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Wrist and Hand Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

From office workers to construction workers, most of us rely on our hands and wrists to work and provide an income for ourselves and our loved ones. People do not always associate wrist and hand injuries with car accidents, but hands and wrists are frequently injured in car accidents.

Causes of Hand and Wrist Injuries

Moments before the crash, or even during the crash, many victims brace their hands against the ceiling or side of their car, putting pressure on their tendons, ligaments, and bones. In other cases, car accident victims throw their hands up during the collision or place their hands over their faces to protect themselves. Doing so can result in their hands or wrists colliding with the dashboard, airbag, window, or steering wheel.

A car accident victim could grip the inside of the steering wheel rather than the outside of the well. Should the steering wheel twist or spin during the car accident, their hand could become caught and ripped around violently by the wheel. There is always a risk of laceration and broken bones during a car accident. Broken glass or metal can puncture a person's wrist or hand. The car accident force itself can put significant pressure on the hand and wrist, causing a bone fracture.

Hand and Wrist Fractures Caused by Car Accidents

Broken wrists involve a crack in one or more wrist bones. In car accidents, broken wrists often occur when someone tries to brace for impact using their hands. Our hands and wrists contain 27 bones, and 13 bones begin in the wrist and extend into the palm. Our fingers are particularly vulnerable to becoming fractured because they are delicate and can easily be crushed due to blunt-force trauma in car accidents.

Wrist fractures and hand fractures can occur when a victim's hand slams into the steering wheel, airbag, windshield, or car. All of the victim's hand and arm bones are vulnerable during a car accident. However, broken fingers, fractured knuckles, crushed hands, and fractured or broken wrists are among the most prevalent injuries in car accidents.

Wrist and Hand Sprains

Many people assume that fractures are always worse than sprains. However, wrist, finger, and hand sprains can cause severe pain and make it difficult for victims to engage in their everyday activities and work. There are different grades of sprains based on their severity. Grade 1 sprains are the least severe, but they can still cause significant pain. In a car accident, the wrist and finger ligaments can become hyperextended or forcefully bent, resulting in dangerous and painful sprains.

Torn Wrist and Hand Ligaments

Ligaments can also become completely or partially torn in a car accident. When a ligament is torn, the victim may end up losing some or all of the function in their hand. In grade 3 ligament tears, the ligament becomes wholly torn. These types of tears often include a fracture of the victim’s joint bone. Typically, victims of ligament tears and fractures will need surgery immediately after the accident. When victims do not receive immediate medical treatment and therapy, they may develop debilitating arthritis and chronic instability.

Treatment of Hand and Wrist Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

As with any severe injury, medical treatment for wrist and hand injuries can be expensive. We recommend seeking a thorough medical examination and after being involved in a car accident. You may assume that your wrist or hand injury is not severe enough to warrant going to the emergency room. However, we have seen plenty of examples in which a victim is far more injured than they initially thought at the scene of the accident.

During the car accident’s shock, many victims do not realize the full extent of their pain. It can take hours or even days for your body to begin to feel the extent of your injuries. Treatment for hand and wrist injuries often requires extensive surgery and ongoing physical and occupational therapy. Some victims lose the ability to work in their chosen profession, making it even more difficult for them to pay their medical bills.

Contact Us Today

If you or your loved one experienced a wrist or hand injury in a car accident, you might be entitled to compensation. Under North Carolina law, negligent drivers are liable for the injuries they cause. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule your free initial consultation.

For your convenience and safety, we now offer video and phone conferencing. If you prefer an in-person consultation reach out today at 704-370-2828, we have three easy to reach locations in Uptown Charlotte, Monroe, and Mooresville.

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