Common accidents that cause hand and arm injuries
Some jobs have higher risk than others, but a hand or arm injury can happen in any environment. Some common examples include:
Falls: When you fall down, your natural reflex is to put your arms out to break the fall or wrap them around your body to protect your internal organs. This occurs in slip and falls, trip and falls, and falls from heights (for example, when a worker falls off a roof or balcony). A broken arm or hand is certainly preferable to a brain injury or internal injury, but it can still have a huge impact on your life.
Burns and scalds: Our hands are the way we interact physically with the world, which means they're often the first part of the body exposed to environmental dangers. In many workplaces, workers sustain burns or scalding injuries on their hands or arms when they touch a hot surface or are exposed to hot water. It only takes a moment of exposure to sustain serious injuries that could require skin grafts and other costly medical treatment.
Lifting and overexertion: Lifting is a regular job duty for many workers, including warehouse workers, transportation workers, and nurses who may need to move or reposition patients. Even if it isn't a daily task, though, almost any employee may be asked to lift something heavy at work at some point. Heavily lifting can cause sprains, strains and similar injuries to the arm, hand or shoulder.
Repetitive motion injuries: Many jobs, ranging from manufacturing to desk jobs, involve making the same motions over and over again. Over time, these repetitive motions can cause hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Get a law firm on your side with the experience to win
Hand and arm injuries vary widely in severity. You may have sprained your wrist or pulled a muscle. You may have broken one or more bones in your arm. You may have even lost a finger, an entire hand or some or all of your arm in a serious accident. Some of these injuries are temporary and will heal, while others are long-term or permanent.
If your arm injury happened on the job, you are generally entitled to workers' compensation, including your medical expenses and partial wage loss. If you use your hands at work - which nearly every worker does! - then even a relatively minor injury can keep you out of work for weeks or months; during that time, you are entitled to two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a statutory maximum.
Many workers with permanent arm injuries can't continue to do the same job they had before the accident, but they may be able to take on a "light duty" job at lower pay. Workers' comp pays 66 2/3 % of the difference. For example, if you were previously making $1,000 per week at a physically intensive job but now have to take a desk job that pays $700 per week, workers' comp will pay you 66 2/3 % of the $300 difference, or $200 per week.
These cases can quickly grow complex. Your employer and their insurance company may dispute the extent of your injury or whether you were even hurt on the job, especially if your injury happened over a period of time. That's why it's critically important that you contact us as soon as possible. An experienced hand and arm injury attorney at our law firm will fight for the compensation you need and deserve.