Injuries at work are common. Hand injuries, specifically, happen to more than 100,000 workers each year, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Although they happen quickly, hand injuries can have a permanent effect on the injured employee. Some will even lose their hands completely, while others suffer infections or require surgery. This is why employers should prioritize hand safety.

After suffering a hand injury at work, there are some steps you should take and information you should know, although every situation is different. We will outline some of the most important things you should be aware of in the following article. Consulting a legal profession is at the top of the list. A workers comp lawyer can lead the way to ensure you do everything correctly and get the benefits you are entitled to.

The workers compensation attorneys from the office of Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law are here to help.

Jobs Where Hand Safety Is The Most Important

While so many hand injuries occur each year, there are three high-risk occupations that accounted for 43% of those hand injuries. These include:

  • Manufacturing: One-third of hand injuries
  • Mining: Affected 3,000 workers both in the mining and natural resources sectors
  • Fishing, hunting, forestry, and agriculture: Reported 2,700 hand injuries

When employees use hazardous equipment or tools, injury prevention is extremely important, due to the following:

  • Pinch points are spaces between two parts moving at high speeds. This is where a body part could get stuck and the user could be extremely injured.
  • Wearing gloves, loose clothing or rings may put workers in danger when they work near a revolving piece of equipment like a fan, clutch, or spindle. The machinery may catch onto an employee's hand by grabbing rings or loose garments.
  • Hand burns may occur due to hot spots in machinery. A hot spot can be found in equipment, such as injection molders, brazing tools, burners or welding tools, for example.
  • Cold spots can cause injury as well. Workers handling transfer pipes in refrigeration systems run the risk of injury from a cold spot. Serious cold can result in serious burns and is just as harmful as heat.
  • Automation carries an extreme risk. Although a machine can be set to start automatically, while it's not in use, it can start without warning and catch onto a worker's hand if they are too close and not paying attention.

Hand injuries commonly result in bruises, pinches, lacerations, abrasions, and strains, but in extreme cases, end in amputation. When a worker suffers an extreme injury, their everyday life may be impacted, whether that is short term or permanently.

Work Injury Benefits From Workers Comp in NJ

Most hand injury victims will recover, while some – who have suffered very severe injuries – may not. In either case, workers in NJ are entitled to workers compensation benefits both in the short term and long term, if applicable.

Workers' compensation insurance covers medical care in the event of an illness or injury, but you may be required to see an approved doctor and also participate in an Independent Medical Examination (IME).

Below are the various types of injury, as classified by workers comp, and the workers comp benefits you would receive.

Total Temporary Disability

Benefits for lost income and medical costs are provided under the New Jersey workers' compensation program. Benefits for total temporary disability begin to accrue once you have missed more than seven days of work. Up to a state-set maximum, compensation for lost income is computed as 70% of your average weekly wage. The maximum weekly Workers' Compensation benefits in New Jersey as of 2022 is $1065.

Total temporary disability benefits are payable in New Jersey for a maximum of 400 weeks. You are eligible for benefits until you have reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI) or have received medical approval to resume work.

Total Permanent Disability

You may qualify for total permanent disability benefits if your injury kept you out of work for 400 weeks and you are still unable to go back to your prior position. If your doctor determines that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) and that your injuries will never allow you to work again, you may qualify for total permanent disability.

This means that you could qualify for total permanent disability benefits for the rest of your life, or at least 450 weeks, if you have a severe and ongoing condition that prevents you from returning to any form of productive job.

Partial Permanent Disability

If your doctor determines that your hand injury has left you permanently handicapped despite reaching maximum medical improvement, you may be eligible for partial permanent workers' compensation. The injury you sustained will determine how long you are eligible to receive disability benefits.

In New Jersey, certain injuries are classified as "scheduled losses" due to their inclusion on the state's schedule of impairments.

Workers' compensation may still cover some injuries resulting in a temporary or partial disability. You will get 70% of your regular pay for up to 600 weeks in the event of an unscheduled loss.

Suffered A Hand Injury at Work and Need Help? Call Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law

In the event that you sustained a hand injury at work, you are eligible for workers comp benefits. However, the process can be complex at times. The help of an experienced workers comp lawyer can help you get the benefits you deserve.

The legal practice of Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, is dedicated to supporting workers' compensation clients in New Jersey, as well as the surrounding states. Count on us to provide the legal support you require to win.

Contact us today for more info and to discuss your claim today.

Posted by: Brandon J. Bro…
Date: Wed, 05/15/2024 - 18:17

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