Another reason that you’re well-advised to work with an attorney in any truck accident case is the potential number of defendants who might bear responsibility for your medical bills, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering. Your lawyer will work to identify those liable parties, determine their percentages of fault, negotiate with their insurers for fair compensation, and may file more than one lawsuit on your behalf if reasonable settlements are not forthcoming.
Common Truck Crash Hand Injuries
In your hand, there are 27 different bones, many of which are small and delicate. There are also numerous ligaments and tendons that connect those bones and stabilize your knuckles and wrists. This complex system of bones and soft tissue can be severely damaged in a number of ways in a truck accident.
Truck crash victims often instinctively use their hands to brace themselves for protection before impact. When the impact comes, it can dislocate your knuckles, causing pain, redness, swelling, and lost range of motion. If you’re wearing rings and your fingers swell, your circulation could be affected, and your rings might be impossible to remove. A knuckle dislocation that is not promptly repaired can lead to permanent hand damage.
Ligaments connect the bones in your hand and stabilize all the joints there. When the ligaments around your knuckles are sprained, stretched, or torn in a truck wreck, you experience pain, bruising, and swelling. You also lose your range of motion, so you can’t properly open and close your hand as you need to for so many daily activities. Without prompt surgical repair, your hand could heal improperly and cause you permanent pain, discomfort, and incapacity.
Any of the bones in your fingers, palm, or wrist can be broken or crushed as a result of a violent impact in a truck accident. While a crooked or deformed finger is the clearest sign of a broken bone in the hand, other symptoms include pain, tenderness, bruising, swelling, and inability to close your hand or make a fist. Delicate surgical repair and a long recovery period can leave you incapacitated and unable to work or perform basic tasks for months.
Because your hands are your first line of defense in a truck crash, they can easily be pierced by glass, sharp objects, or debris in the interior of your car. Like any open wound, a puncture of the hand should be treated promptly to prevent infection. Stitches may be required.
In the worst cases, a catastrophic truck crash might sever a finger from your hand or your hand from your arm. The impact of the wreck can also crush a finger or hand so badly that it has to be surgically amputated. Obviously, this type of hand injury affects every aspect of your life, leaving you disabled and perhaps in need of a prosthesis, so your claim could be a very expensive one that the insurer wants to avoid paying.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Hand Injuries
Even if you don’t have any of the symptoms described above, you should seek medical attention immediately after a car crash and tell the doctor who treats you if there has been impact or trauma to your hands. Some hand injuries are not evident immediately, but an X-ray, MRI test, or CT scan might reveal hidden problems. A quick and accurate diagnosis enables you to start treatment right away and provides crucial documentation of your truck crash injuries.
As soon as you injure your hand, you should treat it with the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) until you can see a doctor. Once your specific injury is diagnosed, you might continue RICE treatment if the damage to your hand is minor. It could begin to improve within ten days or so. In more serious cases, however, you might require a cast, a brace, or physical therapy to regain normal use of your hand. In severe cases, you could require surgery and need several months to recover completely. Your lawyer can handle all communication with the insurer(s) and oversee the progress of your claim while you focus on getting better.