In a car accident, the hands, fingers and wrists are some of the most frequently wounded components of the body. These injuries generally are caused when drivers’ or passengers’ hands or wrists hit objects in the interior of the vehicle during the accident or may occur when the wrist or hand makes impact with the airbags, window, windshield or dashboard or by gripping the steering wheel.  Wrist and hand injuries from auto accidents can be serious and permanent, can impact on your quality of life and can make for a complicated recovery.

Broken wrist and hand injuries from auto accidents vary drastically.  They range from bruises and puncture wounds to damage to bones, ligaments and tendons. The most common are: fractures of the wrist and hand bones; wrist sprains; dislocated joints which if not properly and promptly treated can result in long term damage; damaged tendons which impact the movement of the hand and wrist; broken fingers or hand cuts; and in extreme cases, even amputations.


If you’ve been told that you have a fracture of your wrist, that simply means that you’ve broken your wrist.  There is a common misperception that a fracture is not really a break. However, that is incorrect.  There are 8 bones in your wrist. One of the common types of wrist fractures from a car wreck include a fracture of the distal radius.  This type of break may show that the bone is shattered (comminuted fracture) or that it is a “clean” break.  These injuries are often treated by stabilizing the wrist in a hard cast for 4-6 weeks.  Some of the more severe fractures may require surgery and the placement of pins, screws, or metal plates to hold the bone together to heal properly.  Often wrist fractures have symptoms of severe bruising down the arm or up into the hand, pain and swelling of the wrist, arm and hand, inability to use your arm or wrist, deformity, pain with movement and numb or tingling fingers.


The hand, which is very intricate, consists of 19 bones, excluding the wrist bones. Hand fractures include broken fingers and the long bones in your hand called the metacarpals. X-rays are the most common way to diagnose a hand fracture. Hand fractures may have symptoms of swelling, bruising, tenderness, pain, deformity, and an inability to use your hand. While many fractures can be treated by a cast, some require extensive surgery to stabilize the fractured bones.  Sometimes, pins, wires or plates are used to regain proper alignment of the bones. If surgery is necessary, it can greatly increase the healing time as often the screws or hardware must later be removed.


While most hand and wrist fractures heal completely after a period of several months, a serious hand or wrist injury may have long term consequences.  It is not uncommon for those with hand or wrist injuries to suffer with arthritis, stiffness, deformity, decreased strength, decreased range of motion in the area where the fracture occurred. Many of these symptoms are life-long, permanent and costly.


We use our hands every day. Most jobs require regular use of our hands for typing, writing, handling or operating machinery, even driving a car or other motor vehicles. These are all activities that in some capacity require the use of our hands. An injury to the hand or wrist not only reduces the quality of our private life, but it can also affect our capacity to live as we recover. Drivers owe others on the road a duty of care to drive safely and not cause harm to others. If your arm or hand injury is caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses such as emergency care, physical therapy and prescription drugs, as well as for the loss of past and future income due to the inability to work while recovering as well as an inability to return to your former career.

If you find yourself with a hand or wrist injury after an automobile accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you pursue recovery for your injuries and bring back the quality of your life. While each case is different, we do the best we can to get you the best possible financial settlement.  A lot will depend on the quality of harm and severity of your injuries as well as its impact on your daily life.  The attorneys at Griggs Injury Law will fight to get you the compensation you deserve to help you recover and move forward in your life. Call Annette Griggs at 816-474-0202 for a free consultation.