Hand and wrist injuries happen on the job all the time, regardless of the industry. Workers sustain fractures, punctures and sprains or even repetitive use injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome.
After suffering a job-related hand or wrist injury, employees may need to seek workers’ compensation benefits to get treatment and give their injury time to heal. Continuing to work, despite having pain and decreased mobility could actually make an injury worse.
Did you suffer a hand or wrist injury on the job? Is your employer telling you it does not qualify you for workers’ compensation or taking time off from work? You may need to seek legal help. Learn more about work-related hand and wrist injuries below, including when you may have a claim.
Not sure if you are eligible for workers’ compensation? At Schmidt Kramer, we help level the legal playing field. Discover your potential legal options when you meet with one of our experienced Harrisburg workers’ compensation lawyers. This meeting comes with no cost, risk or obligation to you. If you choose to hire our firm, there are also no upfront costs to pay.
What Hand and Wrist Injuries Could Happen at Work?
Hands are more complex than many people may know. In addition to soft tissue, like tendons, ligaments, muscles and nerves, your hands have 27 bones. Whether you work in an office or on a construction site, you could easily injure your hands or wrists.
Some common hand and wrist injuries at work include:
- Sprains and strains: Sprained wrists could be the result of picking up something that is too heavy or in the wrong way. However, most often, this type of injury is the result of a fall. Intuitively, people put their hands out to catch themselves when falling. Depending on how hard you land, you could sustain a sprain or even a fracture to your hand and/or wrist.
- Puncture wounds: Office workers may be less likely to suffer a puncture wound at work. However, anyone handling or working around sharp objects is at risk for this type of injury. Other people who may be at risk for a puncture wound include workers who use machinery and other sharp tools on the job.
- Rashes, blisters and irritated skin: Workers could experience this type of hand or wrist injury from a number of things. It could be due to new soap in the employee bathroom, or it could be an allergic reaction to something else. Other employees may come into contact with a chemical substance that causes a skin reaction.
- Thermal, chemical or electrical burns: Burns are quite common in the workplace. Most are mild, but others could be severe, requiring extensive medical treatment or even surgery.
- Lacerations (deep cuts): This is another common work-related hand or wrist injury. While many cuts require minimal treatment and recovery time, deep gashes may need stitches. If a worker is using machinery, the damages could be even more significant. It is important to adhere to all safety rules and wear any protective gear provided by your employer to help avoid injury.
- Hand and wrist fractures: Workers can fracture their hand or wrist by falling, getting hit by a heavy object or even hitting a stationary object. The treatment and recovery time will vary, depending on which bones were broken and the severity of the fracture.
- Amputations: This is not an injury people want to think about, but it does happen on the job. Workers most at risk are those who move heavy equipment or objects, as well as those who use heavy machinery. Workers who lose part or all of a hand may not even be able to return to their former job.
- Crush injuries: This is an especially severe injury and may be the result of a hand getting caught in between machinery or a heavy object falling on top of it. Left untreated, a crushed hand may have to be amputated. Immediate treatment for this injury is critical.
- Repetitive use injuries: Carpal tunnel syndrome is an extremely common type of repetitive use injury that often happens at work. Those most susceptible are workers who do the same task over and over again with their hands in the same position. Office workers who type all day have a high risk of sustaining a carpal tunnel injury.
Can You File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Your Hand or Wrist Injury?
It depends. While determining fault does not come into play for a workers’ compensation claim, you will still need to prove your injury is work-related.
Establishing proof that your injury happened on the job is easier for one-time accidents. For instance, if you slipped and fell in the office, breaking your wrist. Often you may have witnesses to the accident, which can help to prove your claim. Additionally, you can seek immediate medical treatment. This step is critical as it helps to ensure an optimum recovery. However, it also creates a medical record detailing the date, diagnosis and treatment of your injury. This makes it easier to link your injury back to when and where it happened.
Repetitive Use Injuries
Injuries that happen over time on the job are a lot harder to prove. Carpal tunnel is a prime example. So many workers suffer from this occupational injury. Often, carpal tunnel requires physical therapy, braces, rest or even surgery.
Be prepared, however. If you try to seek a workers’ comp claim, you may get pushback from the insurance company, your employer or both.
Say, for example, that you play guitar or have some other hobby that requires repetitive use of your hand and wrist. The insurance company would have a good argument to say that hobby could have led to your injury and not work. This does not mean that you do not have a valid claim. However, it is a situation where you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
What if I Am Denied Workers’ Comp for My Hand or Wrist Injury?
Many workers who sustain a hand or wrist injury on the job may initially have their claims denied. This is especially true for workers with soft tissue or repetitive use injuries.
The good news is that you can appeal a denied workers’ comp claim. However, it is important to mention that the window for doing so is short. We strongly recommend speaking with a lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your legal options.
Discuss Your Work Injury With an Experienced Lawyer Today
Did you suffer a hand or wrist injury on the job? If so, the legal team at Schmidt Kramer is ready to help.
Call our law offices to discuss your situation further. Your initial case review is completely free and confidential. There is no obligation to move forward with a claim. If you choose our firm to represent you, your case is in good hands.
We have been helping injured workers for decades, and we are ready to protect your interests. Our firm has a long and proven history, and during that time we have recovered millions in compensation for our clients.
Experienced Lawyers. Proven Results. (717) 727-1403