Suffering a hand injury on the job can be not just painful, but also extremely frustrating to the point that you may not be able to perform everyday tasks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), each year, 1 million employees nationwide need emergency medical care because of a severe hand injury. Another recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor found that about 23% of all on-the-job injuries involved injuries to the hand or fingers, making hand injuries the most frequent injuries that are preventable. After neck and back injuries at work, hand injuries are also the most common reason why employees miss work, statistics show.
If you have suffered a hand injury at work, you may be able to seek workers' compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and a portion of lost wages In some cases, you may be able to file a third-party claim against a person or entity that is not your employer. Our experienced California work injury lawyers can advice you regarding how to maximize your compensation.
What is the Average Workers' Compensation for Hand Injuries?
The average workers' compensation settlement in California for hand injury claims could range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars or more, depending on the nature and extent of your injuries. You could receive significantly more compensation if your injuries are catastrophic and if you are unable to return to your prior job. Your settlement is likely to be higher if you injured your thumb, index or middle fingers as opposed to your ring or little fingers.
What Factors Affect Compensation in Hand Injury Cases?
There are a number of factors that could have an impact on the value or worth of your work-related hand injury case including:
Your job: If your job requires use of your hands, there is the likelihood of a larger settlement because you may have to change careers. For example, if you are a chef or work in a processing plant, it may not be possible to return to work if you do not have use of your hands.
Dominant hand: If you have suffered an injury to your dominant hand, your settlement value will probably be higher because you will be limited in the use of that hand, and that could affect how effectively you can do your job.
Your earnings: Workers' compensation as well as personal injury settlements are based on your earnings prior to your injury. The more you earned, the higher the potential settlement value will be.
Extent of treatment: If you needed surgery to fix your hand injury, it is more likely that your settlement value would increase since it means that your injury was severe and required surgical intervention.
Level of impairment: If you have been impaired, disabled or disfigured permanently as a result of the hand injury, that would increase your settlement value. If your permanent disability prevents you from performing the job you had prior to the injury, you can demand more compensation through settlement.
Future medical treatment: The more treatment you need for your hand injury, the higher the potential settlement value will be. If you need additional surgery, physical therapy, occupational therapy, vocational training, home or vehicle modifications or prescription medication, all that must to be included in the settlement value.
Psychological effects: Depending on the nature and extent of your injuries, if you developed psychological issues from the trauma such as depression or anxiety, you may be entitled to more compensation.
Common Hand Injuries at Work
Here are some of the most common hand injuries suffered on the job:
- Broken bones, particularly fractured fingers
- Fingertip or finger amputations
- Lacerations or cuts
- Avulsion fractures, where a piece of bone attached to a tendon or ligament ruptures.
- Burn injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Nerve damage including carpal tunnel syndrome
- Amputation or loss of one's hand
- Degloving injury, if the hand gets caught in machinery
Some of the workers who face the highest risk of a work-related hand injury include construction workers, those who operate heavy equipment or machinery, manufacturing workers, warehouse employees, and cooks and other restaurant workers who may suffer scalding accidents or burning injuries.
Why Work-Related Hand Injuries Occur
These types of preventable injuries often happen because of dangerous working conditions. For example, when workers are not provided with safety features such as guards on equipment, there is an increased risk of a hand injury. It is also important that work areas are well lit and machinery is properly serviced and maintained to avoid malfunctions. Not providing workers with job and safety training is also a common cause of work-related hand injuries. If you have sustained a hand injury on the job, it is important that you contact an experienced Los Angeles work injury lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.
Our Los Angeles Work Injury Lawyer Can Help
At Greenberg & Ruby Injury Attorneys, APC our work injury lawyers in Los Angeles have the knowledge and experience to help you secure maximum compensation after a work-related hand injury. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay any fees unless we secure compensation for you. Call us today for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.