No matter how we make our living, whether it’s in construction or working at an office, most of us use our hands every day to do our jobs. It’s no wonder, then, that hand injuries are some of the most common injuries people suffer at work and the source of many workers’ compensation claims. These injuries can be the result of an accident, but they can also happen due to repetitive stress on your hands over time.
Depending on the extent of your injury, you may need to miss several weeks of work. In some cases, you might even need to find a new job or seek disability benefits because you cannot do any job. Many hand and finger can make many routine tasks much more challenging.
If you’ve suffered a work-related injury to your hands or fingers, the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyers at Calhoon and Kaminsky P.C. can help. Our veteran workers’ comp attorneys have spent more than 20 years fighting on behalf of injured workers to get them the benefits they deserve.
Unlike many law firms, workers’ compensation cases are all we do, giving us deep knowledge and experience that we rely on to help you. Our aggressive advocacy and commitment to our clients have led us to recover more than $221 million for injured workers and their families.
Workers’ compensation cases can be time-consuming and complex, so it’s best to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible after you’ve been injured. You can speak to a member of our team and get a free initial consultation today by calling one of our offices or visiting our contact page.
What Is the Average Workers’ Comp Settlement for a Hand Injury?
It’s hard to say what the “average” workers’ compensation settlement is for hand injuries because every workers’ compensation case is different.
How much you could receive will vary greatly depending on the circumstances of your injury and other factors, such as:
- The type of injury you sustained
- Your average wages
- How much time off from work you miss due to your injuries
- The level of medical care you need to repair your injured hand or finger
- The maximum level of medical improvement you could reach after treatment
- Whether your injury qualifies you for partial or total disability benefits
To give yourself the best chance at recovering the maximum amount of compensation for your injury, you’ll want to speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as quickly as possible. If you don’t, you could miss out on certain benefits or have your claim denied altogether, leaving you in a difficult spot at a moment when you’re already injured.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Hand Injuries
Pennsylvania law requires any business with one or more employees to carry workers’ compensation coverage. Most employees, including seasonal and part-time workers, are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that as long as the injury is related to your job and you sustained the injury, you are entitled to compensation, regardless of whose fault the injury was.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor & Industry explains that injured workers may be eligible for the following benefits:
If you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, your employer is required to pay for reasonable surgical and medical services stemming from your work-related accident. Medical benefits also include payment for any of the following needs:
- Hospital treatment and services
- Orthopedic appliances and prostheses
- Health supplies
You have the right to choose the health care provider of your choice unless your employer has posted a list of at least six health care providers. In that case, you must receive care from the initial doctor who treated you from the list or another health care provider on the list for 90 days. Then, you can seek treatment from a provider of your choice.
Lost Wage Benefits
Workers’ compensation benefits also include a portion of the wages you lose while you miss work to recover from your injury. These benefits are paid out at two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum amount set by state law. (For 2021, the maximum weekly benefit is $1,130.)
If your injury leaves you fully or partially disabled, you may be eligible for disability benefits. The disability benefits you receive will depend on the impairment rating your doctor assigns to you after evaluating you. You can receive up to 500 weeks of partial disability benefits. If you are found to have a permanent, total disability, you could receive benefits for the rest of your life, though this is not common.
Specific Loss Benefits
Specific loss benefits give a particular amount of money based on the loss of permanent use of all or part of a thumb, finger, hand, or other body part.
If you want to know how much compensation you get for a finger injury or a hand injury, you can consult the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. It provides a schedule for workers’ comp finger injury settlements and hand injury settlements.
If you have suffered any of the following hand or finger injuries at work, you may be entitled to two-thirds of your average weekly wages for the time described below:
- 335 weeks for the loss of an entire hand
- 100 weeks for the loss of a thumb
- 50 weeks for the loss of an index finger
- 50 weeks for the loss of half of a thumb
- 40 weeks for the loss of a middle finger
- 30 weeks for the loss of a third finger/ring finger
- 28 weeks for the loss of a pinkie
- Half of the normal time period if you lost half of a finger instead of all of it
Most Common Work-Related Hand Injuries
Work-related injuries are often accidental, such as having a hand or finger crushed under a heavy object, or machine. Other work injuries are the result of gradual damage that builds up over time, such as a repetitive stress injury.
Some of the most common work-related hand and finger injuries include:
- Repetitive stress injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome
- Vibration injuries due to working with tools or machinery that vibrate for long periods, causing the loss of feeling in the hands or fingers
- Fractures to bones in the hands or fingers
- Crush injuries to the hands or fingers
- Hand or finger amputations after some kind of traumatic blow or injury
- Burn injuries if your hands or fingers are exposed to caustic chemicals or to intense heat
- Injection/penetration injuries if you use a high-pressure tool as part of your job, such as a nail gun or paint gun
How Can I Make a Hand Injury Claim?
If you suffer a hand or finger injury while you’re on the job, here’s how you can make a workers’ compensation claim to get the benefits you deserve:
- Report the injury to your employer. Make the report verbally as well as in writing, so you know your employer has a record of the incident. If at all possible, you should report the injury within 21 days to make sure you receive benefits retroactive to the date of injury. If you cannot make the report within 21 days, you are still entitled to benefits from the date you make your report as long as you make the report within 120 days of the injury.
- See a doctor as soon as possible. State law requires injured workers to see a doctor for their injury within 90 days of being injured if they wish to receive payment for their medical care. Make sure you let your doctor know that the injury is work-related so they can help you with the necessary paperwork.
- Make a report with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Your employer is required to notify their workers’ compensation insurance provider about your injury as soon as you’ve made your report. Your employer will also have to notify the state Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. You’ll make your own report with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation once your employer has filed their notice.
- Appeal an adverse decision. If your employer’s workers’ compensation provider accepts your claim as valid, you will start to receive benefits for your injuries. If your claim is rejected, however, you will need to get a lawyer’s help to file an appeal so you can get the money you deserve.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
Hand and finger injuries can be devastating and irreparably damage your life. With so much at stake, getting the right attorney to help you with your claim is vital. Otherwise, you could miss out on the benefits you need to cover your losses and pay your bills. Get a free case review today with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney at Calhoon and Kaminsky P.C. by calling one of our offices or visiting our contact page.