Traffic Collisions Resulting in Hand and Wrist Injuries

It is a strange fact of life that people often take their good health and personal well-being for granted, that is, until something happens to change the status quo. For instance, the simple act of picking up a cup of coffee and taking a sip is a task to which most people hardly give a second thought, yet it is nothing short of a complex miracle of nature that allows a person to enjoy that morning cup of joe every day.

But the ability to grasp an object and control it easily is something that can be a monumental effort following an accident that damages either the nerves that control the arm, wrist, hand and fingers; or that result in a fracture of one or more of the nearly 30 bones that comprise the human hand. In fact, the loss of function, even temporarily, can make daily tasks almost impossible for victims of traffic-related accidents.

As Baltimore personal injury lawyers, the legal experts at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, know that even a low-speed car or truck accident can cause serious injury to a person’s body. When it comes to injuries involving the wrist and hand, the impact on a person’s quality of life is almost certainly impacted at least for the duration of that individual’s recovery period, if not for months or years afterward.

The human hand is a marvel of engineering, with its prehensile fingers and ability to move and function in a boggling number of ways. But just like any delicate and complex machine, our hands are vulnerable to damage, which can occur easily when a person is caught up in a bad traffic collision. Each of our ten fingers has some of the densest collection of nerve endings of any part of the human body. Cuts, burns, compound fractures and other injuries can wreak havoc with these finely tuned appendages.

Just as critical to our ability to handle objects and manage the hundreds of tasks that make up our daily lives, the lower arm and wrist are also indispensable when it comes to functioning well. Yet, again, automobile and commercial trucking wrecks can damage the delicate bones, ligaments and nerves that make up these truly essential parts of the human body.

As auto accident injury attorneys, the legal team here at Lebowitz & Mzhen understand the pain, discomfort and emotional impact that a broken hand or fractured wrist bone can cause. Though not usually as life-threatening as a traumatic brain injury, an injured hand can result in an inability to perform one’s job. When such an injury has been caused by another driver’s negligence, it is important to consult with a qualified car accident lawyer to understand your rights under the law.

Being a victim of a Maryland car, truck or motorcycle accident is never something that one expects, yet thousands of people are hurt in serious traffic collisions every year in cities like Annapolis, Rockville, Bowie and the District. As drivers ourselves, we know how easily a person can become involved in a roadway crash through no fault of their own.

For drivers especially, injuries to the hand and wrist can readily occur because of the grip most people have on the steering wheel at the moment of impact. Although steering columns are designed to collapse on impact and, therefore, absorb energy from a crash, the delicate nature of the human hand and wrist make these body parts highly susceptible to even the slightest impact. This all depends on the orientation of the driver’s hands and the forces at play during the crash, but wrist injuries are known to happen quite frequently.

When a force is applied to an outstretched hand -- as occurs during a car crash -- one result may be a broken wrist. In such instances, it is the radius bone that usually breaks. Known as distal radius fracture, this happens when the relatively large bone (the radius) at the end of the forearm, near the wrist is broken. In medical circles, this type of break is very common; the radius bone is, in fact, the most commonly broken bone in the human arm.

When a person receives a broken wrist, the resulting pain and swelling can be quite significant. Without treatment, such a condition can often result in deformity to the wrist. This is why it is always a wise idea to see a doctor if one suspects any type of serious injury to this area of one’s anatomy. By taking an X-ray of the injured wrist, a physician can more easily determine the extent of the fracture.

As Baltimore personal injury attorneys, we understand that the pain of such an injury is usually exceeded only by the costs of treatment. For anyone who is hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, the potential disruption of one’s working life due to this kind of injury could have serious repercussions, especially for those individuals who make a living using their hands. This is why it is almost imperative to consult with a qualified auto accident lawyer when lost wages, as well as medical costs, threaten the financial well-being of a traffic accident victim and his or her family.

In cases of hand or wrist injuries sustained in a passenger car or commercial trucking crash, there may be numerous treatment choices at the victim’s disposal. An orthopedic surgeon can explain which particular options may be right for someone who suffers a broken wrist or hand. Depending on various factors -- for instance, the nature of the break, the person’s age and level of physical activity, not to mention the physician’s own personal preferences and professional experience -- the possible options can range from leaving the bone as is to correcting the condition through surgery.

At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we know that some of the more involved treatment options can be rather expensive, especially in cases where the victim’s auto insurance is reticent to pay for certain procedures. We understand the importance of getting the best medical care; we also believe that victims of negligence-related traffic accidents should not have to pay for medical treatments necessitated by the careless or deliberate actions of another driver.

Even with a successful surgery to remedy a broken hand or fractured wrist resulting from a car or truck wreck, the ability of a patient to return to his or her normal activities may be hindered by any number of factors. Although most patients who suffer a broken wrist in an auto injury accident can and do resume their daily routines, others may suffer from complications. Whatever the case, a professional legal expert in the area of personal injury law will be able to assist a victim in determining if an injury claim is indicated.

On average, and barring serious complications, most patients can expect to get out of their cast approximately six weeks following a car accident. Physical therapy can typically be started, pending the physician’s recommendations, in the days following removal of one’s cast. Light physical activity, such as swimming or lower-body workouts, can resume usually within 30 to 60 days after the patient has lost his or her cast; moderate to vigorous activity may need to be held off for about three to six months, depending on the extent of the injury and the individual’s healing progress.

Obviously, the nature of a hand or wrist injury can have serious implications for any person who ends up being hurt in a automobile collision. Wrist and hand injuries can lead to personal injury lawsuits, in which the value of the victim’s pain and suffering must be evaluated along with the costs for any medical care that was required following the accident. These costs, especially in cases involving one or more surgical procedures, can often include expensive hardware used to strengthen the broken bones. As experienced trial lawyers, the personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen are well aware of the many and varied costs involved in any accident-related medical care.

As Maryland personal injury lawyers, we endeavor to help victims recover damages based on these medical expenses, as well as lost wages, not to mention obtain compensation for pain and suffering. As a victim of an automotive or trucking-related injury accident, you have rights. Lebowitz & Mzhen recommends that anyone who is seriously hurt in a traffic-related collision should contact an experienced auto injury attorney to better understand their rights under the law. We are always happy to discuss your accident case. Please contact us via our toll-free number (800-654-1949), by email to either Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen.