Crashes have the potential to cause serious hand and wrist injuries.
Many people who are involved in car accidents suffer wrist fractures. These injuries can have a significant impact on a person's daily life and ability to work.
The wrist is a complex joint consisting of eight small bones called carpal bones. These bones, arranged in two rows, include the scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, pisiform, trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, and hamate. The carpal bones provide stability and flexibility to the wrist joint, enabling a wide range of hand movements.
These bones can be broken during a crash in many ways. The wrist may strike the dashboard or steering wheel during impact or be struck by a flying object. A fracture can also happen when the airbag deploys.
Common wrist injuries from a car accident
- Colles' fracture – This type of break occurs when the distal radius bone, the larger of the two forearm bones, breaks near the wrist joint. Colles' fractures typically happen when a driver or passenger extends their hand to brace for impact during a car crash.
- Scaphoid Fracture – The scaphoid bone, located near the base of the thumb, is susceptible to fractures in car accidents. These fractures can occur due to the forceful impact on the hand during a collision.
- Barton's fracture – This involves the distal radius and can occur in different patterns, affecting either the back (dorsal) or palm side (volar) of the wrist. They may result from high-energy impacts during a car accident.
- Comminuted fracture – This is a fracture in which the bone breaks into multiple fragments. The complex forces generated during a car crash can lead to this type of fracture, causing significant damage to the wrist bones.
What are the signs of a broken wrist?
It's essential to get medical attention after a car crash, especially if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Pain and swelling – When the bones in the wrist are broken or misaligned, there can be pain and inflammation in the area.
- Difficulty moving or flexing the wrist – A fracture can restrict your range of motion and make it difficult to bend your wrist or turn your hand.
- Visible deformity or misalignment – If you notice an abnormal appearance of your wrist, such as a visibly bent or crooked shape, it could indicate a fracture.
- Bruising or discoloration – The impact of the crash that broke a bone in the wrist can also cause blood vessels to rupture, leading to bruising.
- Tenderness – Your wrist is tender to the touch, and the pain intensifies upon pressure.
- Numbness or tingling – A wrist fracture can compress nerves in the surrounding area, leading to numbness or tingling sensations.
Medical expenses can add up quickly if you break your wrist in a car accident. There are diagnostic tests and imaging tests. You may need a surgical procedure and a cast or splint. Treatment for a broken wrist may include medication and physical therapy. You may also lose income if you are forced to miss time from work.
A car accident lawyer can help you pursue compensation for a broken wrist
If a negligent driver caused the accident that left you with a wrist fracture, you deserve financial compensation for your losses. But negligent drivers often deny responsibility, and insurance companies are not on your side.
The insurance company for the at-fault driver may argue that your injury was pre-existing or not caused by the accident, thus attempting to limit their liability. They might also question the necessity and cost of the medical treatments received, suggesting cheaper alternatives should have been pursued or that certain treatments weren't required at all.
Finally, they could argue that you failed to mitigate your damages by not seeking immediate medical attention or following medical advice. In short, injury claims can be complex, so you need an experienced car accident attorney to protect your rights and advocate for the compensation you're entitled to under California law.
If you suffered a wrist fracture from an accident in Walnut Creek, Antioch, or anywhere in the Bay Area, the attorneys at Clancy & Diaz can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.