Everything you need to know about car door injuries

Getting your finger caught when a car door shuts can be severely damaging and extremely painful. If you have experienced a car door finger injury due to no fault, consider consulting a Chicago car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.

The team at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates has a strong background in helping clients with car door injury claims. Contact us for a free consultation today.

car door injuries

How does a car door finger injury happen?

When someone closes a door without checking that the opening is clear, they could overlook a person’s hand in the way. When they crush a finger in a car door, the injury can range from mild to serious. Fingers can also get pinched when a door opens or a rear hatch closes unexpectedly.

Common symptoms include aching,  throbbing pain, and inflammation. Adults could experience bruising, stiffness, and numbness in their fingertips. Children risk amputation of one or more fingers, as well as crushing injuries to their whole hand.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates as many as 132,000 people get hurt every year when a vehicle door closes on a part of their bodies, accounting for 20% of all non-crash injuries. For children under age 14, car door accidents were the primary cause of harm in non-crash incidents.

What should you do if you suffer a finger injury in a car door?

Go to a doctor and seek immediate medical care. This enables you to undergo a medical evaluation and treatment before your injury worsens. Continue to get medical care for your injury, even if you’re involved in litigation. Organize your medical records, as you can use these as evidence to support your request for compensation.

It’s important to also speak with a car door injury attorney soon after your accident to determine if you can seek compensation from an at-fault party. According to 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) 5/13-205, you have only a two-year statute of limitations from the accident date to file a personal injury claim. If you wait too long, the courts may refuse your case.

Who is at fault for a car door injury?

While it’s possible that you accidentally slammed the door on your hand, it is crucial to investigate any situation where others were involved to establish potential liability. For example, a rideshare driver or doorman may have been careless when closing the door before your hands were clear.

Automotive manufacturers may be liable if a defective part or system caused your injury. In December 2023, Ford Motor Company issued a recall due to defective door latches. These doors could open while driving. If a passenger tried to close the door, the door could slam shut on their hand, resulting in finger and hand injuries.

How much is a car door injury case worth?

What your injury case is worth depends on your economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages address items such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation and physical therapy costs
  • Lost wages while you recover
  • Lost future income if you become disabled
  • Medical devices
  • Prescription medications

You may also be able to claim non-economic losses, which address the way your injury has impacted your quality of life. Insurance policies typically do not pay out non-economic damage, so you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation. Non-economic damages often include loss of enjoyment of life, chronic pain, scarring, disfigurement, mental anguish, and emotional distress.

In situations where you make your living with your hands, you could be permanently disabled. Musicians, writers, painters, and tradespeople may need help returning to their previous careers. A skilled personal injury lawyer will help you calculate the full value of your claim and fight aggressively to secure the required settlement.

Speak with a car door injury attorney today

If you are unsure what to do as you cope with a car door injury, legal help is available. The team at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, will assess your case during a free case evaluation and answer your questions about how to proceed. We conduct a full investigation to identify all potentially liable parties and build the strongest case possible.

Our professionals update you on your claim’s progress and educate you so you can make decisions. We review settlement offers and negotiate with insurance companies or opposing attorneys on your behalf. We do this so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Call us at (800) 985-1819 to request a free case consultation, or use our convenient online form to arrange a free consultation today.

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