Your body may jolt violently in a car accident, causing damage and injuries. Some of the most common problems you might experience are hand injury. Such issues might cause pain and discomfort that can be temporarily or permanently debilitating. It is concerning if your auto accident hindered your ability to live fulfilling lives and carry out routine tasks. Sometimes, people underestimate their ability to perform the most menial tasks until their injuries limit or impede their potential. However, instead of taking it for granted, you should seek physical and financial recovery after the accident. Our auto accident attorneys at Phillips Law Offices can assist victims in filing claims and gathering evidence to prove their cases.
The complex human hand anatomy
Human species have a distinguishing potential to grasp and manipulate objects. As we can use our hands, we have a significant advantage over other animals. Our hand comprises twenty bones, tendons, muscles, tissues, and many ligaments. All work collaboratively to execute our usual movements, known as fine motor functions. It allows us to perform various menial tasks such as typing on a keyboard, lifting a spoon, combing hair, holding a book, buttoning a shirt, or writing with a pen. Any hand or wrist injury might disrupt our ability to do these things, making us dependent on others.
Most of us never think how life would be without hand movements until a hand or wrist injury limits their use. While some wounds may heal with time, others, such as tendinitis, broken fingers, distal radius fractures, torn ligaments, or amputation, can be life-changing. Furthermore, conditions like scaphoid fracture, wrist sprain, broken bones, carpal tunnel syndrome, dislocation, or tendonitis may necessitate ongoing physical therapy and medical treatment for recovery. Eventually, injuries on the hands can have a profound impact on our lives.
Common hand injuries from car accidents
Hand and wrist injuries are typical outcomes of car accidents, often caused by impact force. They can significantly affect our ability to lead productive lives and perform minor tasks as part of our daily routines. Unfortunately, even a minor rear-end collision or fender-bender can result in an injury. Some hand injuries may cause temporary pain and discomfort that you can expect to go away with time. However, the pain and suffering in many cases are obvious enough that you should seek medical attention immediately. For instance, if you have swelling, bruising, numbness, or the inability to move your fingers and joints normally, seek quality care from a hand surgeon to discuss all treatment options.
Blunt force trauma and broken car parts, such as glass or metal fragments, can injure your hand and wrist in a car accident. The following are examples of common types of hand injury from car accident:
The trauma of a car crash can cause fractures in the hand and wrist. A hand fracture could mean that one of your fingers or the bones in your palm has broken. One or both hands may suffer crushing injuries in severe auto accidents. You’ll likely be in a lot of pain, making it impossible to carry out your daily tasks as usual. Symptoms are prominent and unavoidable, including swelling, bruising, tenderness, intense pain, crooked fingers, and other deformities. If warning signs are apparent, consult a specialist to ensure the bones in your hand heal properly.
A hand sprain (torn ligament in your hand) occurs when the ligaments connecting the bones in your hands stretch beyond their normal range of motion. Ligament injuries can create problems if left untreated and prevent your injured hand from healing properly. Using that hand exposes you to chronic pain and discomfort. Ligaments support the joints in your hand, and a torn ligament hand injury is noticeable when it occurs around one of your knuckles. Knuckles are hand joints frequently injured in accidents when the ligaments that support and stabilize the knuckles tear. A torn ligament around the knuckles can cause pain, swelling, and bruising.
Following a severe auto accident, multiple joints of your hand could dislocate. Your hands can move because of their joints, and if a joint gets injured, you might notice a reduction in overall movement. In addition to the pain resulting from a dislocated hand joint, you may experience swelling, redness, numbness, and difficulty moving the finger. The dislocated joint could sustain long-term damage if you don’t get treatment. The middle knuckle of each of your fingers is the most common dislocation enduring the hand. When you use your hands to brace yourself in a car accident, your knuckles can become dislocated or otherwise harmed.
