Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Hand Injuries and Workers' Compensation in Ohio

Manufacturer holds hand in pain after hurting it in a machine.

A work accident attorney can help you pursue full compensation for your injuries

Our hands are essential tools, not only for work but also for most activities of daily life. A hand injury, then, can have a profound impact on an injured worker inside and outside the workplace. Unfortunately, hand injuries at work are far too common; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are nearly 240,000 hand injuries that cause at least one missed day of work each year.

Fortunately, injured workers have recourse through the workers' compensation system. However, actually getting full compensation for a hand injury can be a complicated process. An experienced, dedicated work injury attorney can make a significant difference.

How hand injuries can occur at work

Broadly speaking, hand injuries on the job fall into two categories. The first category consists of injuries that occur in a single incident, including but not limited to:

  • Burns (for example, from touching a hot surface or dangerous chemical).
  • Crush injuries (for instance, from a heavy object falling on the hand, or getting caught in machinery).
  • Cuts and lacerations (for instance, from sharp objects or machinery).
  • Fractures (broken bones in the fingers, hand, or wrist).
  • Nerve injuries (damage to the nerves that allow the hand to communicate with the brain).
  • Amputation (the hand is cut off in an accident, or so badly damaged that it needs to be removed surgically).

The second category consists of injuries that occur over time, often known as repetitive strain injuries (RSI) or repetitive motion injuries. Examples of RSI that affect the hand and wrist include tendonitis, tendinosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and bursitis.

What types of compensation can you get for a hand injury?

As with any work injury, if you injure your hand on the job, workers' compensation pays for the full cost of reasonable and necessary medical treatment for the injury. That may include hand surgery, physical therapy to restore strength and range of motion, medication, and any other treatment you may need. There are no co-pays, deductibles, or other out-of-pocket costs for medical treatment; workers' comp pays for it all.

Second, if your hand injury causes you to miss more than seven days of work, workers' compensation pays temporary total disability (TT) benefits, which are a percentage of your pre-injury wages. If you miss more than 14 days of work, then the first seven days are retroactively paid as well. If you can continue to work but with medical restrictions, then workers' comp pays wage loss (WL) benefits, which are a percentage of the difference in earnings.

If you suffered amputation or loss of use of a hand, then you may be eligible for a scheduled loss of use (SLU) award, which pays the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW) for 175 weeks. (If you lost use of a finger or thumb, you may be eligible for a prorated portion of this benefit.) If you lost both hands in a work accident, or if the combination of a hand injury and another injury renders you totally unable to work, then you should be eligible for permanent total disability (PTD) benefits for the rest of your life.

In addition, if your hand injury was caused by a negligent third party, such as a manufacturer of defective equipment, then you may be eligible to file a third-party personal injury claim against that third party. Such claims can provide compensation not covered by workers' comp, such as pain and suffering.

Talk to an experienced work injury attorney in Ohio today

Hand injuries can have a profound impact on the injured worker's life. They can also be difficult and hard-fought legal cases. That's why getting the right attorney is so important. The workers' compensation lawyers at Hochman & Plunkett Co., L.P.A. have extensive experience representing injured workers throughout Ohio, and we know how to pursue maximum compensation for injuries to the hand and wrist.

If you sustained a hand injury at work, give us a call or contact us online for a free consultation. There's no cost and no obligation to hire us, just answers about your rights and options under Ohio law.

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