Receiving workers’ compensation for hand and/or finger injuries on the job
The human hand is made up of a complex system of muscles, nerves, tendons and bones which allow you to make those finite movements that you need to manage your daily responsibilities. Due to this complexity, it’s possible to develop an injury at work that requires serious medical treatment. What might seem to be a minor accident can turn into a major health emergency when it involves your fingers or hands.
If you experience a job-related hand injury, you should know that you are not alone.
Approximately 1 million accidents involving people’s hands happen each year, and around one-fifth of those occur on the job.
Common finger and hand injuries at work
There are several types of injuries that are likely to happen at work, including lacerations and puncture wounds. Crushing injuries are often difficult to recover from if they lead to broken bones. Severed fingers and wrists also occur, which can be traumatic both physically and emotionally. Dislocated finger and hand joints are common as well.
Lacerations are the most common type of injury; they account for around 60 percent of all hand-related injuries. Chemical exposure, sprains and frostbite are additional injuries that you will want to watch out for at work.
Repetitive stress injuries account for about 20 percent of all hand injuries. These can happen whether you work on a computer or spend hours using a jackhammer. Almost every worker could face a repetitive injury to their hand or wrist.
How to prevent hand injuries in the workplace?
Most work-related hand injuries are preventable. Wearing gloves during potentially dangerous activities can help to protect your skin and bones from cuts and frostbite. Many hand injuries happen during slip-and-fall accidents.
You can take preventative action by keeping workspaces clear of debris and slippery substances. Employers are also responsible for keeping machinery and other equipment in proper condition. Hand accidents often occur when a faulty piece of equipment malfunctions and causes a cut or chemical exposure.
What to do if you hurt your hand or finger at work
If you hurt your hand or fingers at work, you should follow your employer’s guidelines for reporting the claim. In most cases, you will have a certain amount of time to file a claim following your awareness that the injury occurred. For accidents that happen at work, you may also need to comply with requirements for drug and alcohol testing and prove you were seen by a doctor.
Seeking a medical exam is something that you need to do whether you think that you want to file for workers’ compensation or not. The seriousness of a hand injury is not always evident right away, and receiving a major diagnosis could cause you to change your mind about filing a claim.
Hand or finger injury treatments
Hand and finger injury treatments can range from sutures to close a wound to major surgeries to repair or replace crushed bones, or reattach a finger. If you require surgery, then you can also expect therapy sessions to strengthen your hand dexterity. Most injuries also require an extensive rest period during which you might not be able to perform your job duties.
Will a hand injury affect my ability to work in the future?
A hand injury can impact your future earning potential. Being unable to move a finger could leave you unable to do your job duties, and limited hand movement can also put you at risk for another injury. Only your treating physician can tell you about how long you might be out of work or if you’ll be able to return to your former position.
Do Georgia workers’ compensation laws cover hand and finger injuries?
As an employee in Georgia, you do have the benefit of filing a workers’ compensation claim for hand and finger injuries. The amount that you might receive as a settlement varies according to the severity of your injury, along with your medical costs and expectations for returning to work.
The average workers’ comp settlement for a hand injury ranges from $15,000 to $30,000 when people are able to return to work after their recovery. Those who are expected to lose income in the future due to the injury may receive anywhere from $55,000 and up.
Our experienced Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers can help you get the right amount of compensation to fit your situation. At Gerber & Holder, we’ve obtained settlements and compensation for the following past cases:
- A 70-year-old man lost the use of a finger and part of his hand when his finger got caught in the saw he was using to cut a piece of wood.
- A 35-year-old construction worker injured his hand when he fell off a ladder at a construction site. He used his hand to brace himself and fractured it.
- A 66-year-old truck driver lost his finger while checking on the engine of his vehicle.
While past results are no guarantee of the outcome in your unique case, reaching out to our attorneys as soon as possible after your injury occurs allows us to begin building your case to support your claim to the best of our ability. In the meantime, remember to seek prompt medical treatment and follow your treatment plan to help make sure that your hand recovers to the fullest extent.