A broken tailbone can be excruciatingly painful, and when it is the cause of another party’s negligence, it only adds insult to injury. You have the right to pursue compensation for all your losses, including the psychological impact of such a devastating injury. But, first, you may benefit from speaking with a personal injury lawyer who has experience helping tort victims rebuild their lives after an accident causing a broken tailbone.
How Do You Know You Have a Broken Tailbone?
The pain from a broken or bruised tailbone is almost instant and will progressively worsen. However, even a bruised tailbone can hurt so badly that you might assume it is broken. The best way to know if you suffered a break is to see a doctor and have medical imaging, but first, consider the signs of a broken tailbone and when you should seek medical care.
Signs of a Broken Tailbone
When you have a tailbone injury, you know right away. It can start with a mild ache and become agony with every move. However, this can indicate a bruise as well. Some common symptoms that may occur when the tailbone is broken rather than just bruised include:
- Pain in your lower back, especially when lying down or sitting
- Visible bruising on your backside, sometimes moving up the back or toward the hips
- Feeling weak or numb in your legs
- Significant swelling in the area and possibly down the legs
- Difficulty sitting because of the pain
- Difficulty squatting, lying down, or crouching
- Losing control of your bladder or having painful bowel movements
The pain can have a profound effect on your entire life. Many muscles, tendons, and ligaments attach to the coccyx, which is why any movement can cause debilitating pain. It can inhibit your ability to work, even if you have a job that requires minimum movement. Most of the time, the best you can do to make it feel better is alternate heat and cold to help reduce the pressure of swelling, use a standing desk at work, sit on a donut pillow designed for these injuries, and take pain medications. On average, it can take between 6 and 12 weeks to recover fully, and after that long, some patients need rehabilitative therapy to strengthen the muscles in the area.
When To Seek Medical Care
Many people choose to wait until the pain worsens to see a doctor. However, it is best for your health and personal injury claim to see a doctor as soon after the accident as possible. A broken tailbone can cause complications depending on where the fracture occurred. Sometimes it requires more invasive treatment, such as surgery. Therefore, seeking medical care sooner is essential.
Additionally, waiting too long to see a doctor can damage your claim. For example, suppose you injured your coccyx because of a slip and fall accident for which the property owner is at fault. In that case, it can be exponentially more challenging to prove that you did not sustain the injury some other way if you wait weeks or months to seek medical attention. Therefore, when it comes to personal injuries, immediate care is always best.
What Caused the Broken Tailbone Injury?
If your accident occurs at work, it will fall under the umbrella of workers’ compensation, and if it is the result of a car accident, you would consider the laws that apply to auto accidents. However, a slip and fall is the most common way to injure your tailbone in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Any time your feet slip out from under you, the probability of landing directly on your bottom is high. Under certain conditions, such as bouncing down a flight of stairs, the injury may be more severe due to repetitive impact. With any severe injury, you can expect hefty medical bills. The first step in recovering those losses is to prove that someone is liable.
How Do You Prove Liability if You Broke Your Tailbone in a Slip and Fall Accident?
As the injured party, your responsibility when filing a personal injury claim is to prove that the other party is at fault. For a slip and fall case, the property owner is almost always the liable party based on the concept of premises liability. According to premises liability, property owners have a duty of care to ensure their property is reasonably safe for legal visits. Therefore, you would need to prove that the at-fault party, in your case, owed you that duty of care and breached it by allowing a hazard to remain on the property. Then, you must show that failure to remove the dangerous condition resulted in your fall, which caused the broken tailbone. Questions you need to consider include:
- Did the property owner have a reasonable amount of time to notice the hazard?
- What constitutes a “reasonable effort” to keep the property safe?
- Were you in an area off-limits to visitors?
- Was there any warning signage present around the dangerous condition?
When you hire a lawyer familiar with slip and fall accidents and broken tailbone injuries, they can prepare you for the pushback you may receive from the insurance company and what you can do to strengthen your claim.
What if You Are Partially Liable?
The defense may argue that you are partially liable for your accident and injury. If you contributed to the cause, you would be responsible for some of the damages. New York applies the pure comparative negligence claim to cases with shared fault. Under this concept, you would bear a percentage for responsibility, anywhere from 1% to 99%, and the court would deduct that percentage in compensation from your award for damages. For example, if your losses amounted to $50,000, and you are 10% at fault, you would recover $45,000 after deducting 10% for the damages. If you are entirely responsible for the accident, you would be unable to recover compensation.
When Should You Schedule a Consultation with a New York Broken Tailbone Injury Lawyer?
A broken tailbone is a severe, painful injury with an extended recovery time. It can be debilitating and is sometimes accompanied by other injuries, such as sprained wrists. When someone else’s negligence caused your accident, you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses. The first step is to speak with a personal injury lawyer who has experience working with victims of injuries similar to your own. Their job is to investigate your accident to look for evidence of fault and damages. They also take care of the tedious work, such as talking to the insurance company, preparing the necessary paperwork, and drafting the demand letter. Hiring legal representation allows you to focus on your recovery while an expert fights for your right to compensation.
At Cellino Law, our legal team of personal injury attorneys helps victims of slip-and-fall accidents, workplace injuries, auto collisions, and more heal from physical, emotional, and financial losses by assisting them in their pursuit of damages. We work hard to negotiate a settlement for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering. It is never too soon after an accident to contact us at (800) 555-5555. You can speak with a broken tailbone injury lawyer who will answer all your questions and help you get your life back on track.