A hand injury can stop you from carrying out the most routine daily activities like eating, driving or doing household chores. Apart from physical pain and suffering, hand injuries can lead to emotional distress and reduced life quality and might leave you dependent upon others.
Most hand injuries occur at the workplace, but you could get injured in many circumstances, including in a car accident, bicycle accident, during sporting activities or after a slip, trip and fall. Injuries range from minor cuts, scrapes and bruises to severe fractures and even amputations.
Some hand conditions such as vibration white finger or carpal tunnel syndrome develop over time due to overuse, repetitive strain injury and vibrating machinery. Such conditions could lead to irreversible joint or nerve damage, with permanent loss of function or mobility.
According to RIDDOR, in the 2018/19 reporting year, there were 7,579 injuries to one or more fingers, 4,677 injuries to hands and 4,814 injuries to wrists at work, making up 25% of all workplace injuries.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, your employer must take all reasonable measures to keep you safe from harm. If you suffered a hand injury due to their negligence, your employer might be liable to pay you hand injury compensation.
Regardless of the circumstances of your accident, if another party was at least partially to blame, you might be eligible to make a hand injury claim. To find out if you have a valid claim, enter your details into our online claim form or call 0800 678 1410 to speak to a legal adviser.
Am I eligible to make a hand injury compensation claim?
If you suffered a hand injury and believe somebody else is responsible for your accident, a brief conversation with a legal adviser can let you know if you are eligible for hand injury compensation. The general rule is you might be able to make a claim if:
- You sustained or were diagnosed with a hand injury in the last three years
- Somebody else was responsible for your accident
- That person, company or authority owed you a duty of care
When you contact a solicitor, they will explain who might be responsible for your injury and how you need to proceed with the claim. The liable party could be:
- A road user who caused a road traffic accident leading to your hand injury
- Your employer, if they failed to implement the required health and safety measures at work
- The owner of a shop, supermarket or another business who failed to properly maintain the premises
- Your landlord, if they neglected regular repairs and maintenance
- The local council, if you tripped on a pavement or had an accident in a poorly maintained public place
- A manufacturer, if your injury was caused by a faulty product such as a bicycle or trampoline
- A healthcare professional, if they failed to provide proper care and treatment
- Another individual, if you got hurt in an unprovoked assault
Various legislations cover another party’s legal duty of care, such as:
- The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
- The Road Traffic Act 1988
- The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984
- The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
- The Consumer Rights Act 2015
You do not have to worry about proving the defendant breached their duty of care towards you. If you have a valid hand injury claim, your solicitor will explain which law applies to your unique case and will help you gather relevant evidence to support your claim.
What accidents are the leading causes of hand injuries?
Any impact or crush accident might cause a hand injury. Some injuries can also develop over long periods due to overuse, repetitive movements or vibrating machinery. Hand injury claims are often the result of:
Slips, trips and falls
A sudden slip or trip can cause you to injure your hands if you put them out to break your fall. These accidents commonly occur due to pavement defects, wet or slippery surfaces and tripping hazards left in walkways.
You could get minor injuries like cuts and scrapes, sprains and strains or even hand fractures. If the local council or a business owner failed to take the proper health and safety measures to keep you and other members of the public safe from injuries, you might have a hand injury claim.
Accidents at work
Hand and wrist injuries make up more than 32% of non-fatal work-related injuries. The hands of an employee are under constant exposure to chemicals, electricity, irritants and dangerous equipment and machinery that may cause severe injuries if employers don’t maintain a safe work environment.
The fingers are most commonly affected by cuts, lacerations, electric shock and traumatic amputations. Common wrist injuries at work include sprains, strains and dislocations, while the rest of the hands are more often affected by burns, scalds or infections.
The lack of adequate personal protective equipment while using vibration machinery can also affect the bones, joints, muscles or nerves in your hands over long periods of time, which may cause vibration white finger and other conditions that can severely impact your life.
