Hand and Wrist Pain After a Car Accident
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Hand and wrist pain after a car accident can be a distressing and debilitating condition that negatively affects your daily life. Damage to the hands and wrists are common injuries in a car accident. Understanding their impact and what to do after a collision is crucial to receiving fair compensation.
At Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C., our Michigan car accident attorneys know that even seemingly minor hand or wrist pain after a car accident can seriously impact your daily life. We will help you seek a fair settlement to pay for medical costs or other losses due to injuries you sustained in a crash.
Types of Injuries Leading to Hand and Wrist Pain After a Crash
Hand and wrist pain after a crash can result from various injuries. Understanding these injuries is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment. Some common injuries associated with hand and wrist pain include:
A hand fracture can impact your hand and wrist function and cause localized swelling, tenderness, and reduced mobility. Depending on the location and severity of the fracture, patients may experience pain with movement or even at rest.
- Hand and wrist fractures: Fractures in the hand and wrist can occur in any of the small bones that make up these intricate structures. Common hand fractures involve the metacarpal bones, while wrist fractures often affect the distal radius. The pain can be sharp and acute, and if not correctly diagnosed and treated, it may lead to long-term complications.
- Finger fractures: Finger fractures often occur due to the fingers being damaged by the force of the crash or crushed by structures such as the steering wheel. These injuries can cause intense pain and make it challenging to perform simple tasks such as typing or cooking. Prompt medical attention is essential to avoid complications such as improper healing and reduced hand function.
Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains are soft tissue injuries affecting ligaments and tendons in the hand and wrist. They can lead to hand and wrist pain because of inflammation, instability, and limited range of motion.
- Ligament injuries: Ligaments are tough, fibrous tissues that connect bones in a joint. When these ligaments are stretched or torn, it can cause intense pain and instability in the affected joint. Ligament injuries in the hand and wrist can result from sudden, forceful impacts during a crash.
- Tendon injuries: Tendons are fibrous tissues that attach muscles to bones, enabling movement. Injuries to hand and wrist tendons can cause pain, weakness, and difficulty performing activities involving gripping or grasping objects.
A dislocation occurs when bones in a joint are forced out of their normal position. Dislocations in the hand, wrist, or fingers can result from the crash’s impact. They cause severe pain, swelling, and deformity in the affected area.
- Hand and wrist dislocations: Dislocations occur when bones in the hand are moved out of place by the force of the crash. These injuries can be debilitating and require immediate medical attention. Without proper treatment, you may risk long-term joint instability and chronic pain.
- Finger dislocations: Finger dislocations can affect any of the joints in the fingers. They often occur when a high force causes the finger bones to dislodge from their normal alignment. Finger dislocations lead to considerable pain and immobility.
Nerve Compression and Injuries
Nerve-related hand and wrist pain can result from compression or direct injury to the nerves in the area. These injuries can cause shooting pain, numbness, and tingling sensations.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: It is a condition where the median nerve is compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. This can lead to pain, weakness, and numbness in the hand and fingers.
- Ulnar nerve entrapment: The condition can occur when the ulnar nerve, which runs along the inner side of the elbow and into the hand, gets compressed or irritated. It can cause pain and tingling in the hand, ring, and little fingers.
Symptoms of Hand and Wrist Pain Post-Collision
Following a collision, hand and wrist pain can indicate an injury that requires prompt attention and treatment. Recognizing these symptoms is crucial for early diagnosis and effective treatment to prevent further complications.
Pain and Swelling
Hand and wrist injuries often result in immediate or delayed pain and swelling. The pain intensity and swelling extent depend on the injury’s nature and severity.
Soft tissue injuries like sprains and strains can cause localized pain and inflammation. Fractures involving the bones of the hand, wrist, or fingers can lead to sharp and acute pain and noticeable swelling.
Dislocations of joints can also cause excruciating pain and notable swelling in the affected area. The pain experienced may range from mild discomfort to severe and debilitating, affecting your ability to use your hand and wrist properly.
Loss of Motion and Function
Injured hands and wrists may cause a limited range of motion and functional impairments. Everyday activities like gripping, lifting, typing, and performing fine motor tasks can become challenging or even impossible.
Ligament tears, joint dislocations, or fractures can lead to loss of motion and hand function. For instance, a dislocated wrist or finger may prevent the normal range of movement.
Numbness and Tingling
Numbness and tingling sensations in the hands and wrists may indicate nerve-related injuries or compression, causing numbness and tingling in the thumb, index, middle, and half of the ring finger. Nerve compression can also occur in other areas of the hand and wrist, leading to similar symptoms.
Deformities may be visible after a collision, such as angulation, misalignment, or dislocation of bones in the hand and wrist. Fractures and dislocations are common culprits of such deformities.
If not properly managed, these deformities can lead to long-term functional impairment and chronic pain. Prompt evaluation and realignment of bones are necessary to prevent permanent deformities and optimize the chances of a full recovery.
Bruising and Discoloration
Bruising and discoloration are signs of tissue damage and internal bleeding. These symptoms may develop over time and change color as the injury heals.
