If someone’s negligence caused your thumb fracture, you may be entitled to compensation.
A fractured thumb is a big deal. It impacts your ability to grip things, which impacts your ability to enjoy life. This increases the value of your claim for loss of enjoyment of life.
Many jobs require the use of your thumb. If you can’t use your thumb, you may be unable to work. Thus, you may also have a lost wage claim.
A broken thumb can increase your risk of getting arthritis later down the line. If a doctor says that your thumb fracture increases your chance of getting arthritis later in life, this increases the full value of your case.
Let’s look at a couple of thumb fracture settlements.
$100K Settlement for Thumb Injury (Miami Car Accident)
A driver of a car carelessly drove the car into a wall. The crash occurred in Miami, Florida.
The passenger injured his thumb. I represented him. I made a claim against the driver’s insurance.
He had surgery to fix his thumb. I settled the case for $100,000 with the driver’s insurance company, The Hartford.
$10K Settlement for Thumb Fracture from Car Accident (Miami)
A pedestrian was walking in a crosswalk in Little Havana, Miami-Dade County, Florida. A driver of a car hit the pedestrian.
She hired me shortly after the accident. Here is a photo of her (in my office) with a sling for her shoulder injury.
As you can see from the photo, she has bruising on her left arm. Accident victims should take photos of any bruising of their arm. The victim can use this if the insurance company tries to argue that the claimant had the injury before the accident.
Specifically, her shoulder fracture was an impacted comminuted fracture of the humeral neck. There was displacement of the greater tuberosity.
Her finger fractures were nondisplaced transverse fractures of the proximal metaphysis of the proximal and distal phalanges of the thumb.
Who paid the pedestrian’s medical bills?
The pedestrian didn’t own a car. She didn’t live a relative who owned a car. Thus, she was able to get $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance benefits from the insurance company of the driver who hit her.
United Auto Insurance Company insured the car that hit her. Therefore, they paid $10,000 directly to her medical providers for her medical bills. This left her owing very little in medical bills.
Additionally, United Auto Insurance Company insured the at fault driver with a $10,000 BIL insurance policy. United Auto paid us the $10,000 BIL limits to settle her personal injury claim.
The settlement check is below:
She was very happy with her portion of the settlement. After my attorney’s fees, she received almost the entire settlement. Here is a picture of her and Attorney Justin Ziegler after we gave her the settlement check:
Unfortunately, the driver wasn’t driving for Uber or Lyft that would have given him more insurance coverage. Our client didn’t own a car or live with relatives. Thus, she wasn’t entitled to uninsured motorist insurance.
The thumb is made up of two bones. The first bone is called the distal phalange. It goes from the tip of the thumb down to the knuckle.
The 2nd bone is called the proximal phalange. It goes from the knuckle to the bottom of your thumb. This is the location of the webbed area in the middle of the first finger and the thumb.
The thumb joins with your bone in the hand called the metacarpal.
A break can happen in any of the bones that I described above. The worst fractures happen close to the joints.
These breaks are worth more. This is because, in part, you have more pain and suffering associated with these breaks.
As I said, the most serious breaks happen at the base of thumb close to the wrist.
Types of Thumb Fractures
There are many different types of thumb fractures.
Rolando and Bennett fractures are breaks at your thumb’s base. They affect the joint between a certain wrist bone and the thumb metacarpal.
Breaks that involve the joints are always harder to treat. They have a higher chance of a bad outcome.
In a personal injury case, the more unfavorable the outcome, the higher the full settlement value of the case. This is because an unfavorable outcome means that you’ve had or will have more pain and suffering.
Some types of thumb fractures are:
- Intra-articular Comminuted
- Extra-articular Transverse
- Extra-articular Oblique
- Intra-articular Bennett
- Intra-articular Rolando
Breaks may also happen in the long part of your bone that is known as the metacarpal shaft.
Cause of Thumb Fractures
Thumb breaks are often caused by a direct impact, like a fall. Some breaks can be caused from twisting.
If you have calcium deficiency or bone disease, you have a higher chance of fracturing your thumb. If you one of these conditions, and someone’s negligence caused your thumb fracture, you may be entitled to compensation.
You aren’t penalized because you had one of these pre-existing issues that made you higher at risk for a fracture.
Pain and Suffering
Signs that you may have a broken thumb are:
- Cold feeling or no feeling in your thumb
- An odd-looking thumb
- Very sensitive to touch
- Decreased or unable to move your thumb
- Horrible pain at the break area
Should You Go To The Doctor if You Have a Thumb Injury?
Yes. If you think that you fractured or injured your thumb, you should go to the doctor. If you delay getting medical treatment, it may make it harder to align the bones correctly, because of additional swelling. You may wind up with a bad result.
The responsible party’s insurance company will argue that your case value should be decreased by any issues that could’ve been avoided if you went to the doctor as soon as possible.
The doctor may give you a padded splint to stop the bone from shifting more out of place. If the doctor suggests a splint and you don’t use it, and your injury is worsened as a result, the insurance company will argue that your case value should be decreased for any issues that would’ve been avoided if you wore the splint.
The doctor will ask you how the injury happened. Assume that he or she will write down every word that you say, so choose your words wisely.
This is true even if the doctor doesn’t have your chart with him. If the doctor isn’t taking notes while examining you, he or she will write notes down after looking at your injury.
Treatment Without Surgery
If the bone fragments of the fracture haven’t moved (displaced) a lot, or if the fracture is in the middle (shaft) of your bone, the doctor may be able to use a uniquely designed cast called a spica cast. It holds the bone fragments in location.
If you don’t get surgery, the full value of the case is smaller.
Whether you need surgery will depend upon where the fracture is located, and how much movement there is between the broken pieces of the bone.
If you get surgery, it increases the full value of the case for settlement purposes. If the doctor operates on your broken thumb, he or she will either use a device:
- Inside your thumb that holds the bone fragments together. (Internal fixation)
- Outside your thumb that holds the bone fragments together. (External fixation)
If your bones stay in a fixed position, broken thumbs usually heal well. This results in a smaller settlement because you’re not left with much of a disability.
If you’re thumb gets infected around the surgical wound, this increases the full value of your case.
Just like any injured joint, you have a higher chance of getting arthritis after a thumb fracture. This can reduce motion and decrease strength in your thumb.
If your doctor says that you have an increased chance of getting arthritis due to the thumb fracture, this increases the full value of your case.
Are thumb fractures worth more than finger fractures?
All things equal, the doctor will give you a higher impairment rating for a broken thumb as opposed to a broken finger. Thus, thumb fractures generally have a higher full settlement value than finger fracture cases.
I’ve settled many Florida personal injury cases for clients who’ve injured their thumb.
Did someone’s carelessness cause your injury in an accident in Florida, or on a cruise or boat?
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