Road traffic accidents
Road traffic accidents often lead to hand injuries, especially for cyclists, pedestrians or motorbike riders. The sudden impact during collisions could damage the muscles, ligaments or bones in the hands, causing sprains, strains or fractures. Broken glass and flying objects can also cause cuts, bruises and lacerations.
Due to a natural reaction to putting the hands out trying to break a fall, cyclists and riders can also experience mild to severe skin abrasions known as road rash.
All sports carry an inherent risk for injuries, but some accidents can be avoided. If your hand injury was due to faulty equipment, poorly maintained facilities, inadequate training or protection, you could claim hand injury compensation.
Common traumatic injuries in athletes include sprains and strains, joint dislocations, ligament tears and fractures. Repetitive activities and overuse can also cause damage over time, leading to stress fractures, tendonitis or nerve injuries. Some injuries may require surgery or physiotherapy and have long-term effects, impacting the athlete’s performance.
An assault or animal attack can be very distressing and traumatic. You will probably use your hands to defend yourself, which may cause you to suffer cuts, lacerations or penetrating wounds. A violent attack can also cause damage to the muscles, bones and nerves in your hands.
If you were attacked by a dog, you could make a dog bite claim against the negligent owner. Hand injury claims after a criminal assault can be made through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) within two years after the incident.
Although healthcare professionals usually provide proper care and treatment, some medical errors can cause unnecessary pain and suffering. If you suffered a misdiagnosed hand fracture, you could be eligible to make a broken hand injury claim and seek compensation for any avoidable damage you incurred.
Delayed diagnosis and treatment of a chronic condition like carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to irreversible damage with permanent consequences on your work and daily activities. Medical negligence claims may also be possible if you have suffered a further injury to your hand due to a surgical error.
Regardless of how you got injured, as long as somebody else was even partially responsible for your injury, you might be able to make a claim. The hand injury compensation award could cover any physical, psychological and financial damages you incurred.
For a free consultation with a legal adviser, call 0800 678 1410. They can let you know if you may be eligible to make a claim and can answer any questions you may have.
What type of hand injury can I claim compensation for?
If you suffered a hand injury due to somebody else’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation. The most common causes for hand injury claims include:
Cuts and lacerations
Cuts and lacerations are common workplace injuries caused by sharp tools or equipment. Minor cuts may heal quickly and without medical care, while deep lacerations can cause damage to underlying structures like muscles, nerves and tendons and might require stitching and even surgery.
Even a minor cut to the fingers can interfere with your daily activities. Broken glass in a car accident, falling on sharp objects, or weapon attacks can also cause minor to severe lacerations. As long as you were not entirely responsible for your wound, you might receive compensation.
Burns and scalds
Hands rank among the three most frequent sites of burns and scalds. Burns are classified from first to fourth-degree depending on how deeply and severely they penetrate the skin surface. While a superficial burn usually heals without long-term damage, fourth-degree burns may cause permanent damage to nerves, muscles and bones, leading to loss of feeling, function and severe scarring.
Hand burns can be caused by electricity, chemicals, heat or other hazards at the workplace. Symptoms include pain, redness, swelling, blisters, peeling skin, white or charred skin. While superficial burns can heal within a week, severe burns may require skin grafts and a considerable recovery time.
Abrasions or road rash
Bicycle and motorbike accidents or sports injuries can often cause moderate to severe skin abrasions. Common symptoms are bleeding, pain and swelling, red and inflamed skin. It is essential to recognise the signs of a road rash infection, such as pain that increases after a day, warmth and swelling, pus and flu-like symptoms.
To avoid complications such as sepsis, you should seek medical care after suffering a hand abrasion.
Sprains and strains
The hands consist of many small bones and joints supported by ligaments, muscles and tendons. Any of these structures are susceptible to injuries in case of an accident.
A forceful stretching or tearing of the ligaments caused by a fall or direct blow can lead to a sprain injury. Symptoms include pain, stiffness and reduced mobility. Minor sprains usually heal with rest, while severe tears may require surgery and a recovery period of several months.
