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Mobile Phone Injuries

15 July 2019

Blog, Personal Injury

Injured by a mobile phone in the last 3 years? You could be entitled to compensation!

Or maybe not. The fact is, personal injuries caused by use of smartphones are pretty much avoidable. Now that technology is an integral part of our lives, it only makes sense that tech-related injuries are on the rise (an astonishing 41% of us have had an accident relating to our smartphones). You can take precautions to avoid eye strain and carpal tunnel syndrome, but some injuries may be inevitable (no matter how ergonomic your keyboard is). But there’s a big difference between a data entry specialist getting carpal tunnel syndrome and you getting a repetitive strain injury in your thumb because you were playing too much Candy Crush. Here are some smartphone injuries, or “i-injuries” as they are commonly known, that are avoidable (and usually our fault):

Phone in the face

You are not the only person who has suffered a black eye because you dropped your phone on your face while texting in bed. According to a recent study commissioned by a leading personal injury claims company, a whopping 60 percent of 16-24 year olds are in the same boat.

Walking with a phone

Let’s face it, human beings cannot walk and perform other mentally-challenging tasks, such as texting, simultaneously. According to a recent report, pedestrian accidents and fatalities are on the rise because we are just that terrible at walking. In fact, 43% of us have walked into something or someone while texting, surfing the net, chatting on the phone or listening to music. Viral clips on the internet show ‘smartphone zombies’ falling into fountains or onto tube tracks whilst glued to their screens.

Tech neck

As you get older, your body starts to hurt. You might have back pain, knee pain, or even neck pain—regular wear and tear (degenerative changes) can’t be avoided. But by “older,” we’re talking 55 plus, not 25. If you’re a millennial with back or neck pain, it’s probably because you spend too much time hunched over your phone.

Phone madness

Technology makes people insane. Saving money on technology makes people even more insane. In 2013, at least 20 people were injured when a frenzied South Korean mob tried to grab vouchers for a free LG phone.

Repetitive strain injuries

Think you can’t get carpal tunnel from your phone? Think again. Repetitive strain injuries don’t just affect your wrists. A recent medical case study revealed how a 29-year-old man ruptured a tendon in his left thumb from playing too much Candy Crush. The clinical diagnosis was “rupture of the left extensor pollicis longus tendon”. Twitter users have shared photos of how their pinky fingers are bent, dented, and deformed thanks to too-big smartphones. Some medical experts suggest these dents are temporary, but hand surgeon Rachel Rohde warns that these dents could be a sign of a different condition: Dupuytren’s contracture, which causes certain tissues in the hand to stiffen. You have been warned!

Selfie & selfie stick deaths

The current craze of people wanting sensational shots of themselves in unusual or dangerous places in order to win likes from their followers has proved a risky activity for many. In 2015 more people died taking selfies than from shark attacks. Selfies alone have been known to kill people, so what could possibly go wrong if we introduce a four-foot-long metal rod into the picture? Nothing, right? Selfie sticks are also pretty dangerous. In 2015, a person was struck by lightning and killed while holding a selfie stick (the stick attracted the lightning, naturally), while another person ended up crashing his car because he was trying to get the perfect selfie (on a stick).

Beware charging cables

We’re so dependent on smartphones that we can’t go anywhere without our trusty charging cable. But charging cables are dangerous, especially when they’re attached to a £500 emotionally priceless object. How many times have you tripped over your phone cable and taken the fall because you’d rather hurt yourself than your phone? Despite its simple look, the inside of a charging cable is quite sophisticated. Nevertheless, professionals have proved that most devices can be reverse engineered in a matter of days, built and sold for a lower price. While most third-party chargers are probably safe, there have been reports of people experiencing electric shocks caused by malfunctioning counterfeit chargers. In a recent case, a Chinese woman was electrocuted and died when using her phone that was plugged in with a counterfeit charger, according to news reports.

Glass is actually rather sharp

We’ve all suffered from a broken phone screen, but some of us have really suffered the consequences. Let’s just say that the glass on smartphones is still glass, which means it’s pretty darn sharp when it’s broken. Would you swipe your finger across a broken window? Of course not. A senior sister in emergency care at a leading London hospital, reports that she not infrequently has had to remove shards of glass from patients’ bottoms after the screen of a smartphone in their back pocket has shattered in a high impact accident. Her informal and useful advice is to place the phone in your back pocket, screen side out.

It’s oh so quiet

Headphones may be one of the few remaining escapes from the noise around us today, but they are not an escape from accidents. Studies have shown the number of traffic accidents involving pedestrians wearing headphones are growing. A review of accidents reported in national news reports as well as injury databases between 2004 and 2011 found 116 accident cases in which pedestrians were injured while using headphones. In 70 percent of these accidents, the pedestrian died. The majority of victims were male and under 30 years old. More than half of the accidents were caused by trains, and nearly one-third of the vehicles reported sounding some type of warning horn before the crash. In 2018, teenager was electrocuted to death while listening to headphones from a plugged-in mobile phone. Sixteen-year-old Mohd Aidi Azzhar Zahrin was discovered by his mother at their home in the town of Rembau, Malaysia.

If you’ve been injured in an accident that was wasn’t your fault , call our personal injury team now (but make sure you’re sitting down first!) on 01482 323697


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