Lumber mills, meat processing facilities, production factories, construction sites, and manufacturing plants employ thousands of Georgia workers. One thing workers in many of these facilities share is the risk of significant hand injuries.
Due to the complex system of nerves, muscles, bones, and tendons, many different areas of your hand could become injured in a workplace accident.
Hand injuries may stop a worker in Georgia from continuing in that role, but they can also make even the most basic of daily tasks challenging if a digit or the entire hand is lost. Due to the complex system of nerves, muscles, bones, and tendons, many different areas of your hand could become injured in a workplace accident.
Injuring your hand at work raises many questions about how to protect your legal right to compensation.
If you are coping with the aftermath of a hand injury from a workplace accident, you deserve to have legal counsel support you through your initial filing for workers’ comp or appealing a denied workers’ comp claim.
Contact an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer at Moebes Law to discuss further actions related to filing or appealing your hand injury claim.
Types of Work-Related Hand Injuries
Some of the most common workplace hand injuries include:
- Crush injuries
- Puncture wounds
- Severed wrists and fingers
- Broken bones
- Dislocated hand and finger joints
Lacerations make up nearly two-thirds of all hand-related injuries across the United States. Other injuries that occur less frequently but can still cause pain and issues include sprains and chemical exposure.
Some injuries may be caused when an employee does the same motions over and over in their role. These repetitive stress injuries make up one out of every five workplace hand injuries.
In some cases, a worker may have lifelong consequences from a workplace hand injury, especially if their hand or individual fingers must be amputated or if burns leave permanent disfigurement and scars.
Workers’ Comp Benefits For Hand Injuries in the Workplace
Georgia’s workers’ compensation insurance protects most traditional employees within the state. This protection means that a hand or other injury on the job enables workers to get medical treatment and compensation to allow them to recover from an at-work accident.
Employees in Georgia may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim after a serious hand injury. You will incur medical expenses for therapy and treatment for a hand injury at work, which may become part of your workers’ compensation claim.
This includes hospital admission, surgery, pharmacy costs, and consultation fees, where applicable. Your medical costs, expectations for returning to work, and the severity of your injury will all factor into the total benefits available. You may also be eligible for permanent disability compensation depending on the loss of a hand, arm, or individual digit.
How long will benefits pay for hand injuries in Georgia?
If you lose or are unable to use your thumb after an injury, you are entitled to 60 weeks of compensation under the Workers’ Compensation Act. The loss of a hand carries a maximum of 150 weeks’ worth of compensation, and permanent loss of your arm carries compensation of up to 200 weeks.
How will a hand injury impact my future workability?
Your future earning potential may be influenced by a significant hand injury. Being able to move a finger or losing a finger could require you to change careers or be unable to work at all. An evaluation by a medical professional can help you figure out the appropriate finger or hand injury treatments that apply.
If you are unable to go back to work at all because of your hand or other serious workers’ comp injury, you may be entitled to disability payments.
What to Do If You Injure Your Finger or Hand at Work
Follow employer guidelines for reporting the injury. Do this as soon as possible. You might also need to prove that you were seen by a doctor and undergo drug and alcohol testing immediately after the accident.
In some cases, you may not realize the severity of a hand injury immediately, but it is still important to report this accident to your employer and to get medical attention to determine whether or not there are serious effects that will influence you for a long time.
Keep notes from all of your medical appointments and discussions with your doctor. Keeping a journal of your daily pain and the obstacles faced may also help support your claim.
What to Do If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied
Your denial letter may not give you much information about what went wrong with the claim. Some of the most common reasons that workers’ comp claims are denied in Georgia include the following:
- Failure to report the injury on time (later than 30 days after the injury date)
- Failure to file your claim in time (one year from the date of the injury)
- An employer disagrees that the injury is work-related
- There’s no evidence of medical treatment
- You filed your claim after you were laid off, quit, or fired
Insurance carriers are not always in the right to deny your claim if you were laid off, quit, or fired from your role after your injury. You may still have met the other requirements for your workers’ compensation claim. A lawyer can assist you with working through denial issues, such as finding other evidence to support your claims of pain.
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied despite a significant hand injury and you’ve been following all the rules and deadlines, you need to hire an attorney who is dedicated to fighting hard for your maximum benefits.
There is a great deal at stake following any hand injury, especially one that makes daily life difficult or renders you unable to carry out the job you had before.
An Atlanta Hand Injury Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help
Whether you’re just starting your claim application or are unsure how to respond to a denial letter, the insight of an Atlanta hand injury workers’ compensation lawyer can prove helpful.