Visitor Question

Severed Finger While Using an Engine Stand…

Submitted By: Tim (Charlotte, NC, USA)

I was injured after using an engine stand that I own. I went to rotate the engine when the end of my middle finger on my non-dominant hand was severed between the bar used to rotate the engine and the bracket that holds the shelf. I had to have the rest of the distal portion of my finger removed during a revised amputation procedure.

I am a 29 year old residential electrician. I do my own mechanic work and the work for my family and friends, and love to cook, all of which demands a lot out of my hands.

The doctor has already told me I will need to wear gloves due to the fact that my finger is going to be extremely sensitive to cold, seeing as I work in all weather that is a problem. Is there anything I can do? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Tim,


People sometimes don’t realize the importance of even one finger on their hand. In your case to competently comment on your injury and any liability we would need more information.

From the facts you present there may be one or more parties at fault. The first is you, and the second the manufacturer or seller of the product. If we can rule out any negligence on your part then we can get to the next step.

Negligence on your part might be any deviance from the instructions and admonishments from the manufacturer. If you followed the express directions for operating the machine then your liability might be non-existent.

Another factor may be an external influence. This means that although you may have followed the directions of operating the machine, if you introduced alcohol or drugs, legal or illegal into your system on the day of, or the night before the injury you may have lessened, if not eliminated the manufacturer’s and seller’s liability.

You will need to do some research about that machine. You will need to see if there have been other serious injuries resulting from its use. Normally these similar injuries lead to what is commonly referred to as a Product Liability case.

That is, if the machine had a history of malfunctions which resulted in serious injuries to those attempting to operate it, and you were injured as well then you may have a strong case. But here are a couple of caveats…

Let’s say the machine was placed on the market and shortly thereafter the manufacturer sent out a product recall because they found the machine to be defective in one area. Let’s say you received one of the notices and failed to bring it in to be repaired. In a case like that you may have lost your case before you started it.

Additionally, North Carolina law has what is called a 2 year Statute of Limitations on personal injury cases such as this. If the injury to your finger occurred even one day after 2 years from the date of purchase, then you will probably have lost all your rights to recover under the law.

There is a lot to consider in a case like this. It is possible you may be entitled to a substantial amount of money resulting from the manufacture’s product defect.

On the other hand if you didn’t jump through every legal hoop you may be left nothing but an amputated finger and thousands of dollars in medical bills and out of pocket expenses.

You really should consult with a reputable and qualified Personal Injury Attorney. Most reputable attorneys will not charge any fee for an initial consultation in their office. Because of time limitations, it would be in your best interests to seek legal counsel immediately, or as soon as is reasonably possible.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: May 4, 2011

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