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Laryngeal Fracture Lawyer

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Laryngeal Fracture Lawyer

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The larynx, or voice box, is the part of the throat that is responsible for talking, swallowing, and breathing. This cartilaginous skeleton is protected by the cervical spine, sternum, and mandible. Its mobile and elastic properties also contribute to its level of protection. The ossification of the laryngeal cartilage generally does not occur before the age of 20 but may occur at any age thereafter. The functions of the larynx may be disrupted even with minor trauma. Airway compromise may occur because of swelling and fracture from a considerable impact force to the larynx.

If you fractured your larynx in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact our law firm to discuss your laryngeal fracture case in detail at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. Our team of personal injury lawyers is available anytime to review your case and provide free, friendly advice.

At our personal injury law firm, we have represented injured parties and their families who have suffered life-changing injuries in accidents across the state of California. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience and have worked hard to secure fair compensation on behalf of our clients. We are committed to protecting the rights and best interests of those we represent. If you are concerned about the costs of legal representation, you can rest assured knowing that our legal team at AutoAccident.com requires no upfront costs. That is because we operate under contingent fee agreements meaning that attorney’s fees will only be due if we recover fair compensation on your behalf. Contact us today to learn more and receive free, friendly advice on your laryngeal fracture case.

What Causes a Fractured Larynx?

A fracture of the larynx requires a significant force of impact. The most common reasons for this type of bone fracture are sports-related injuries, traffic collisions, and penetrating injuries to the neck. Approximately 80-90 percent of separation, dislocation, fracture, or injuries of the larynx generally occur from high-velocity trauma. While this type of injury is rare, it ranges in incidence from one in 14,000 and one in 30,000 visits to the emergency room.

What are the Types of Laryngeal Fractures?

The types of fractured larynx cases include:

  • Comminuted fracture with a higher incidence in the elderly population and is often attributed to calcification of the larynx
  • Cricotracheal separation (CTS) is rare and often results in death in most cases
  • Fracture of the vertical midline causing the separation of the thyroid alae and damage to the anterior commissure
  • A supraglottic laryngeal fracture that causes a posterior displacement of the laryngeal inlet and epiglottis
How is a Fractured Larynx Classified?

The Schaefer-Fuhrman classification is most often utilized when classifying a fracture of the larynx. This process is generally based upon clinical findings and is composed of five groups:

  • Group I: Lacerations or laryngeal edema that is minor in severity
  • Group II: Hematomas or edema without the exposure to cartilage
  • Group III: Immobility of the vocal fold and displaced laryngeal
  • Group IV: The laryngeal framework has become destabilized, severe mucosal injury, two or more unstable displaced fractures, and anterior commissure disruption
  • Group V: Laryngotracheal separation that is deemed complete
Evaluation of a Laryngeal Fracture

Imaging modalities like an ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) scan and endoscopic examination of the larynx should always be included in a clinical evaluation. In the latter, this may be accomplished through the use of direct laryngoscopy while the patient is placed under general anesthesia or fiberoptic endoscopy. From there, a physician may evaluate the affected area, secure the airway, and establish a plan for surgical management. Given that this type of fracture often goes undiagnosed, it is recommended for a CT scan to be ordered within 24 hours of the injury. For the diagnosis of thyroid cartilage fractures, ultrasounds have been found to be helpful in that aspect. Clinical findings may include hematoma or swelling but may also be deemed normal in various cases.

How is a Fractured Larynx Treated?

The goal of immediate management is airway securement. Caution should be taken during intubation as it may be challenging and potentially result in the loss of the airway. If there is a severe obstruction of the airway, tracheostomy with local anesthesia may be recommended. Non-surgical management for laryngeal trauma cases may include those involving mucosal laceration, hematoma, and minor edema. Surgical intervention may include classification groups 2-5 and involve an endoscopy with exploration and stenting, endoscopy with exploration, and endoscopy.

The endoscopy will be performed alone based on the CT and fiberoptic examination. Endoscopy with exploration will be recommended if there is cricoarytenoid joint disruption, a free margin of the vocal cord or anterior commissure laceration, fracture of the cricoid cartilage, immobility of the vocal cord, several cartilaginous fractures involving displacement, exposure of cartilage, and large mucosal laceration.

