A broken wrist bone is a common car accident injury. Drivers often extend their hands to brace themselves in a crash, and the wrists take the brunt of the impact. The injury leads to pain and swelling around the wrist joint.
A broken wrist is a break in the radius bone of the arm about an inch above the wrist joint, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Types of broken wrists after a car accident also include breaks within the bone of the wrist joint or to have a break in both the radius and the ulna bones.
Those with osteoporosis are more at risk for broken wrists – and other fractures – than others. If another motorist is to blame for your broken wrist from a car accident, you can pursue compensation by filing a personal injury claim through their insurance.
Treating a Broken Wrist
Treatment for a broken wrist usually involves a cast or splint. The cast or splint is kept on the wrist for about six weeks after the injury to help the reunion of the bones, according to the AAOS. A doctor may need to perform reduction, a procedure where he or she realigns the bones before applying the cast or splint.
Open fractures, where the bone penetrates through the skin, and comminuted fractures, where the bone breaks in two or more places, are usually more serious than common radius fractures. If the doctor believes that the injury is more serious, he or she may have to perform a surgical procedure to help the bones rejoin.
This may involve installation of an external fixator on the outside of the wrist to help hold two or more pieces of bone together while reunion takes place. Pins, plates, screws and wires are also used internally during surgical procedures to set the bone fragments.
After six weeks in a cast, it may take patients several months or more to return to normal activity. Depending on the severity of the break, the patient may need to attend physical therapy to build strength in the joint and arm.
There may be some residual pain in the years after the break. This pain usually subsides and doesn’t affect normal living; however, in some cases, complex regional pain syndrome can develop near the break, reports the AAOS.
Filing an Insurance Claim after an Accident
After a car accident, medical payments, uninsured/underinsured motorist, health insurance or the other driver’s liability insurance can help pay for the costs of treatment. Which type of coverage is appropriate will depend on the circumstances of the accident.
As Indiana is an at-fault state, many drivers file a claim with the at-fault driver’s liability insurance to recover compensation. After filing a claim, the insurance company performs an investigation of the insured’s liability.
Whichever coverage is appropriate, accident victims who suffered a broken wrist bone can pursue compensation for the damages they’ve suffered. This may include medical costs for emergency department care, any costs associated with treating the broken wrist (cast, traction, etc.), and more. Workers who are unable to perform their job duties and must miss work while recovering may seek compensation for their lost wages.
Legal Options for Pursuing Compensation After an Indiana Car Accident
Drivers considering filing a lawsuit or who have suffered serious injuries in a car accident should contact a car accident attorney to review their cases and help them present strong claims. Hensley Legal Group handles car accident cases across Indiana. Contact our office for free consultation today.