All across the workforce, employees are asked to fulfill the same tasks over and over again. Repetition like this can have negative results on the hand and wrist- more so in the absence of rests or an adequate break.
The hand and wrist injuries that most often form the basis of a successful workers’ compensation claim include:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS): Excessive typing, regular use of vibrating machinery, or any job that requires prolonged flexion of the wrist can pinch the carpal tunnel – the tube that protects the main nerve to the hand and fingers. CTS causes hand tingling and numbness which can prevent workers from doing their job. A degenerative condition, CTS will continue to worsen over time without medical intervention. Other repetitive hand and wrist injuries include tendonitis and tenosynovitis.
- Hand Tendonitis: arises when there is inflammation or swelling in the tendons of the hand, wrist, or fingers. The most common symptoms are gradual pain, swelling, and limited range of motion.
- Trigger Finger: inflammation in the fingers or thumb that prevents a range of motion. Symptoms of this condition are painful catching, swelling, or popping whenever attempting to bend or straighten the fingers.
- Arthritis: this type of condition derives from deterioration of the cartilage connected to the thumb or wrist. Almost always arthritis can have painful effects and weaken or limit mobility.
- Hand sprains and strains: Can result from heavy lifting as well as strenuous twisting or thrusting motions. A sprain involves damage to the ligaments that hold the bones of the hand together, while a strain involves an injury to the muscle or muscle sheath. Severe damage to a ligament or muscle in the hand is diagnosed with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These types of injuries can cause swelling and temporary loss of functionality in the hand, wrist, and fingers. Surgery in some cases is required, but most hand sprains and strains will improve with time and rest.
- Fractures: Twenty-seven bones comprise the hand, while an additional eight bones are found in the wrist. Fractures of these small and often delicate bones are common in occupations where heavy objects are not only lifted but also frequently dropped. Additionally, a hand or wrist fracture can occur whenever a worker must repeatedly strike a solid object.
- Amputations: The most costly hand and wrist injury of all, amputations occur acutely at the time of a traumatic injury or subsequently, or in surgery when a finger or hand cannot be saved. Pennsylvania workers who suffer a hand amputation may be eligible to receive approximately $318,585 in workers’ compensation benefits – more than double the $114,930 national average for the same injury. Pennsylvanians generally receive more than workers in neighboring states when a work injury results in an amputated thumb or finger. Workers who use cutting machinery, including hand saws, are most vulnerable to these permanent, disabling injuries.
In Pennsylvania, the Workers’ Compensation Act mandates that workers receive compensation for illness or injuries that happened while on the job. Under the Act, all employers in the state must give their workers protection. In Philadelphia and across the state, just about every worker, including employees of small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and unincorporated businesses are entitled to receive payment.
Do Not Ignore a Hand or Wrist Injury
Regardless of whether a hand or wrist injury occurs suddenly or develops gradually over time, employees should assert their right to workers’ compensation benefits as soon as their injury becomes apparent. According to the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, hand and wrist injuries are particularly pricey for employers, accounting for up to 56% of total production costs. Employers can also expect to pay a premium in indirect costs, including the costs associated with training temporary replacement workers and repairing damaged equipment that caused the hand or wrist injury in question.
An employee who suffers a hand or wrist injury due to an unsafe work environment or negligence by an employer bears an even greater responsibility to file a workers’ compensation claim. Not only will the successful pursuit of workers’ compensation benefits provide partial pay and medical coverage while the injured employee recovers, but it will also serve as a powerful incentive for an employer to take steps to ensure worker safety going forward.
Treating a work-related hand injury proves to be difficult in distinguishing only one course of action. There are many cases, involving fractures and sustained tendonitis or arthritis, in which self-treatment is not a viable option. Again, depending on the extent of the injury, professional care may be required.
Proper care consists of a doctor conducting a full examination. After the evaluation, it is easier to assess treatment options. It could be as simple as medication and rest. It is important to not take a chance because some injuries require advanced treatment like surgery or immobilization.
The benefits of filing a workers’ compensation claim for your hand or wrist injury are essential to help you receive financial assistance. We all know that hospital and emergency room bills are very costly.
Keep in mind if you are a victim of a hand or wrist injury while at work, it is extremely beneficial to consult with us at Philadelphia’s workers’ compensation lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP. You can request a free consultation by calling us at 215-512-1500. Feel free to complete our online form as well. Our main offices are located in Philadelphia, PA.
Our lawyers have handled workers’ compensation claims for years and will assist you every step of the way. We ask that you keep track of all your medical bills, records, and other information in order to provide the best service for you and your claim. It is our duty to ensure that the settlement offered to you meets your needs.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP Obtain Compensation for Workers Suffering From a Hand or Wrist Injury
Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP, are well-versed in work-related injuries of the hand and wrist. If you recently suffered an acute hand or wrist injury on the job or suspect a developing hand or wrist injury, contact us at 215-512-1500, or complete our online form to schedule a free initial consultation at our Philadelphia offices.