture with a spiral element and varus and shortening.” During the surgery, a metal plate with multiple screws was placed in order to repair the fracture. The surgery went well, but required an incision from her elbow to the upper part of her arm near her shoulder. Following the surgery, the surgeon requested that our client follow up with him in two weeks.
Two weeks later, the doctor gave her a prescription for a fracture brace and asked her to return to the office in four weeks so he could reexamine her radiographs, and start her on outpatient physical therapy.
At her next follow-up appointment, she was referred to physical therapy. However, she was advised to avoid weight-bearing exercises. She began attending physical therapy at Frazier Rehab in Louisville, Kentucky.
At her next follow up appointment with her doctor, he encouraged her to continue physical therapy to improve the range of motion and strength of her right arm. He also advised that she would be a candidate for plastic surgery once her range of motion was improved due to the large, disfiguring nature of her scar.
Throughout the next few months, She attended 22 physical therapy sessions, and she was discharged from therapy almost a year after the car accident. During her last follow up appointment it is noted in her chart, that she has a permanent “restricted range of motion secondary to scar tissue in the triceps tendon.”
Today, she still suffers pain in her elbow, restricted flexion, a disfiguring scar, and pain in her wrist.
As a result of the accident, our client suffers from severely painful injuries, has incurred medical expenses, and will continue to incur medical expenses. She was in severe pain following the accident. According to her best friend, she was screaming in pain that her elbow hurt and that she could not move her arm. Furthermore, she has suffered a permanent disfiguring scar from the accident and will have future medical expenses associated with repairing the scar.
Our firm worked diligently with our client’s medical providers to document every detail of her injuries. What appeared to what insurance adjusters often call "minor" injuries at the accident scene turned into a horrific situation for our client. Our investigators and accident reconstructionists were able to demonstrate the severity of impact that resulted in the devastating orthopedic injuries. The case resolved shortly after presentation of our damage and reconstruction model.