Data from The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Department of Labor & Industry shows that workplace hand and finger injuries account for roughly 13% of workplace injuries nationally, and 6.3% of injuries in Pennsylvania. Farmers, construction workers, and maintenance workers are most likely to suffer a workplace hand injury.
Employees who suffer a workplace hand injury may not be aware of their workers’ compensation eligibility. It is important to understand the specific types of injuries that qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania, how to file a workers’ comp case, and the types and amount of compensation to expect based on that injury.
If you have any questions about settlement amounts, benefits, how to pay for medical bills, or any other aspect of your workers’ compensation case, schedule a free consultation with our experienced workers’ comp attorneys today.
Average Workers’ Compensation Settlements for Hand Injuries
The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates the average total cost of hand-injury worker’s compensation claims nationally to be $24,627 (in lost wages and medical costs). Below is a table for estimated settlement amounts based on the NSC claim cost average for hand injuries.
|Severity of Hand Injury||Estimated Settlement Amounts||Types of Injury|
|Mild||$1,000 – $30,510||Mild arthritis, mild carpal tunnel, etc.|
|Moderate to Severe||$30,510 – $59,293||Fractures, minor tears, sprains, strains, etc.|
|Extremely Severe||$59,293+||Torn ligaments, amputations, loss of use, etc.|
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Hand Injuries
As is the case for all workplace injuries under the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act, hand injuries resulting from workplace accidents are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in a variety of forms, including:
- Replacement of lost wages (weekly installments or in lump-sum settlements)
- Payment of medical expenses
- Specific loss benefits (loss of limb/use of limb)
- Disfigurement benefits
- Subsequent injury benefits
Workers’ compensation benefits are calculated based on a variety of criteria, including:
- The severity of the injury
- Classification of disability (total or partial)
- Wage loss from the injury
- Medical expenses
- Prior disability benefits
In Pennsylvania, weekly compensation loss benefits are generally provided at between 66.6% and 90% of average weekly wage (AWW) and capped at $1,081.00 per week.
Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, injured workers are eligible for wage loss compensation, as well as coverage for ongoing medical treatment like physical therapy.
Pennsylvania requires all employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Therefore, it is your employer’s insurance carrier that will be responsible for covering costs associated with any medical care you need in order to recover.
Workers’ compensation benefits are generally determined by the severity of the injury suffered and the time the injury forces an employee to miss work (or partial/permanent disability resulting from the injury).
Can I File a Workers’ Comp Claim for a Hand Injury?
If you suffered a work hand injury or were injured while completing a work-related duty, then you may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim.
The overwhelming majority of workplace hand injuries are the result of lacerations to the skin. These types of work related injuries account for an estimated 63% of all workplace hand injuries and are among the least sever.
However, there are other workplace hand injuries which present more significant health complications. In addition to lacerations and cuts, the most common workplace hand injuries are:
- Skin irritation (chemical exposure)
- Sprains and strains
- Crush injuries
- Amputations (loss of limb)
- Nerve injuries
- Repetitive trauma injuries
- carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, DeQuervains Syndrome, TFCC tears and more
How Can I Make a Hand Injury Claim?
After suffering a workplace hand injury, it is important to begin the workers’ compensation claims process as soon as possible. While your health should always be your primary concern, ensuring that your claim is filed properly and within the filing deadlines may ultimately be the difference between receiving the benefits you need and not.
Immediately following a hand injury in the workplace, you should:
1. Report the injury to your employer.
As soon as possible following injury, you should notify your employer. To ensure that benefits are retroactive to the date of injury, it is important to report your injury within the first 21 days of incident. If you’re unable to report the injury within the first 21 days, you are still eligible for workers’ compensation benefits (beginning from the date of notice) as long as the injury is reported within the first 120 days.
2. Get medical help and tell your doctor that the injury is work-related.
Under Pennsylvania law, medical treatment must initially be sought within the first 90 days of notice to your employer, and when applicable with an employer-approved medical provider. After the first 90 days, you may choose your own medical provider.
While it may not seem important in the context of your care, making sure your doctor is aware that your injury is work-related can have a significant impact on your workers’ compensation claim. Informing your medical provider that the injury is work-related will make sure the doctor reflects that fact in all your medical records, which will be reviewed by the Department of Labor and Industry once you file your claim.
3. File a workers’ compensation claim.
After being notified of your injury, your employer is required to submit their First Report of Injury to the state. You will file your workers’ compensation claim after your employer submits their report. There is a three-year deadline from the date of injury to file your claim. Consulting with an attorney during this process is a good strategy for maximizing benefits and ensuring your claim is filed properly.
Workers’ Comp Lawyers for Hand Injury Claims
To ensure your maximum settlement offer and/or compensation benefits in the event of a workplace hand injury, it is essential to work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Our attorneys are well-versed in all aspects of Pennsylvania workers’ compensation law, and can help you through each step of your hand injury case, from filing your claim to providing sound legal advice on how you can get the settlement or benefits you deserve.
The highly qualified and dedicated team of attorneys at Krasno, Krasno, & Onwudinjo is here to assist you in all aspects of your hand injury workers’ compensation claim. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today via email or call us at (844) 243-4849 or toll-free at 877-794-2396.