A strain is an injury to the hand muscles or tendons caused by overstretching or tearing. Hand strains often involve the tendons connecting the finger bones to the forearm muscles. Hand strains are common in sports like gymnastics, tennis or golf, where extensive gripping is required but can also happen due to a fall or a road traffic accident.
Any break in one of the hand bones is considered a hand fracture. These include:
- Fractures of the wrist bones
- Fractures of the metacarpals or palm bones
- Fractures of the phalanges, the small bones that make up the thumbs and fingers
Almost all hand fractures are caused by trauma due to falls on an outstretched arm. Common symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, tenderness, deformity and inability to move the fingers or wrist. Your doctor may order an X-ray to identify the location and extent of your fracture.
Accordingly, your doctor may have to manually realign the bone fragments bock into position and apply a cast, splint or brace during the healing period. Open fractures and multiple fractures may require surgery and the use of metal devices like plates, wires and screws to hold the pieces in place.
If you suffered a fracture in an accident that was not your fault, you might be able to make a broken hand injury claim.
Hand amputations are relatively rare but traumatic and devastating injuries. The amputation of a hand will affect daily activities like work, hobbies and self-care and may have severe emotional and social implications.
Traumatic injuries are the predominant cause of hand amputations. Misdiagnosed or poorly managed infections, diabetes, and vascular disease can also lead to amputations of one or more fingers or the whole hand.
Many workplace environments or sporting activities can lead to the gradual onset of hand and wrist conditions such as tendonitis, vibration white finger, arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. Early identification and treatment can stop the symptoms from worsening and prevent permanent damage.
The above list is not exhaustive, and you might have suffered another type of hand injury. As long as someone else was even partially responsible for your harm, you might be entitled to make a hand injury claim.
How do I make a hand injury claim?
If you suffer any kind of hand injury, it is essential to seek medical advice to prevent further harm. The medical record of an injury is a strong piece of evidence in hand injury claims. Medical records show the extent of the damage you sustained, the treatments you received and any long-term effects that the injury will have on your life.
If you think you have valid grounds or are unsure that you can claim hand injury compensation, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation with a solicitor can let you know if you can make a claim and what you need to start legal proceedings.
In every personal injury claim, relevant evidence is essential to build a strong case. Your solicitor can help you gather accurate and detailed evidence such as:
- Contact details of anyone involved in the accident, including the licence plate and insurance details of any drivers involved.
- Names and details of any witnesses that might provide their version of how the accident occurred
- Photographs of the accident scene, trying to capture the exact cause of your hand injury
- Pictures of the injuries you sustained and your recovery process
- Medical records stating the type and extent of your injury, medical interventions and recovery prospects
- The names of the hospital, GP or medical staff that treated your injuries
- Police reports, especially if you were involved in a hit and run accident or suffered a hand injury in an assault.
- Accident reports. If you had an accident at work or in a public place, make sure it gets recorded in the accident logbook, and you get a signed copy of the report.
- CCTV or dash cam footage, if any cameras captured the accident
- Written notes of your version of how the accident occurred, including the date, time, location and how your injury affected your life
- Relevant receipts for any financial expenses you incurred
After gathering all the evidence and preparing the legal documents, your solicitor will send a claim notification form to the party you hold liable for your hand injury. If they admit responsibility, you can start negotiating a settlement.
If the defendant denies liability or refuses to pay you compensation, your solicitor will issue court proceedings. You might have to argue your claim before a judge, but this is rarely the case. More than 95% of hand injury claims settle out of court.
How much compensation can I claim for a hand injury?