A patient presenting with a fractured larynx should be held under close observation for a minimum of 24 hours. The reason behind this is that airway edema has been found to occur several hours following the injury. Early evaluation and reconstruction are essential for the preservation of the larynx and its function, particularly for the phonatory, airway, and sphincteric functions. Disruption of normal phonation has been found to occur even with the slightest displacement of fractures.

Conservative management for fractured larynx cases often involves voice rest, steam inhalation, close observation, and administration of corticosteroid via IV. When a patient is deemed a candidate for surgical intervention, tracheostomy is often the recommended procedure. An indication of surgical management is disruption of the laryngeal framework. Correction of the fracture and surgical exploration may include Montgomery intralaryngeal stent, bioresorbable plates, 3-D plates, and mini plates. Other materials utilized for internal fixation following a fractured larynx reduction may include titanium plates, steel wires, and thread.

What are the Possible Complications of a Laryngeal Fracture?

Subdivisions of the complications from a laryngeal fracture include chronic and acute. Chronic complications may include chronic aspiration, supraglottic stenosis, recurrent laryngeal nerve dysfunction, tracheal or subglottic stenosis, hoarseness, glottic stenosis, vocal cord paralysis, and recurrent formation of granulation tissue. Conversely, acute complications include infection, hematoma, recurrent laryngeal nerve injury, asphyxia, obstruction of the upper airway, and death. While most patients may achieve a stable airway and decannulation without granulation tissue or stenosis, some cases have been found to lead to deglutition disorder.

Can You Seek Compensation for a Laryngeal Fracture in an Accident Case?

When you have suffered a traumatic injury such as a laryngeal fracture through no fault of your own because of an accident, you may be facing a long path to recovery. Injuries such as these may prevent you from being able to return to work, enjoy life, and be with your loved ones. During the healing process, it is helpful to know that there may be legal recourse available. When another party was responsible for the incident, compensation may be sought from them for economic and non-economic damages incurred. This may help pay for costs of medical treatment, wage loss, pain and suffering, and other losses that are connected to the crash.

The process usually involves bringing a bodily injury claim with the insurance company representing the negligent party. When it has been determined that the other side was not carrying liability coverage at the time of the collision or has insufficient limits for damages incurred, a claim may be filed under the injured party’s uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. The personal injury claims process is not always straightforward, as it is common for insurers to delay it to get out of paying fair compensation. That is why it is essential to hire an experienced laryngeal fracture attorney to ensure that you are not taken advantage of by the insurance carrier through the various defense tactics they may utilize.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help with a Fractured Larynx Case?

Protecting your rights after an accident often involves working with an experienced accident attorney. The ways that a fractured larynx lawyer can help you with your case may include but are not limited to:

  • Establish Fault: An attorney will work to gather and preserve evidence that will help establish fault on the part of the other side. This generally requires proof of four elements, including duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. In the case of a fractured larynx, an injury lawyer may work with an expert witness such as an accident reconstruction expert to determine the sequence of events leading up to the crash resulting in trauma.
  • Negotiate with the Insurance Company: An attorney can handle communications, review insurance settlement offers, negotiate with the insurer on your behalf, and file a lawsuit in civil court if all attempts at a fair settlement agreement have failed.
  • File in Civil Court: A general two-year statute of limitations applies to personal injury cases in California. However, it may be reduced to as little as six months if a government entity is involved. Remember that having an experienced laryngeal fracture lawyer on your side will help ensure that all filing deadlines are met.

Working with a top personal injury lawyer will have a considerable impact on the outcome of your fractured larynx case. Watch this video for tips and suggestions.

Contact a Laryngeal Fracture Attorney Today

A fractured larynx is a rare condition that may occur from an accident involving direct trauma to the neck area. When the injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses. It is always recommended to seek advice from a lawyer that is well-versed in California personal injury law and has experience in handling accident cases like yours. Fortunately, you do not have to look further as our law firm has handled injury cases since 1982. Get started today with free, friendly advice on your laryngeal fracture case by calling (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

To view some of our work, see our Verdicts and Settlements page.

Photo Credit: By User “Tima Miroshnichenko” via Pixabay

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