Laceration Accidents: Lawsuits & Compensation
Lacerations are skin cuts caused by blunt trauma as opposed to sharp objects, like glass shards. In workplace accidents, auto accidents, and other incidents, individuals may suffer from lacerations that lead to long-term physical pain or disability. Due to their causes, many lacerations are jagged, irregular, or contaminated and long-term physical recovery is not uncommon.
When a laceration accident occurs due to another’s negligence, victims may be eligible for compensation that helps pay for past and future medical expenses, lost past and future wages, pain, suffering, and other damages.
Causes of Laceration Accidents
Many laceration accidents occur in the workplace. In fact, the Association Management Group indicates that around 30% of all workplace accidents involve cuts and/or lacerations. About 70% of those cuts or lacerations occur to the hands or fingers.
Workplace accidents involving machinery, especially when sharp instrumentation is involved, could lead to employees cutting their hands or fingers by accident. In addition, data from OSHA indicates that workers between the ages of 16 and 19 report the largest proportion of lacerations compared to other age groups of workers.
But for all age groups, cuts and lacerations result in more days away from work – and lost income for the victims – than most other types of common workplace injuries, with the exceptions of fractures or more severe incidents.
In addition to workplace accidents, laceration injuries can occur from:
- Auto accidents and motorcycle accidents, in which victims can suffer blunt force trauma to many areas of the body
- Slip and fall accidents, especially if there are other hazards in the area
- Assaults or personal injuries during a physical altercation with another person
According to the National Safety Council, there is an average of around 120,000 hand injuries, 83% of which are caused by lacerations, cuts, and punctures, each year.
When Does Negligence Cause Laceration Accidents?
“Negligence” in the legal sense means that an individual or party acted in a manner contrary to common sense and demonstrably ignored their assumed or stated duties to others. Negligence may be used in a laceration accident case to prove fault for a victim’s injuries. But negligence may only be proven if the accused party’s actions directly led to the laceration or other injuries.
Some examples of negligence leading to laceration accidents include:
- A distracted driver is texting while driving and causes an accident. The victim of the accident has their hands lacerated by debris, so the distracted driver’s negligence is directly related to the injuries.
- A construction company fails to provide safe equipment for a carpenter, who cuts his hand on a table saw that was not properly maintained or replaced. The employer is directly responsible for the laceration injury.
- A storefront does not clean up a mess of broken glass and fluid. A customer slips on the fluid and cuts their hands on the broken glass, leading to lacerations. The store does not fulfill its responsibility to clean up the mess and/or warn customers.
Each of these incidents may be grounds for a successful laceration accident lawsuit.
Types of Laceration Injuries
There are several major types of laceration injuries, including:
- Superficial lacerations, which affect only the surface layer of the skin. These minor injuries do not typically involve penetration of blood vessels
- Deep lacerations, which affect all layers of the skin and often lead to bleeding
- Clean lacerations, which occur when dirt or other contaminants are not introduced into the wound site
- Complicated lacerations, which are lacerations that may involve underlying tissues such as organs, nerves, tendons, muscles, etc.
Regardless, almost all serious laceration injuries require a visit to the hospital or another medical center. Such a visit may incur high medical fees depending on the severity of the injury, the length of time spent at the hospital, and more.
Laceration injuries, furthermore, may lead to lack of mobility, loss of income due to needing to take off time from work, physical pain and discomfort, and so on.
Laceration vs. Contusion vs. Abrasion
Lacerations, though similar to other skin or cut-type injuries, are not the same things as contusions or abrasions.
Lacerations are only caused by blunt force trauma that leaves a skin tear. Most lacerations have an irregular shape. Contusions are bruises that develop when the skin itself hemorrhages blood into the underlying skin layers.
Abrasions, meanwhile, are skin injuries that occur when the skin is scraped or worn away against a rough surface, such as glass, asphalt, and more.
Filing a Laceration Accident Lawsuit
Lacerations can be very serious and even debilitating in some cases. Individuals who suffer from laceration injuries may face high medical expenses, loss of time at work, and severe pain. But they may be able to file a laceration accident lawsuit or related lawsuit, like an auto accident or personal injury lawsuit, with the right legal assistance.
Filing a successful laceration accident lawsuit is contingent on proving negligence on the part of the accused party. This involves:
- Gathering evidence directly showing the negligence of the accused party
- Presenting evidence in a timely manner to avoid the statute of limitations
- And more
Because laceration accident lawsuits may be complex, hiring skilled legal representation is always a good idea.
Compensation for a Laceration Accident Lawsuit
The compensation for a successful laceration accident lawsuit can vary. But it may range from the thousands into the hundreds of thousands of dollars or even more to compensate victims for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Loss of ability or functionality (if the laceration injury was serious enough)
- And more
A successful laceration accident lawsuit is never guaranteed. That’s why laceration injury victims should contact Sobo & Sobo as soon as they are able.