The rib cage is a skeletal structure in the upper chest region of a human. It comprises the thoracic vertebrae, the ribs, and the sternum. The ribs have a pair of 12 on each side, with a total of 24 ribs in an individual. However, anatomical variations in a human due to genetics can occur, and either side can have fewer or more ribs. One or more of these bones, referred to as ribs, can get fractured for several reasons. Whatever the cause, a rib fracture is an injury that can negatively alter the life of its victim.
Causes Of A Rib Fracture
A rib fracture is commonly caused by brute force to the chest region. The force may result from an assault, altercation, combat sports, or attempted murder.
An example of a scenario where an altercation led to a rib fracture is the case of People v. Brown.
On the other hand, fractured ribs can be caused by an unintentional force from a motor vehicle accident, fall, workplace accident, shaking a baby, etc.
An example of a motor vehicle accident leading to a rib fracture is the case of Davidson v. Slater.
However, older people are at a higher risk of experiencing a rib fracture even though the force to the chest region isn’t brutal. This is due to the fact that their ribs are aging and fragile.
How Deadly Is A Rib Fracture?
Rib fracture has been associated with high morbidity and mortality in victims. A BJA Education publication affirms this fact as it asserts that most victims of rib fracture usually require admission into the Intensive Care Unit(ICU), and the mortality rate for the injury is as high as 33%. This is mainly because of the way the rib cage is structured and the functions it performs.
The rib cage protects the lungs and other organs within the chest cavity. The ribs, which are part of the cage, are connected to the spine in your back, and they house the lungs and keep them safe. Hence, an injury to the rib can cause severe complications that will affect the other organs.
Coupled with the aggravated pain that comes with a rib fracture, the lungs, which are housed in the rib cage, can get affected, thereby altering the breathing mechanism of the victim. Hence, victims may end up needing respiratory support.
Also, more than one rib can fracture depending on how severe the impact force is, making the injury more deadly. The higher the number of ribs fractured, the higher the probability of mortality and morbidity rate of the victim.
An example of such a circumstance is the case of Smith v. Beaty.
In this case, the plaintiff was diagnosed with five fractured ribs after he sustained an accident on the highway. This injury led to a condition known as pseudo-arthrosis. This condition affected the victim in a number of visible ways as he became limited in his ability to perform physical activities.
Courtroom Animation To The Rescue In A Rib Fracture Case
In a rib fracture case that leads to litigation, courtroom animation can come in handy and serve as a tool the plaintiff or opposition can use to communicate information and events that led to the fracture.
Should an accident caused by the negligence and careless driving of another party lead to a rib fracture, courtroom animation can be used to illustrate the defendant’s reckless driving and the resultant force of impact that led to the rib being fractured.
Also, if a workplace accident happens or a victim falls while commuting, leading to a rib fracture, a rib fracture animation can be used to illustrate the facts around the case. If improper construction or construction defects on the path where the victim is commuting or walking around lead to a rib fracture, an attorney can seek to use animation to illustrate the unsafe conditions leading to the injury. In addition, a workplace accident causing a rib fracture can also be illustrated with animation.
Using an animation in a rib fracture case is one of the ways an attorney can tell a story and bring visual clarity to an occurrence that led to the injury. The animation of the event and injury can bring a fresh perspective to the case and help the victim get deserved settlement.