Car crashes can be very traumatic events. Even minor, low-speed collisions can produce a massive amount of force, capable of bending metal and breaking bone. While you might feel fortunate to have simply survived an automobile accident, a fractured bone can still turn your life upside down. Few injuries interfere with your ability to meet the demands of everyday life more than those that affect your arm, wrist, or hand.
Arm, Wrist, and Hand Injuries in Car Crashes
When you are involved in a car accident, there is a chance you will suffer serious and potentially life-altering injuries. While a crash can cause any number of injuries, certain parts of the body are more vulnerable than others. These include:
- The upper arm(s). When people realize a crash is about to occur, they may try to brace themselves by raising their arms or covering their face, increasing the probability of sustaining a serious arm injury.
- The wrist. People may break one or more wrist bones while bracing for impact in a car accident. Airbag deployments and twisted metal can also injure or fracture wrist bones.
- Hands. The bones of the hand, especially those in the fingers, are very fragile. They can be easily damaged and even crushed in an accident.
Recovering from an Arm, Wrist, or Hand Injury
Arm, wrist, and hand fractures come in different forms. When a bone breaks, it can:
- Pierce the skin
- Fracture without breaking the bone into distinct pieces, with the fracture either displacing significant amounts of bone or creating a “hairline” break
- Separate completely into two or more pieces
- Displace from its ordinary position, requiring surgical intervention
Certain types of fractures are more likely to occur in car accidents. They include:
- Scaphoid fractures, which affect the smallest bone in your wrist
- Chauffeur’s fractures, impacting the radial styloid near the base of the thumb
- Ulnar styloid fractures, which can occur between your wrist and hand
Compared to other bones, those in your hand and wrist tend to heal quickly. However, the promise of an expedited recovery provides little comfort to accident victims who find themselves unable to perform simple tasks without assistance.
What to Do After Breaking a Bone in an Accident
It’s difficult to stay calm and think straight after an accident, especially if you break a bone or suffer other traumatic injuries. However, if you do not require emergency medical attention after a car crash, you can bolster your chance of making a successful legal recovery by:
- Calling 911. By law, Virginia residents must inform the police of any accident that ends in injury, property damage, or death. A police report can also help you prove the other driver was at fault if you need to negotiate with their insurance company or make a personal injury claim in court.
- Collecting evidence. If you can operate a mobile phone or camera, try to document the accident site while waiting for police and other emergency responders. Take pictures of the damage to your car, your injuries, and your immediate surroundings. If anyone saw the accident take place, ask for their name and contact number—their testimony could prove critical.
- Seeing a doctor. If you broke a bone, you will most likely have to see the doctor. But even if you believe you can overcome your injuries at home, you should still go to the hospital. A physician will treat your fractured arm, hand, or wrist, as well as any other injuries you may have. Additionally, going the doctor shows the car insurance company that you had a legitimate health concern and are not simply fabricating a complaint for personal gain.
- Continuing treatment. Follow up on all recommendations your physician makes for specialist appointments, surgery, and physical rehabilitation.
Once you are out of danger, you should always call an experienced car crash attorney. Even if you know that the accident was not your fault, the other driver’s insurance company will likely do everything they can to deny or minimize the value of your claim.
However, you do not have to accept being bullied by an insurance adjuster. A lawyer can help you collect the evidence you need to show that the other driver was at fault, and they and their insurer are liable for your injuries.
Contact Our Virginia Car Accident Injury Lawyer Today
Virginia, unlike some other states, does not have any limit on the damages you can claim after a car accident. However, there is a strict statute of limitations that makes it impossible for most people to pursue justice if they wait too long to get help.
Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi has years of experience representing people who have been hurt in Virginia automobile accidents. Our dedicated team of attorneys believes that nobody should have to bear the burden of another person’s negligence. Send us a message online, or call us today to schedule your consultation.