Hand Injuries and Workers’ Compensation in Virginia
Have you had a workplace accident that caused an injury to your hand? If so, then you know how painful and limiting hand injuries can be. When you aren’t able to use your hands and fingers fully, you quickly realize how much you rely on your hands to work and to do things around the house.
Work-related hand injuries can cause chronic pain and restrictions. If you hurt your hand on the job, you’re probably stressed and frustrated. You may have many questions: Who will pay my medical bills for hand surgery and hand therapy? Do I have a workers’ compensation claim for my hand injury? Will I be able to return to my job?
You are not alone. Hand injuries happen at work every day. From administrative workers who use their hands for typing and clerical tasks to manufacturing workers who use their hands to move heavy items to construction workers who use their hands to build, every employee is at risk of suffering a hand injury on the job. And if you suffer a hand injury at work, Corey Pollard can help.
Keep reading to learn more about hand injuries and Virginia workers’ compensation. Then call us for a free strategy session. We help injured employees and their families in Richmond, Chesterfield, Hanover, Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and elsewhere in Virginia – and we can help you maximize the value of your workers compensation hand injury claim.
Types of Work-Related Hand Injury Cases We Handle
Hand injuries are some of the most common work-related injuries among American employees. This is because any number of job-related tasks can hurt your hands.
Here are some of the common hand injuries we see when representing injured workers in Virginia:
- Gamekeeper’s thumb: This injury is a rupture of the ligament on the palm side of the thumb. The ligament is important because it is responsible for pinching movements. Usually this injury happens when a worker falls and jams his or her thumb backward onto a hard surface while trying to break the fall. Sometimes surgery is necessary.
- Hook of hamate fracture: When a worker strikes the ground with an object, such as a pole driver, he or she may suffer a fracture of the hook of hamate. This is found in the lower part of the palm. Usually the injured worker is put in a cast for 1 to 2 months, but surgery may be necessary if the fracture does not heal properly.
- Finger dislocations: We have represented workers who suffered a dislocation at the base of the thumb or other fingers. Depending on how badly the ligament is torn, surgery may be necessary to treat the finger dislocation.
- Amputated hands and fingers from construction accidents involving manufacturing plant equipment, electric saws, hammers, and other machinery used on the job.
- Burns on the hand from motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, fires, and chemical spills.
- Metacarpal fractures: Fractures of the 4th and 5th metacarpal bones may happen when your hand strikes a hard object. Many of these fractures are treated with splinting.
- Finger fractures: Avulsion fractures often happen where tendon and joint capsules attach. Fingertip fractures are often caused by a crush injury, such as when a hammer strikes the ringer. Depending on the size of the finger fracture, surgery may be necessary.
- Ruptured ligaments
Hand injuries can cause swelling, pain, stiffness, and limited movement. It’s important that you seek medical care for your work-related hand injury right away so that the hand can be immobilized and treated. By delaying treatment, you increase the risk that you will lose hand function permanently.
Time Limits Apply to Your Work-Related Hand Injury Claim
Report your work-related hand injury immediately. If you wait too long to report your injury to the employer and its insurance carrier, or if you wait to file a claim for benefits with the Workers’ Compensation Commission, you risk losing the benefits to which you are otherwise entitled. These workers’ compensation benefits include temporary total disability payments, payment of your medical bills, and vocational rehabilitation for your hand injury.
What is the Value of My Hand Injury Case under Workers’ Compensation in Virginia?
The following questions are important when determining the workers’ compensation settlement value of a hand injury in Virginia:
- What is the injured employee’s pre-injury average weekly wage?
- Was hand surgery necessary to treat the hand injury?
- Did the injured employee require hand therapy for the hand injury?
- Is there permanent damage or impairment to the injured hand?
- Are there permanent restrictions regarding the injured hand?
- Is pain management necessary to treat residual symptoms?
- How much did the injured employee have to use his or her hands in their pre-injury job?
Another factor in determining your case’s value is whether you suffered injuries in addition to your hand injury. Many employees suffer hand injuries in conjunction with injuries to other parts of their body. For example, many of our hand injury clients also hurt their fingers, wrists, elbows, arms, and even shoulders in the workplace accident. The workers’ compensation settlement value of your hand injury will, therefore, depend on what other injuries you suffered.
Even if you are unable to negotiate a fair workers’ compensation settlement for your hand injury, you may still be entitled to a lump sum payment due to permanent impairment of the hand. If your doctor determines that you will have permanent damage to the hand because of your workplace injury, contact a workers compensation attorney immediately. You may be entitled to the payment of permanent partial disability benefits for your hand injury in one lump sum.
For example, Virginia workers’ compensation law allows for the following losses to be compensated at 2/3 of your pre-injury average weekly wage:
- Hand: 150 weeks of compensation
- Thumb: 60 weeks of compensation
- First finger (index finger): 35 weeks
- Second finger: 30 weeks
- Third finger: 20 weeks
- Fourth finger (little finger): 15 weeks
- First phalanx of the thumb or any finger: one-half compensation for loss of entire thumb or finger
Your attorney will work with your doctor to determine the appropriate amount of permanent partial disability benefits you should receive for your hand or finger injury.
Speak to a Workers Compensation Attorney with Experience in Hand Injury Cases Today
We have represented clients who have suffered almost every type of hand and finger injury that can occur in the workplace. Whether your hand injury is the result of a traumatic accident causing a break, fracture, rupture, laceration, or amputation, or due to repetitive trauma, we can assist you with your workers compensation claim in Virginia.
Call, text, or email us today for a free consultation for your work-related hand injury case. We only get paid if you obtain benefits.