The victims may require finger or hand amputations in critical conditions where parts of the hand get crushed or catastrophically damaged in car accidents. It could happen if a driver or passenger had their arm resting on an open window and the impact of the collision was severe. It could also crush the person’s fingers, leading to the loss of these digits. Generally, amputation becomes necessary when blood vessel damage disrupts blood flow to the affected body part. However, surgeons will remove the damaged tissue only if the condition is irreparable. After the surgery, they seal the ends of blood vessels and nerves, shape muscles around the amputated hand, and sew the skin shut over the stump.
Impact of hand injury in day-to-day life
In our daily lives, both personally and professionally, we use our hands. Most jobs require us to regularly use our hands to type texts, write notes, handle equipment, or run machinery. These activities all involve the use of hands in some way. An injury to the hand or wrist increases the chance that permanent or temporary complications will develop for the victim. When injured, certain small and delicate bones and ligaments in the wrist and hand need medical treatment. If it’s a fracture or joint dislocation, there is a higher likelihood that arthritis and inflammation will manifest earlier than usual. It could affect our ability to earn a living while we recover, apart from degrading the quality of our personal lives.
Most medical treatment for a severe hand or wrist injury starts with a precise diagnosis using x-rays, ultrasound, and MRI scans. The doctor will examine each small and metacarpal bone to find the exact condition. Sometimes the bone or joint may not heal properly even after receiving immediate medical attention. It may require surgical intervention and subsequent rehabilitation. A medical professional will assist in determining the extent of the bone and soft tissue damage. They will specify the critical care required to restore the injured extremity and resume normal daily activities.
Expected compensation values for hand and wrist injuries
Every car accident lawsuit addresses three issues: liability, damages, and collection of funds. The amount that will compensate you and your injuries requires careful consideration. Since each case has unique circumstances, determining the compensation value for hand and wrist injuries caused by blunt force trauma can be challenging. Lower arm injuries from auto accidents are often severe, especially if the pain in the affected area persists long after the collision. Damages may include fractures, soft tissue injuries, cuts, lacerations, and other injuries. It’s a particular case when the injured party grabbed the steering wheel during the crash.
National statistics show that the average jury award for hand and wrist injuries is about $630,000. The median judgment amounts to about $70,00. This significant disparity reveals that while many small cases are not as crippling, some severe, life-altering hand injury cases have extremely high values. To determine a fair value of a particular lawsuit, an attorney considers the extent of all injuries along with other factors such as:
- Current medical expenses
- Lost wages as a result of the car accident
- Future costs for rehabilitation, surgery, or physical therapy
- Property damage caused by the car accident, such as vehicle repair or replacement
- Injuries sustained to the dominant hand
- Puncture wounds, damaged nerve endings, fractures, or any torn ligament that could disrupt wrist or hand movement
- Limits of insurance coverage provided by the at-fault party
- Additional compensation if the injured hand and wrist bone causes permanent damage
Contact our car accident hand and wrist injury attorney
Recovering from a hand injury sustained in a car accident can be expensive. It adds to the financial burden of victims who find it challenging to make ends meet. Injuries like hand sprain or strain in ligaments and tendons are temporary but could affect your daily life. On the other hand, damaged tendons, crushed wrist bones, broken fingers, and torn ligaments cause permanent damage. Some issues, like amputated digits, might never restore the life you led previously. In all cases, accident victims should seek physical and financial compensation for their losses.
If you or a loved one suffered due to someone else’s negligence, you could qualify to file compensation. Consult our car crash attorney for your case evaluation at (312) 598-0917 and discuss various legal options. Our personal injury lawyers Chicago consider all vital factors when valuing your monetary compensation case. We assess your lost wages, medical bills, ongoing care, and future costs related to your injury. Another significant role we play is negotiating with insurance companies. We understand that insurance companies will fight tenaciously to avoid paying an injury claim by contesting the need for treatment. However, we can prove your case, bargain with them, protect your rights, and ensure you get the most deserving amount.