October 27, 2021

What Types of Hand Injuries Occur in Car Accidents?

hand injuries accidents

A car accident can cause many different types of injuries that can make you unable to work or perform daily activities. Hand injuries that result from car accidents can also lead to medical expenses, doctor appointments, physical therapy, lost income from work, as well as pain and suffering.

You should be familiar with the different types of hand injuries that can happen in car accidents. Learning about car accident-related hand injuries will help you recognize one should you become injured in a collision. Listed below are some of the most common car accident-related hand injuries. 

Hand, Finger, and Wrist Fractures

Some types of hand injuries are seen more often in car accidents. Hand, finger, and wrist fractures are the most common ones, and they involve broken bones and moderate to serious pain. These bones are delicate, so even a minor accident could cause broken bones in one or both hands. 

The immediate symptoms include pain when attempting to move the palms, wrists or fingers, tenderness, bruising, and swelling. If movement causes any pain, try to keep the injured hand immobile until help arrives. Moving a fractured hand could make the injury much worse.

The treatment for hand and wrist fractures can include a fracture reduction, which is performed by a physician to realign the bones. This can be extremely painful, but it is done quickly. Then, you will need to wear a splint or cast, which usually stays on there for about six weeks until the bones are fused together. After the splint or cast is removed, it can take months for you to regain normal use of your hand or wrist.

Sprained Wrist and Torn Ligaments

A person injured in a car accident could also experience a sprained wrist and torn ligaments around their knuckles due to their hand being jerked in an unnatural way or it hitting an object. Mild sprains are basically stretched muscles and ligaments, but in severe cases, ligaments are torn and need surgery. 

Knuckle Injuries

The knuckles can become dislocated when the hands are used to brace impact. The most common kind of dislocation involves the middle knuckle. This can also be painful, and it usually causes a decreased range of motion. 

Symptoms of knuckle injuries include numbness, redness, and swelling. You should remove any rings right away, and get medical attention if you think your knuckles or fingers are injured. Other joints in the hand can also get dislocated, and if left untreated, permanent damage could result.

Burns, Bruises, and Laceration injuries

Hands can also get burned, bruised, lacerated, or punctured in car accidents. These injuries can range from mild to severe and can also affect your arm and shoulder.

In the worst case scenario, an amputation may be performed if the hand is severely crushed and disfigured, but this is uncommon. It is always best to seek immediate medical attention after being injured in a car accident, even if you think your injuries are mild.

What Should I Do if I Have a Hand Injury?

Hands and wrists tend to swell up quickly after being injured, and you can try elevating them and keeping them still until help arrives. If you end up in an emergency room or urgent care, a medical professional will take X-rays. They may also recommend other imaging scans to diagnose tendon, ligament, and muscle injuries. 

Not being able to use your hand can leave you incapacitated. Your treatment plan will depend on the diagnosis. If you are not able to see a hand surgeon in the medical facility, you must follow-up with one as soon as possible. They may want to perform their own set of tests. Rehabilitation after hand injuries is essential in most cases. Rehabilitation involves physical therapy that focuses on restoring as much function possible in the hand.

What Evidence Should I Collect?

Be sure to keep records of everything involved with your treatment, including copies of the diagnosis, treatment plan, medical procedures, and bills. 

If there was a passenger with you in the vehicle when the accident happened, ask them to take as many pictures as they can at the scene. Do not do this yourself if your hands are injured. It is good to get photographs or videos of the scene, your vehicle, the other car, and the injuries. 

What if the Accident Was Not My Fault?

If the car accident was someone else’s fault, their provider will typically only pay a portion of the damages, which is based on your percentage of fault. More severe hand injuries may qualify for compensation. If nerves are damaged and you have chronic numbness, pain, or paralysis, you may be able to collect compensation. Insurance companies may also pay for serious hand fractures that lead to reduced range of mobility, or injuries that result in chronic pain that prevent you from moving your hand.

Even if another driver is responsible for your hand injuries, their insurance provider may not be cooperative or try to place the blame on you. They may offer a low amount of compensation that is inadequate. If your injuries are severe, you may need more compensation than what is offered to cover the high medical expenses and long-term care. After any serious accident, you should seek advice from a lawyer. A lawyer will protect your rights and determine whether or not you are entitled to damages. 

Norristown Car Accident Lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. Help Clients Who Have Experienced Hand Injuries in Collisions

Hand injuries are common in car accidents, and they can be severe. If a car accident left you with a serious hand injury, our Norristown car accident lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. may be able to help. Complete our online form or call us at 267-861-7100 for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Chester County, and Norristown, Pennsylvania.