Can I Recover Compensation for a Steering Wheel Injury After a Crash?

Steering wheelColliding with the steering wheel during a crash can cause severe injuries to accident victims, including broken bones, internal injuries and contusions. If you have experienced a steering wheel injury in an accident, it is crucial to understand the process of filing an insurance claim to seek compensation for your damages.

Below, we discuss the common types of steering wheel injuries, how they occur and who may be held liable for damages.

If you have any questions about your rights after an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, call our Sacramento auto collision attorneys today. We offer a free legal consultation. There are also no upfront fees if you decide to work with us.

What Are the Most Common Types of Steering Wheel Injuries?

There are a range of injuries that can be caused by colliding with the steering wheel during a crash. Each type of injury requires proper diagnosis, medical treatment and ongoing care to ensure the best possible recovery.

Broken Bones and Fractures

When a collision occurs, the force exerted on the steering wheel can be significant, leading to fractures and breaks in the hands, wrists, fingers and arms. The impact may cause the bones to crack or completely break, resulting in severe pain, swelling and limited mobility.

Fractures and broken bones require X-rays, setting the bones and sometimes surgical intervention. The recovery period can be long, involving immobilization, physical therapy and rehabilitation to regain strength and function.

Internal Injuries

The impact of hitting the steering wheel can cause internal injuries. While they may not be immediately noticeable, they can have serious long-term consequences. The sudden force exerted on the body can lead to organ damage, internal bleeding or bruising. In some cases, the force can rupture organs, such as the spleen or liver, leading to life-threatening situations. Internal injuries are generally only diagnosed with imaging tests, such as CT scans or ultrasounds. Treatment may involve surgery to repair or remove damaged organs. Other types of intensive medical care may also be needed throughout the recovery process.

Soft-Tissue Injuries

Steering wheel injuries can also result in damage to soft tissues, which include muscles, tendons and ligaments. The impact can cause sprains, strains and deep tissue bruises.

Sprains occur when the ligaments connecting bones are stretched or torn, while strains involve damage to muscles or tendons. These injuries can be painful, causing swelling, stiffness and a limited range of motion.

Deep tissue bruises, known as contusions, occur when blood vessels rupture beneath the skin’s surface, leading to discoloration and tenderness.

Soft-tissue injuries may require conservative treatment, such as rest, ice, compression and elevation, along with physical therapy and pain management techniques. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair damaged tissues.

How Do Steering Wheel Injuries Occur?

When a vehicle collides with another vehicle or object, it experiences rapid deceleration. However, the occupants of the vehicle tend to keep moving forward due to inertia. This sudden deceleration can cause the occupants to be forcefully propelled towards the front of the vehicle. If the driver is not properly restrained by a seat belt, he or she can be thrown into the steering wheel. The faster a vehicle was travelling, the greater the risk of colliding with the steering wheel.

The severity of steering wheel injuries can also depend on the position of the driver at the time of impact. Drivers who sit closer to the steering wheel or have their hands positioned in a certain way on it are at a higher risk of sustaining injuries during a collision. The position of the body and limbs at the moment of impact can determine which body parts come into contact with the steering wheel.

Airbags are designed to deploy rapidly in the event of a collision and act as a cushion between the individual and the steering wheel, reducing the likelihood of direct contact. However, if the airbag fails to deploy or if the collision occurs at an angle where the airbag does not adequately protect the individual, the risk of steering wheel injuries increases.

Who May Be Liable for My Steering Wheel Injuries?

Generally, liability for steering wheel injuries falls on the driver whose negligent actions resulted in the collision.

To prove another driver acted negligently and caused the crash, your attorney will need to investigate the accident and gather necessary evidence to prove the other driver is at fault. This can be done by getting a copy of the police report, which should have the responding officer’s preliminary findings on what caused the collision. Your attorney may also get statements from eyewitnesses who may help establish how the crash occurred. If necessary, damage to the involved vehicles and the type of injuries suffered in the accident may also be evaluated to determine fault for the crash by expert witnesses, like your treating doctor or an accident reconstructionist.

In some rare cases, fault for steering wheel injuries may fall on the vehicle manufacturer. However, for this to occur, your attorney must be able to prove that you were injured because of some defect in your vehicle. For example, if the airbags failed to deploy in the collision and you hit your head on the steering wheel.

Call an Experienced Attorney Today

If you suffered a steering wheel injury due to the negligent actions of another party, you should seek legal assistance from our experienced attorneys.

We are prepared to help you navigate the complex legal process, gather evidence to support your claim and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If necessary, our attorneys are also ready to file a lawsuit to pursue the compensation you need.

Call 916-777-7777 today to schedule a free consultation.