Statistics on Broken Bone Injuries

Each year, 6 million people in the United States break a bone. “Approximately 887,679 hospitalizations result each year from fractures.” (1)

Nearly 60% of people requiring hospitalization for a fracture are over 65. Usually, they are hospitalized for hip, pelvis, and vertebrae fractures. (2)

Postmenopausal women face even greater risks if they sustain any type of fracture, not just spine or hip. Fractures in the wrist, arm, ankle, leg, or shoulder can put them at greater risk for other fractures — as much as a three- to six-fold increase. (3)

Types of Fractures

A fracture is a break in bone. Fractures can be small cracks or something more extensive. Some common terms to describe fractures are: (4)

  • Stable: The break is pretty clean beneath the skin, with the broken ends lining up. The separation of bone is small.
  • Open, compound: An object of some kind has broken the skin and the bone beneath. Part of the bone may be visibly sticking out of the wound, but not always.
  • Transverse: The break has a horizontal fracture line.
  • Oblique: The break is at an angle.
  • Comminuted: Bone has been shattered, meaning bone has been broken into three or more pieces.

Other types of fractures include: (5)

  • Spiral: The break has actually spiraled around the bone. This type of break usually occurs with a twisting injury.
  • Compression: “The bone is crushed.” The broken bone appears wider or flatter.
  • Segmental: The same bone is broken in two different places. This means there is a “floating” piece of bone.
  • Avulsion: The bone breaks near a ligament or tendon. This “tendon or ligament pulls off a small piece of bone.”

If you received a fracture injury due to someone else’s actions, speak with an attorney about seeking compensation.

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Commonly Broken Bones

A human skeleton comprises 206 bones. The bones most commonly broken are: (6) (7)

  • Clavicle, or collarbone.
  • Forearm.
  • Wrist.
  • Ankle.
  • Hip.

The most common fracture site for people younger than 75 is the wrist. For those 75 and older, hip fractures are the most common. (8)

Causes of Broken Bones/Fractures

Fractures usually occur “when more force is applied to the bone than the bone can take. Bones are weakest when they are twisted.” (9)


Trauma is one of the most common causes of broken bones. Accidents can occur in a store, at work, at school, in a parking lot, and while traveling: (10)

  • Slip and falls — Falling sideways can be particularly dangerous and leads to roughly 95% of hip fractures.
  • Car accidents — Hundreds of people are involved in motor vehicle accidents every day, with over 40,000 people dying each year.
  • Workplace accidents — Thousands of people die annually due to work-related accidents.
  • Playground accidents equipment — Each year, almost 250,000 people are treated at hospital emergency departments due to accidents on playgrounds.
  • Sport injuries — Roughly 30 million young people alone participate in some kind of organized sports activity, resulting in “more than 3.5 million injuries each year.” Think football, hockey, softball, soccer, skateboarding, skiing, bouncing on trampolines, and other activities. (11)


Osteoporosis is also a common cause of broken bones or fractures. “Osteoporosis” literally means “porous bone.” This disease weakens bones. Osteoporosis leads to greater than two million fractures each year. If you have osteoporosis, “you have less bone mass and strength.” (12)

You can have the disease and not know it. People with osteoporosis are at greater risk of fractures, typically of the spine, hip, and wrist. (13) (14)


Overuse is another common cause of broken bones and fractures. Athletes and non-athletes alike can sustain overuse injuries. (15) “An overuse injury is any type of muscle or joint injury, such as tendinitis or a stress fracture, that’s caused by repetitive trauma.” (16)

Stress fractures are tiny cracks developing in bone. They can come about from repetitive force, such as running great distances or jumping up and down repeatedly. These types of fractures usually occur in the “weight-bearing bones of the lower leg and foot.” (17)

Legal Options

Your legal options depend on the accident or incident causing your broken bone. If someone’s reckless or negligent actions led to your injury, you may be able to sue. For example:

  • Slip-and-fall accidents and premises liability — If property owners create a dangerous condition on their property or even allow it to exist, you may be able to file a lawsuit if you were injured because of the hazard. Maybe you fell on an unmarked wet floor in a business or restaurant bathroom. Or fell on icy pavement because a business owner failed to clear the sidewalk or parking lot. Owners of properties have a duty of care to those welcomed or permitted on their property.
  • Motor vehicle accidents and negligence — If you are suing over a motor vehicle collision, typically someone else caused the accident. Maybe the driver ran a red light, rear-ended you while texting, or sailed through a stop sign. In any number of situations, the driver could be considered negligent, and this negligence might be what led to your injury.

Every state in the country has its own specific laws. If your injury occurred anywhere in New York state, consult with an attorney who knows New York law inside and out. Someone who practices this type of law full time, 24/7.

Have you suffered a broken bone injury caused by someone else’s actions? Contact us today for a free case review.

(833) 977-3437

How W&L Can Help

Weitz & Luxenberg has been helping people harmed by the actions of others across New York for over 30 years. In addition, we have a solid history of winning.

Over the years, our attorneys have secured over $18 billion dollars on behalf of our clients. Here are a few examples of our successes:

  • High $100,000s settlement — A woman was struck by luggage falling from an overhead bin on an airplane. She can no longer work because of permanent and severe injury. We held the airline responsible for its carelessness.
  • $2.96 million verdict — A 41-year-old laborer suffered a catastrophic injury to his leg while working at a garbage sorting facility. We filed suit against two companies for their negligence. They failed to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees.
  • $1.4 million settlement — A woman sustained a severe fracture to her pelvis when an ambulance struck her in New York City. The ambulance driver was particularly reckless because he struck our client while she was in a crosswalk.