Your hands serve an extremely functional importance, so even if a hand injury may feel minor it can still severely impact your day to day routine. Because your hands are of such importance, severe injuries can have a devastating effect on sufferers, leaving them unable to work and even carry out simple day to day activities.

How severe is your hand injury?

You hand is made up of 27 bones, 29 joints, 30 arteries, 34 muscles and 21 muscular branches, 24 sensory branches, 3 major nerves, more than 123 ligaments, and has very complex structure. Even a minor hand injury can disrupt your life. Most of the hand injuries reported are due to accidents at work. Hand injuries can have a range of different symptoms, including:

  • Exposure of underlying nerves, arteries, bones, joints etc... or severe bleeding
  • Inflammation or infection such as fever, pus, swelling, redness, tenderness etc...
  • Severe pain, swelling or deformity
  • Numbness or loss of strength or motion

  All the above signs definitely require immediate medical attention. Any untreated injury can result in a permanent damage. Above all, the accidental hand injury can result in:

  • Painful procedures and decrease in physical fitness
  • Time off work and loss of earnings
  • Difficulty with day to day tasks
  • Extreme pain and loss of sleep
  • Inability to drive

  The first thing you must do is to seek an advisor who specialises in hand injury compensation claims. We will assist you in assessing the severity of your hand injury and the impact it has had on your life. On suffering your injury, you must immediately contact you GP or local hospital as they can quickly advise you on the best treatment, as well as start to build up medical evidence detailing the severity of your injury.

How much compensation for a hand injury?

As well as being cosmetically important (i.e. it affects your appearance and your confidence), your hands are also very important in terms of how functional you are. Almost every aspect of everyday life can be affected by a hand injury - from using tools and operating machinery at work, to driving your car, doing the shopping, holding your children, eating your dinner etc.. Therefore compensation for injuries to the hand can be quite high to take into account the negative effects the injury has had on the sufferers life - especially if the injury is long-lasting. The amount of compensation you could be entitled to varies depending on a number of factors. We have listed some example figures below**, for more information use our personal injury calculator. Total or effective loss of both hands: £107,000 to £153,200 Serious damage to both hands: £42,250 to £64,275 Total or effective loss of one hand: £73,100 to £83,325 Serious hand injury: £22,050 to £47,050 Less serious hand injury: £11,000 to £22,050 Moderate hand injury: £4,100 to £10,100 Minor hand injury: £700 to £3,300 ** Information taken from Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases – 13th Edition. - please note that these figures are for guidance only and the compensation that you receive may be outside of these guidelines.

Different types of hand injury

As the hand is made up of different elements - fingers, thumbs, palm and wrist - and are almost constantly in use, there are many different ways they can get injured. Some of the most common areas of the hand to get injured are:

  • Bones of your hand
  • Muscles, ligaments and tendons
  • Nerves of your hand

  Some of the most common hand injury claims come from accidents at work, but they can also be caused by slips and trips, road traffic accidents and more. Below we've outlined some of the most common causes of hand injuries:

Hand injuries at work

There tend to be two main causes of hand injuries in the workplace: those caused by tools (e.g. hammers hitting the hand) or those caused by hands getting caught in machinery. Hand injuries at work are generally the most serious we deal with as there is the potential for very severe damage to be caused to the hand. As well as 'impact' injuries, the workplace can also be the cause of certain hand-related industrial diseases like vibration white finger and repetitive strain injury. Employers owe their workers a duty of care to keep the workplace safe, so if an injury has occurred due to the negligence of the employer then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

Road traffic accident hand injuries

Although car crashes can sometimes result in hand injuries, these are quite rare. Hand injuries tend to be more common in road traffic accidents that involve motorbikes or bicycles, as the rider is less protected and more exposed. It is a natural instinct to hold your arms and hands out when you are falling, so these often bear a big impact in such road accidents.

Hand injuries after a slip, trip and fall

As with road accidents above, hand injuries are also fairly common in slip and trip-related injuries as people are prone to putting them out when they fall. This can lead to nasty injuries including breaks, fractures, sprains and dislocations. If your slip, trip or fall was due to the negligence of someone else e.g. a lack of warning signs on a wet and slippy floor, then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

 

Hand tendon injury claims

The tendons in your hands are important for dexterity and full range of motion.  They allow you to move and use your hands without pain, but they are very easily damaged. Once you’ve sustained an injury, you must seek treatment as soon as possible to ensure you have the best chance of making a full recovery. It’s also vital that the doctor or specialist who treats you makes an accurate diagnosis and acts quickly to carry out the most appropriate treatment.  Failure to do this can result in long term or even permanent loss of movement and sensation in your hands. You may experience ongoing pain in your hand and fingers and you may even need additional surgeries to repair your tendons.  In these circumstances, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Symptoms of Tendon Injuries in the Hands and Fingers

Some symptoms of tendon damage might include:

  • The affected finger(s) straightening involuntarily
  • The inability to straighten or bend your fingers
  • Pain when straightening or bending your fingers
  • Numbness in your fingers or hand
  • Sometimes, swelling may be present

  Common causes of hand tendon damage:

  • Crush injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Bites
  • Cuts across your palms or the backs of your hands
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  Injuries to tendons are sustained very easily and it’s important to see a doctor straight away.  Wherever possible, any necessary surgery should be carried out within 24 hours.  Even small delays can damage your chances of a good recovery.  If the surgery is not carried out within two weeks, the prognosis is poor.

Diagnosing Hand Tendon Injuries

Tendon damage in the hands or fingers is not typically difficult to diagnose.  A thorough examination of the hand and fingers should be carried out.  The doctor should also record how the injury occurred. As soon as a diagnosis of tendon damage has been made, you should be referred immediately to a specialist.  Any necessary surgery should be carried out as soon as possible and after surgery you will need physiotherapy to restore mobility to the damaged tendon.  You may also need to wear a hand splint and avoid overusing your hands.  It can take up to three months to fully rehabilitate the affected hand or fingers. Any delay in the treatment process may cause the injury to deteriorate, or damage your chances of recovery.  If this is the case, you may be entitled to claim compensation as the result of clinical negligence.

Claiming for Misdiagnosis

You may be able to make a medical negligence claim if:

  • There was a delay in diagnosing tendon damage, even though you sought medical advice at the time of the injury
  • You weren’t offered adequate physiotherapy after surgery
  • The surgery wasn’t carried out within an appropriate timescale

  Delays in properly diagnosing and treating hand and tendon injuries can mean that you need additional surgeries that wouldn’t have been necessary had the diagnosis been made when you first sought treatment. There are time limits which restrict how long afterwards you can make a claim.  This is why it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. If you have suffered an injury to your hand as a result of an accident that wasn't your fault, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. To find out more contact Cute Injury today:

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