There are countless injuries that a person may suffer while at work, when hit by a car, or in another type of industrial or personal injury accident type. While injuries like bone fractures, back injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and more are all common–and very serious–there is another tragic type of accident that is possible, yet rarely talked about: a degloving injury.
At the law offices of GJEL Accident Attorneys, we have seen firsthand how serious degloving injuries can be, and have helped clients suffering from this injury type recover compensation for their losses.
What Is a Degloving Injury?
A degloving injury, also called an avulsion injury, is named as such because the skin is peeled away from the hand in a manner that resembles the removal of a glove. Avulsion means the “action of pulling or tearing away,” and when this type of injury occurs, the top layers of the skin are pulled off of the underlying tissues, muscles, and bones. As explained by a piece published in a journal of plastic surgery, when an avulsion injury occurs, the entire musculoskeletal unit of the finger is intact, but the skin has been lost.
Healthline explains that there are two types of degloving injuries: closed and open. An open degloving injury is the type of avulsion injury described above, where the skin is completely ripped away, leaving bone and connective tissues exposed. A closed degloving injury, on the other hand, may not even be visible to the naked eye as this type of injury occurs when the top layer of the skin is separated from deeper tissues, creating a space between the layers. These types of injuries can result in lesions that fill with blood, fat, and lymph fluid, and are caused when the skin is hit with a high level of force.
How Degloving Injuries Occur
The same article published in the medical journal cited above explains that avulsion injuries are caused when the hand is “caught by a force and pulled at a low velocity.” This may occur as the result of a number of different accident and incident types, including:
● Motor vehicle accidents – An avulsion injury may occur in an accident involving a motor vehicle when the tire of the vehicle runs over an outstretched hand.
● Industrial accidents – There are two common types of industrial machines that may lead to an injury characterized by the hand/arm being caught within the machine – the conveyor belt and the roller machine. While the roller machine has a softer surface, thereby limiting the risk of a degloving injury (but increasing the risk of the entire limb being caught, leading to a shoulder injury), the conveyor belt machine has a rough surface, and the skin can be caught upon this surface as such. When pulled, a degloving injury may occur.
● Ring avulsion injuries – Another type of avulsion injury is a ring avulsion injury, in which a single finger is affected as a result of the person’s ring being caught. If a ring is caught and a person is moving quickly, the force that is placed on the ring is equal to the body weight of the individual multiplied by the speed at which they are moving; this is a high amount of force, and can result in the ring degloving the entirety of the finger.
Complications of Degloving Injuries
It is easy to understand how serious degloving injuries may be; anyone can imagine the pain and trauma that would be associated with having one’s skin literally ripped from the bone. Not only is a person at risk of serious pain, they may also have to undergo multiple surgeries to replace skin, and scarring is certain. In addition, however, there are a number of other complications that are also possible, including serious infection.
A person who suffers a degloving injury may also require serious and intensive therapy to improve mobilization and range of use. Surgeries may be necessary to improve both appearance and function of the hand.
There is no doubt that a person who suffers from a degloving injury will incur costly medical bills, will be unable to return to work for an extended period of time while the injury heals, and perhaps longer, and may suffer psychological injuries as well.
Recovering Compensation after a Degloving Injury
Recovering compensation for harm sustained in a degloving injury accident starts with determining how the accident occurred and whose negligence caused the accident. Depending upon the specifics of your case, liable parties might include the driver of a motor vehicle, an employer who breached safety standards, a manufacturer of a defective piece of industrial equipment, and more. When you hire the offices of GJEL Accident Attorneys, we will open a thorough investigation into your case to determine the precise cause of your accident and identify any liable parties. Even if you were harmed on the job and have a workers’ compensation claim, we want to review your case to determine whether or not a third-party liability case against another party is appropriate.
In addition to identifying a liable party, we will help you to prove that your degloving injury would not have occurred but for the negligence of said party. Further, we work with experts who can evaluate your case to determine the value of damages you have suffered. You are entitled to recover both economic and noneconomic damages.
Our lawyers are skilled negotiators and know how to effectively argue for a fair compensation amount. We also have trial experience and are not intimidated by the prospect of going to court in the event that an out-of-court settlement cannot be reached.
Call Our Experienced California Injury Attorneys Today
A degloving injury is a very serious, tragic, and gruesome injury type to suffer. If you are a victim of an avulsion injury, you deserve to be compensated for all of the harm you’ve suffered, and the future damages you’re expected to incur.
When you call our California law offices, we will review your case free of charge, and provide you with sound legal advice. To schedule a consultation, please fill out the contact form on our website today, or call our lawyers directly.