Neglecting bruising can lead to complications like compartment syndrome, a serious condition characterized by increased tissue pressure. This can cut off blood flow and damage nerves and muscles.
Do You Need to See a Doctor for Hand and Wrist Pain?
If you are experiencing hand and wrist pain after an accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Consulting a healthcare professional allows for a thorough examination to diagnose the underlying cause of the pain accurately. Early diagnosis can prevent potential complications and facilitate a faster recovery.
Immediate medical care also provides medical records that you and your attorney can use during the insurance claims process. To file a compensation claim, you must show that your injuries resulted from the accident, which the negligent party caused.
At Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C., Eilleen Kroll, partner attorney and registered nurse, will use her healthcare knowledge to review your medical bills and treatment procedures. She will use her legal and medical skills to understand your injuries, accurately assess current and future damages, and submit documentation to the insurance company for full compensation.
What are Your Legal Options for Hand and Wrist Injuries After a Vehicle Accident?
Experiencing hand and wrist injuries in a vehicle accident can be physically and emotionally distressing. After a crash, knowing your legal options and working with an experienced auto accident attorney can help you get a fair settlement for your damages.
Michigan uses a no-fault system, which means your personal injury protection or “PIP” coverage will help pay for damages after a collision. This insurance pays for medical treatments, including physical therapy, regardless of who caused the accident.
To pursue additional compensation beyond PIP coverage, you must prove that the injuries meet certain criteria, such as severe impairment of bodily functions, permanent disfigurement, or death. If this serious injury threshold is met, you can file a third-party insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Seeking professional legal assistance, like that provided by Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C., can help you navigate the complex legal processes and protect your rights throughout the proceedings.
How Your Attorney Will Prove Fault in Michigan?
In Michigan’s no-fault system, proving fault is not required for claiming benefits under your PIP coverage. However, if you seek damages above your PIP coverage, you must work with your attorney to establish fault against the liable party.
This could include another driver who was speeding, using a cell phone, or drinking and driving. The at-fault party could also be a government entity responsible for maintaining the roadway or a third-party vehicle part’s manufacturer.
Proving fault involves a comprehensive investigation, gathering evidence, and building a strong case. To establish liability, your attorney will:
- Scrutinize the accident scene, collecting photographs, videos, and witness statements to reconstruct the events leading to the injury.
- Consult with medical experts to provide professional opinions regarding the extent of your injuries and their connection to the accident.
- Review police reports, medical records, and available surveillance footage to establish a clear sequence of events and liability.
What if You are Partly At Fault for the Crash?
Michigan follows a comparative fault system in cases where you are partially at fault for the accident system. This means that your compensation may be reduced proportionately to your percentage of fault. For instance, if you are found to be 20% at fault, your total compensation will be reduced by 20%.
However, since the state uses modified comparative fault, you can’t receive compensation if you are more than 50% responsible for the accident or your injuries.
Working with experienced auto accident attorneys from Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. can help you minimize the impact of partial fault on your claim by presenting compelling arguments and negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf. Our expertise can help ensure you receive fair compensation based on the circumstances of the accident and your injuries.
Settling vs. Litigating: Choosing the Right Path for Your Hand and Wrist Injury Case
When pursuing compensation for your injuries after a vehicle accident, you can settle with the insurance company or take the case to court and litigate. Each path offers different advantages.
Our attorneys will explain each option’s potential benefits and drawbacks, allowing you to decide based on your unique situation.
- Settling out-of-court: Negotiating a settlement with the insurance company can lead to a quicker resolution and avoid the uncertainties of a trial. However, insurance companies may offer lower settlements than you deserve, especially if you don’t have legal representation.
When you work with our firm, we will negotiate on your behalf to help you maximize your compensation.
- Litigation or trial: Opting for litigation involves taking your case to court, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome. This path may be necessary when the insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable settlement.
If you choose a lawsuit, we will present your case convincingly, using evidence and expert testimonies to strengthen your claim.
Tips for Navigating Your Car Accident Claim
Dealing with a car accident claim can be overwhelming, but with the right approach, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome. Follow these practical tips to effectively manage the process and maximize your chances of fair compensation:
- Document evidence, medical treatment, and expenses with photos and records to strengthen your claim.
- Be cautious with insurance companies; report the accident promptly, communicate in writing, and don’t accept early offers.
- Avoid common pitfalls by filing on time, being honest about injuries, and seeking legal advice.
- Stay organized, follow medical advice, know your rights, and consult with an attorney for complex cases.
- Maintain a detailed journal of your injuries, symptoms, and how they impact your daily life. Document any pain, discomfort, or limitations you experience, as this can help demonstrate the extent of your damages.
Seeking Legal Support After a Car Accident Injury
Experiencing pain after a car accident can be distressing, but you don’t have to navigate this journey alone. Our car accident lawyers at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. have the knowledge and legal skill to handle your auto collision case, whether you’re seeking damages in an insurance claim or want to take your case to trial.
Contact us to schedule a free case review to learn your options for compensation for your hand and wrist pain after a car accident.
Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 1-866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.