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Average Settlement For Fractured Ribs From a Car Accident

Personal Injury Fractured Ribs

Insurance companies may undervalue personal injury fractured ribs cases. Fractured ribs are usually not life-threatening if not accompanied by other injuries. Ribs typically heal on their own, too, so insurance companies may argue the lack of medical treatment means the case is worth less. But you still deserve a chance for settlement if you suffered from fractured ribs.

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However, a rib fracture injury is excruciating, so pain and suffering compensation should be substantial. Also, rib fractures can cause other serious internal injuries in the abdomen and chest. If you have severe injuries inside your stomach and chest and rib fractures, your case’s value may rise.

Did another person’s negligence in an auto accident cause your fractured ribs? You could have a legal case.

Contact an experienced personal injury attorney on Lawsuit Info Center if you have a rib injury from a car accident. Below is more information about these severe accident injuries.

Rib Fracture Overview

Broken ribs usually do not kill you. However, the pain in fractured or broken rib injuries can be terrible. Almost everything you do is painful: coughing, laughing, bending, and even breathing.

Cracked ribs and broken rib cases are different from other car accident injuries. They are very painful, but they often require minimal medical treatment other than ice and rest.

But fractured ribs can damage vital organs, such as the lungs, spleen, and liver. They also can pierce the kidneys or bowels. Finding these additional injuries is critical, or internal bleeding or peritonitis can occur. These other injuries can be severe and even life-threatening. They also add substantially to the value of your case.

More facts about rib fractures and car accident settlement amounts involving broken ribs are below.

Accidents That Cause Many Rib Fractures

For older Americans, falling from a ladder or standing is how they most often fracture their ribs. Other adults suffer rib fractures most often in car accidents.

Do Accidents Cause Most Rib Fractures?

No. Diseases can fracture the ribs. Cancer may spread to the bones and infiltrate the ribs. The bones weaken and are more susceptible to fracture.

Rib bones are thin unlike our larger bones, such as the femur or humerus. Thin bones such as ribs are more likely to fracture from the disease.


What Affects The Settlement Value of Broken Rib Cases?

The more ribs you break, the higher the case value – five fractured ribs are worth more than one fractured rib. Beyond the number of affected ribs, the significant factors that affect the settlement value are how much medical treatment you receive and other injuries.

If your fractured ribs also caused a damaged lung and spleen, the case value increases.

Fortunately, proving broken or fractured ribs is easy with an X-ray. Ease of diagnosis means you can get a settlement with little difficulty for broken ribs. The amount of compensation is a critical matter.

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How Much For Rib Fracture Pain and Suffering?

Rib fractures are painful. To get as much money for your cracked rib auto accident settlement, you must explain how the injury has changed your life in written form to the auto insurance company. Tell them how the pain prevents you from sleeping, moving, working, and enjoying playing with your children, for example.

Some estimates say the pain and suffering compensation for a rib fracture is around $10,000 or $15,000. The maximum is $20,000. The estimates are similar for cracked rib pain and suffering. These numbers assume you have no medical complications.

A cracked rib or fractured rib makes every breath painful. Rib fracture pain can cause respiratory splinting, which may lead to pneumonia and other complications.

Collapsed Lung

A partially or completely collapsed lung is called atelectasis. This condition is another common injury from a fractured rib.

If your fractured rib causes a collapsed lung and pneumonia, the value of your case rises. You could have several rib fractures next to each other. They may inhibit your ability to breathe.

The value of your fractured rib pain and suffering rises as the number of broken ribs increases.

Also, pieces of your broken ribs can pierce the lung and cause pneumothorax or collapsed lung. This condition can lead to hemothorax, which is blood collecting between your lung and chest wall.

Rib Fractures in Children

Children’s ribs are more flexible than adults’. A lot of force is needed to break the ribs. If the child also suffers a back or neck injury, your attorney can argue that it caused the rib injury. The larger force is needed to break children’s ribs can also cause neck or back injuries.

Car Accident Settlement Examples Involving Fractured Ribs

Below are some recent fractured rib personal injury settlements from across the United States.

$10,000 Fractured Rib Settlement

A car crashed into another vehicle in Florida. The client broke several ribs and damaged his spleen. He stayed in the hospital for a week.

Unfortunately, the negligent driver’s bodily injury liability insurance limits were just $10,000. The client declined uninsured motorist insurance. So he could only receive a $10,000 settlement.

