In 2010, 38,328 people were injured in Alabama auto accidents, according to the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. The impact of the crash will often cause vehicle occupants to sustain wrist damage. Depending on the severity of the injury, it may take several months for the accident victim to recover.
If you or a loved one has sustained wrist damage in a car accident due to the negligence of another, you may have grounds for legal action. Accident victims may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and property damage. Contact Citrin Law Firm today to explore your legal options.
For additional information about personal injury claims, fill out the Free Case Review form on this page.
Common Wrist Injuries
The human wrist is a complex structure that consists of eight small bones referred to as carpals. These bones support a long tube that runs through your wrist. That particular tube, is referred to as your carpal tunnel, which has tendons and a nerve inside. It is covered by a ligament that holds it in place. In addition, there are ligaments that support the wrist.
Vehicle occupants will often injure their wrist when they brace themselves during a crash. Listed below are some common wrist injuries:
Any injury to the ligaments is referred to as a sprain. Wrist sprains are very common injury; when the ligaments in the wrist are torn or stretched, this will result in a sprain. Sprains often occur when the wrist is bent forcefully. Wrist ligament injuries are divided into three grades. Grade 1 is the mildest wrist injury; these injuries are the result of ligaments that are stretched, but not torn. Common symptoms of a wrist injury include swelling, pain, bruising and discoloration.
Doctors often prescribe RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) for a mild wrist sprains. In addition, they might have the accident victim use a cast or splint to immobilize the wrist.
Torn Wrist Ligaments
When the ligaments are partially torn this is referred to as a Grade 2 injury. These types of injuries may cause patients some loss of function. In a Grade 3 injury, the ligaments are completely torn; these injuries are sometimes associated with a fracture of the joint surface. Typically, accident victims will experience significant pain and swelling after the injury. Medical professionals will often use an MRI to determine the extent of the damage.
Grade 3 injuries require prompt surgery. After the surgery, the patient’s wrist will need to be immobilized and hand therapy is necessary to maximize functional recovery. If the injury is left untreated, it can lead to chronic instability and the development of painful debilitating arthritis.
The smallest bone in the wrist is the scaphoid and it is also the bone that is most likely to break. It is located on the thumb side of the wrist, in the area where the wrist bends. A scaphoid fracture often occurs in auto accidents. Once the bone is fractured, the injury usually causes pain and swelling at the base of the thumb. Unless your wrist is deformed, it might not be obvious that the scaphoid bone is broken. Sometimes accident victims may not experience severe pain and the injury will be mistaken for a sprain. That’s why it’s important for all accident victims to be evaluated by a doctor after a car wreck.
X-rays can show if the bone is broken and whether there is displacement. Sometimes, a broken scaphoid does not show up on an x-ray right away. In these cases, a doctor may put your wrist in a splint for a week or two. After two weeks a new x-ray will be taken to see if the fracture will become visible.
Treatment of a scaphoid fracture will depend on the location of the break in the bone. If the fracture occurs close to thumb, it will usually heal in a matter of weeks with proper protection. A doctor may place your arm and hand in a cast. However, if the scaphoid is broken in the middle of the bone or near the forearm, healing is more difficult. Typically, this part of the bone does not have a good blood supply, which effects healing. With these types of fractures, your doctor may recommend surgery. After the surgery, you will need to wear a splint or cast. In some cases, it may take patients up to six months to heal. Even with physical therapy, some accident victims will not regain the same motion and strength in their wrists that they had before the accident.
Contact a Mobile Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered wrist damage from a car accident, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. At Citirn Law Firm, we urge all accident victims to seek legal guidance following a car collision. An experienced attorney can thoroughly explain your legal rights and options.
Our attorneys and staff are dedicated to helping injury victims receive the justice that they deserve. We have helped numerous clients receive favorable outcomes for their legal claims.
To speak with a member of our legal team about your wrist injury, fill out the contact form on this page.