Wrist fractures and hand injuries are common in crashes.
Whether it's a rear-end accident, T-bone crash, rollover, head-on collision, or another type of crash, just about any type of injury is possible in a car accident - including wrist fractures.
In a collision, the wrist can be fractured by the abrupt and unnatural movements of the body caused by the impact. During a crash, many people extend their arms forward to brace themselves, increasing the risk of wrist injuries. The intense pressure exerted on the wrists can result in fractures, even if other body parts remain unharmed.
Wrist fractures are serious car accident injuries that deserve serious attention. Recovering from a wrist fracture may require long-term physical therapy and surgery and make everyday tasks painful or impossible to complete. For example, turning a door knob, carrying more than 10 pounds, using the bathroom, and manipulating buttons can be agonizing with a wrist fracture.
Types of wrist fractures
A crash can cause anything from minor hairline wrist fractures to more severe full breaks or dislocations. The injury may be stable or unstable. It could also be an "open" break. Wrist fractures in a car accident are usually one of two kinds:
- Colles fracture. The distal radius bone, near the wrist joint, commonly breaks in car accidents.
- Scaphoid fracture. The scaphoid bone near the base of the thumb is susceptible to fractures due to the forceful impact.
Common symptoms of a broken wrist
Common signs and symptoms of a crash-related wrist fracture include:
- Pain and swelling. Persistent pain and swelling in the wrist after a car accident may indicate a fracture. The pain may worsen with movement or when pressure is applied.
- Deformity or misalignment. Visible changes in the wrist joint is a clear sign of a fracture.
- Bruising and discoloration. Ruptured blood vessels during a wrist fracture can lead to bruising and discoloration around the injured area.
- Limited range of motion. Fractures can restrict the movement of the wrist joint, causing difficulty, pain, stiffness, and immobility.
- Numbness or tingling. Nerve damage resulting from a wrist fracture may cause numbness or tingling sensations in the fingers or hand.
Dealing with the insurance company
When dealing with an insurance claim for a wrist fracture sustained in a car accident, it's important to understand that insurance companies have a vested interest in minimizing their financial liability. While not all insurance companies engage in unfair practices, here are some ways they may try to limit or deny your claim:
Saying your injury is a pre-existing condition: The insurance company might argue that your wrist fracture was a pre-existing condition or an injury unrelated to the car accident. They may try to analyze your medical records for any previous instances of wrist problems or seek to prove that the fracture occurred before the accident.
Saying you waited too long to seek medical treatment: If there was a significant gap between the accident and seeking medical treatment for your wrist fracture, the insurance company could use this delay to argue that your injury was not directly caused by the accident or not as severe as you claim. They may contend that the injury could have occurred later from another incident.
Blaming you for the accident: The insurance company may try to establish that you were partially at fault for the accident. By shifting blame, they can reduce the amount of compensation you're entitled to based on the percentage of fault assigned to you.
Delaying your claim with document requests: Insurance companies may request extensive documentation to support your claim, such as medical records, accident reports, and witness statements. If you fail to provide adequate evidence or miss important deadlines, they may use this as a reason to deny or limit your claim.
Lowball settlement offers: To avoid a lengthy legal process, the insurance company may offer you a quick settlement that is significantly lower than the actual value of your claim. They hope that you'll accept the offer out of convenience or financial necessity.
Remember, insurance companies have a legal obligation to act in good faith and handle claims fairly. If you encounter any of these tactics or face an unfair denial or limitation of your claim, it's crucial to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Smitiuch Injury Law is here to help
If you or a loved one sustained a wrist fracture in a car accident, seeking legal help can make a meaningful difference in the outcome of your case. At Smitiuch Injury Law, our experienced Toronto car accident lawyers can guide you through the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.