This rib fracture case highlights the need for every driver to have uninsured motorist coverage. If the other driver lacks enough insurance, you can tap this coverage on your policy. If this driver had uninsured driver coverage, the settlement would have been higher.

$25,000 Settlement for Broken Ribs and Leg Fracture

This truck accident settlement involved concrete truck slammed into a car in Tampa. The 56-year-old female crash victim suffered three broken ribs and a tibial plateau fracture.

The jury awarded her $100,000 for earlier pain and suffering and $125,000 for pain and suffering in the future. The future pain and suffering provided funds for the rest of her life, which was 25 years.

$32,900 Settlement for Fractured Ribs

A car rear-ended a 49-year-old driving his truck at an intersection near a Maryland airport. The doctor at the ER diagnosed two fractured ribs. He received two months of physical therapy.

He filed a lawsuit claiming the other driver did not keep a proper lookout. The other driver did not dispute liability.

Both sides clashed over the extent of the man’s injuries. The after some negotiations, the rear end collision settlement payout ended up being $32,951.

$78,800 Broken Rib Settlement

A big pick-up truck hit a 30-year-old forklift operator walking on the shoulder of a road. She suffered seven fractured ribs, spleen and liver lacerations, and soft tissue injures.

She sued the negligent driver. The defendant argued the victim was partially at fault. However, the jury found for the victim for $79,831.

$500,000 Settlement for Fractured Ribs

In this commercial vehicle accident settlement, a dump truck hit a biker at a Washington, DC intersection. The truck dragged the biker for an entire block before he stopped. The man suffered several rib fractures, a fractured acetabulum, and a torn MCL.

He sued the truck driver and his company for negligence. The plaintiff said the trucker turned into his path, but the defendant argued the biker rode in his blind spot. The case settled before trial for $500,000. This case shows how the case value increased dramatically with other injuries, with surgery probably required on the acetabulum.

$600,000 Verdict for Broken Ribs

A New York City bus dropped off an older adult in Manhattan. When the bus stopped, and he stood to exit, the bus lurched forward. The man fell on his back and broke six ribs.

Unfortunately, the man’s ribs did not heal well. The jury found the driver negligent, and the elderly victim received $600,000 in pain and suffering.

This broken rib settlement was higher than average for the following reasons:

  • The hospital admitted him for seven days
  • He suffered a punctured lung and pleural effusion
  • He required 24-hour care for one month confined to his bed
  • The fractured ribs did not heal fully
  • He suffered regular shortness of breath and chest pain for months

Get Legal Help For Your Personal Injury Fractured Ribs

Rib fractures, broken ribs, and bruised ribs can be very painful. If you suffer a rib injury in a car accident, talk to a personal injury attorney listed at Lawsuit Info Center today for a complimentary consultation. You could be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

Frequently Asked Questions about car accident settlements

Broken Rib Car Accident Settlements

This number varies slightly depending on the year, state, etc, but most research indicates that broken rib car accident settlement averages range between $10,000 and $15,000. These numbers are also skewed by larger settlements that can include more serious injuries like punctured lungs, internal bleeding, or organ damage. In most car accident claims, a broken rib payout will include a few thousand dollars in medical treatments, and a week or two of missed work, depending on the severity of the broken ribs from the auto accident. 

The wild card here is the pain & suffering multiplier. If the broken ribs are serious enough to keep a victim from playing with their kids, being intimate with their spouse, or watching a funny movie, the pain & suffering multiple could push the car accident settlement amount over the average amount.

Many patients with broken ribs may need prescription painkillers as the bones heal because this is a painful injury. Doctors do not recommend bed rest. However, the injured person also should not engage in strenuous physical activities while the ribs heal.

Broken ribs are one of the most difficult car accident injuries to deal with. Sleeping, driving, coughing, even breathing can be incredibly painful. Luckily this doesn’t typically last very long or require surgery or long stints in physical therapy. Usually, broken ribs from a car accident heal in one or two months on their own.

It is important to have pain control medications in many cases so that you can take deep breaths. If you do not take deep breaths for weeks, pneumonia can set in. It’s also important to make sure that there was no damage to the internal organs. When a car accident happens with enough force to break a rib, there’s a chance it did damage to the lungs, liver, or kidneys as well. 

Car Accident Settlement

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About Graham Bersche, JD

A graduate of Trinity Law School in Southern California, Graham Bersche has experience as a paralegal, negotiator, and legal writer. He lives in Los Angeles and is passionate about helping people who’ve been injured in car accidents to understand the laws governing their situations and learn how to maximize their car accident settlements.