Sprained and strained ankles are common injuries, especially among athletes. However, broken ankles enter into another phrase of pain and suffering that fewer people experience, although statistics show that more than 250,000 people suffer these accidents every year. Because of the importance of the ankle to proper walking and stability, broken ankles can be serious injuries that should be treated immediately. The problem is, depending on the seriousness of the injury, that treatment may be painful, time consuming, and costly. Broken ankles happen for a number of reasons, including traffic accidents, trip and fall accidents, faulty equipment, assaults, and more. Anyone who suffers a broken ankle due to the negligence of someone else should consult an accident attorney immediately to learn if they are eligible to file a personal injury claim for compensation
Broken Ankle Injuries
The most common types of broken ankle injuries are the result of three common accidents:
- Traffic accidents, in cars, trucks, and motorcycles
- Trip and fall accidents, including unsafe or uneven pavement, and poorly maintained aisles, stairways, and walkways
- Product defects, including faulty ladders and step stools
These types of injuries are generally the result of someone else’s negligence and the victim has the right to contact an accident lawyer to file suit to obtain compensation for their medical costs, lost wages, rehabilitation expenses, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.
When a faulty product is the cause, the victim may be able to file a claim against one of three responsible parties:
- The designer
- The manufacturer
- The marketer or promoter, for unclear warnings or directions
Even if this injury is suffered on the job, it may require an attorney to ensure that a victim receives all the treatment, recovery time, rehabilitation, and compensation they are due through worker’s compensation.
Degree of Injury
It’s also important to realize how important proper diagnosis is in a broken ankle injury. A delay in diagnosis and treatment may leave victims with permanent damage causing lifelong pain.
A simple break may not require surgery and be easily mended and healed. But if there are multiple breaks, treatment is more demanding:
- Bimalleolar fracture, in which both the medial and lateral malleoli are broken, generally requires surgery and often casts
- Trimalleolar fracture, in which both malleoli are broken, as is the posterior portion of the talus, almost always requiring surgery and up to 8 weeks in a cast
With these serious breaks, there can be complications, as well:
- Diagnosis is difficult because of the swelling and pain
- Delayed treatment can result in incomplete treatment and improper healing that may be impossible to correct
- Revision (or repeat) surgery
Help from an Attorney
Because of the serious consequences common to trimalleolar fractures, it is important to specifically contact a trimalleolar fracture attorney who understands this injury and can provide the advice a patient deserves, both during diagnosis and treatment and for any future complications that may arise.