Workers’ Compensation For Hand Injuries
Hand injuries on the job can be devastating. So many different types of professions require the extensive use of your hands, including health care and medical services, any job that requires typing, construction work, driving, manufacturing, plumbing, electrician work, sewing, and various other jobs in distinct industries. If you suffered a hand injury at work, you should seek advice from a West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyer about how to obtain compensation.
What You Should Know About Hand and Finger Injuries on the Job
Hand injuries can take many different forms, and these injuries or disabling conditions can occur as a result of accidents on the job or due to repetitive motion or overuse over time (by the operation of power tools, for example, or other repetitive tasks like typing that require use of the fingers). According to the National Library of Medicine, a hand is “made up of a total of 27 individual bones: 8 carpal bones, 5 metacarpal bones, and 14 ‘finger bones’ (also called phalanges) are connected by joints and ligaments.” In fact, the hand includes approximately 25 percent of the bones in the human body, and it is primarily made up of three parts that include the wrist bones (or “carpus”), metacarpus, and fingers.
Given that the hand has so many different parts, workers can suffer a wide variety of injuries affecting their hands that include but are not limited to:
- Traumatic fingertip amputations;
- Finger amputations;
- Carpal tunnel syndrome;
- Ruptured ligaments;
- Osteoarthritis; and
Work-Related Fingertip Injuries and Amputations
Fingertip injuries and amputations are also relatively common in workplaces, particularly in certain industries. These permanently disabling injuries can be devastating. While some workers can return to their jobs in some capacity following a fingertip or finger amputation, certain workers will need to train for new jobs if their roles previously required the use of all fingers on a hand.
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), depending upon the extent of the fingertip or finger injury or amputation, it may be possible to have reconstructive surgery that could ultimately allow you to have use of your finger. The AAOS explains that, when a large portion of a finger tip has been amputated in a traumatic accident, a surgeon will usually “consider the pros and cons of reattaching the amputated part,” which is a process called replantation. Replantation is not possible in all accident cases, and it usually involves what the AAOS describes as “significant recovery time for the patient.”
How to Seek Compensation for a Workplace Hand or Finger Injury
According to Florida workers’ compensation law, you will need to report any accident resulting in a hand injury to your employer within 30 days. If your hand injury could be classified as an occupational disease, you will need to report within 30 days from the date of your diagnosis. You will also need to seek medical attention as soon as possible, ensuring that you have an approved health care provider.
When hand injuries are occupational diseases, you will need to prove that the nature of your employment was the major contributing cause of your disease. Our West Palm Beach workers’ compensation lawyers can help.
Seek Advice from a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in West Palm Beach
If you need help with your workplace hand injury claim or if you have questions, an experienced West Palm Beach workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. can assist you.