What is the leading cause of hand injuries?
Hand injuries range from minor cuts, and bruises to fractures, dislocations and even dismemberment. The pain from such injuries can be incapacitating since we as humans rely on them to perform our daily tasks. So, it can prevent you from working, and carrying out everyday tasks. That is why US workers’ compensation law covers all types of hand injuries.
Hand injuries are often the result of improper safety measures. Many times an employee may injure their hand either because they weren’t paying attention or because they weren’t wearing the right safety gear like gloves. As per US law, it is up to the employer to provide workers with all the necessary safety equipment which protects their most vulnerable body parts. It goes without saying since everyone from construction workers to forklift operators and people working at a product assembly plant use their hands; it is amongst the most vulnerable body parts.
Some common causes of hand injuries are:
- Being crushed by a machine like a hydraulic press
- The hand getting cut by a sharp blade like a buzz saw
- Fractures resulting from falls which could be because of improper safety protocols at a construction site or factor
- Dismemberment by a cutting machine often the case in industries like carpentry, construction, and manufacturing
Most common injuries
What can you expect in the way of compensation?
It is important to note that a hand injury is covered by the standard workers’ compensation law. The compensation law states that all workers are entitled to compensation if a workplace injury leaves them out of work for more than five days. However, there is no single set amount when it comes to compensation. What you receive will primarily depend on the nature of your hand injury, and the number of days you miss work. The compensation may also include partial weekly salary for all the weeks you miss work.
It is important that you submit a detailed medical report to support your hand injury claim. You will also need eye-witnesses who can testify that the injury took place at work. Plus, the injury should have occurred when working and not at some other time like during the lunch hour or when going back home.
In most cases you can expect to receive:
- Lost wages are generally compensated at 2/3rd of what you would have otherwise make each week.
- All related medical expenses will be paid for the employer or their insurance company.
- In the case of permanent disability, a fixed compensation may be paid out based on a number of different variables.
How to claim hand injury compensation?
The work-related injury needs to be reported right away. One of the biggest mistakes we see workers making is not reporting the injury to the employer and subsequently to the insurance company. Waiting too long to file a claim makes it difficult to get rightful compensation. You also run the risk of losing benefits.
Claiming injury compensation will require that you follow a similar process as outlined below. However, depending on where you live the process may be slightly different.
- Inform your supervisor as soon as your hand is injured and seek medical attention.
- Fill out an official claim form describing your injury and how it happened ideally within 21 days of the accident.
- Provide your employer with all the relevant medical reports like x-rays, and doctor’s assessments.
- Provide a list of possible witnesses to the accident. In most cases, employers will use CCTV footage to determine how the accident happened.
Now sometimes despite providing all of the above information your employer or the associated insurance adjuster may try to wrestle you out of making a claim. Some employers are known to use intimidation. If you encounter any of these issues, it is essential to get a workers’ compensation attorney onboard. The sooner you do that, the higher your odds of seeking compensation and if applicable even damages.
|Hand injury claim calculator|
|Severe hand injuries where most of the hand has been crushed and amputated.||$95000 to $110000|
|When a hand’s capability has been reduced by 50%. Can usually be caused by finger amputation, nerve damage, etc.||$28000 to $61000|
|Less Severe hand injuries.||$14000 to $28000|
|Moderate hand injuries||$5000 to $13000|
|Minor hand injuries like cuts and other forms of tissue damage. Usually, the victim recovers within a couple of months||$900 to $4500|
|Note: All figures mentioned are approximates. Even if they are good in one jurisdiction, they may not be appropriate in another. And the facts of your situation may make these figures inappropriate for you. They are for informational purposes only.||-|
|Who can apply for compensation?|
Anyone who has injured their hand when working
Any worker whose hand’s have been crushed by a machine when operating it at work
Any worker who has lost the feeling or ability to use his or her hand owing to an accident at work
Any worker who needs months of recovery time due to a dislocation or amputation of their hand or fingers which occurred at work