Calculating a suitable compensation award is usually not a straightforward effort. Every case is unique and considers many aspects such as:
- The type and extent of your injury
- The accident circumstances
- The financial losses you incurred, including future lost wages and medical costs
- Whether you had any contributory negligence
- Any effects on your daily life
The hand injury compensation will cover:
- Costs of medical treatments and medication, including private care
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Lost wages, including future losses if you had to take time off work
- Transportation costs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Costs of care and assistance
- Modifications to your home or vehicle
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of prospects and enjoyment of life
- The impact of your hobbies and social life
- Loss of a unique career
The Judicial College offers guidelines that solicitors use when calculating compensation for general damages. According to them, you could get:
- £2,020 to £7,380 for minor hand scarring
- £6,680 to £19,390 for severe scarring and disfigurement
- Up to £8,740 for moderate wrist injuries with complete recovery within one to two years
- £10,750 to £20,900 for severe wrist injuries causing some degree of permanent disability
- £20,900 to £51,070 for very severe injuries leading to complete loss of wrist function
- Up to £4,050 for minor lacerations or soft tissue hand injuries
- £4,780 to £11,330 for moderately severe penetrating wounds, deep lacerations or soft tissue damage that might require hand surgery
- £24,740 to £171,920 for severe hand injuries leading to amputations of permanent disability
- Up to £4,055 for minor finger injuries with complete recovery within a year
- £10,380 to £31,350 for severe finger injuries, including amputation of one or more fingers
- £3,370 to £10,750 for moderate thumb injuries, including damage to nerves or tendons causing partial disability or loss of sensation
- £10,750 to £46,780 for partial or complete amputation of the thumb, leading to inability to grip
After considering how your hand injury affected your life, your solicitor can give you a fair estimate of your compensation prospects. Speak to a trained legal adviser by calling 0800 678 1410 for a free consultation, or enter your details to receive a call back.
Is there a time limit for making a hand injury claim?
The time limit to start a hand injury claim is usually three years after being involved in an accident or learning that you suffer from a hand condition. The last date you can start legal proceedings is known as the claim limitation date, after which your case becomes statute-barred, and you can no longer claim compensation.
The three-year limitation date does not apply to all injury claims:
- If the victim is a child, a litigation friend (usually a parent or guardian) can claim hand injury compensation on their behalf at any point before turning 18, regardless of when the accident took place. Afterwards, the victim has another three years to start a claim on their own.
- There is no limitation date to claim compensation for a victim who lacks the mental capacity to conduct legal proceedings. An individual might lack the ability to take legal action due to a mental disorder, a learning disability, a neurodegenerative disease, brain injury or being in a coma. The three-year countdown begins if the victim regains intellectual ability.
- There is a two-year limitation date to make a hand injury claim through CICA if you were hurt in a violent attack.
- You could claim compensation if you suffered a hand injury while working or on holiday abroad. The time limit can vary significantly between countries and could be as short as six months, so it is better to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
An experienced solicitor can let you know what limitation date might apply to your unique circumstances. For a free consultation, call 0800 678 1410 or enter your details into our online claim form to receive a call back.
Can I claim for a hand injury using no win no fee?
Even a minor hand injury can put your life on hold, while severe injuries can permanently alter your daily life. If you were not responsible for your accident, you might feel even more upset and distressed.
You might want to claim compensation for the pain, suffering and financial losses caused by your injury. However, you might worry about investing money into legal charges and solicitor fees without having the certainty you will win the claim.
A free conversation with a legal adviser can let you know if you have a valid claim and how likely it is you will receive compensation. If they believe you have a fair chance to win the case, your solicitor will offer you a no win no fee agreement.
A no win no fee claim provides all the advantages of having expert legal advice without worrying about upfront fees or hidden charges. Your solicitor will take care of all the paperwork, help gather evidence and conduct negotiations with the defendant while you can focus on your recovery.
Furthermore, the After the Event (ATE) insurance policy your solicitor will take out in your name offers full financial cover for all legal costs if your claim is unsuccessful. In other words, if you don’t receive compensation, you don’t owe a penny to anyone.
You only have to pay anything if your claim is successful. If you win, the defendant will cover most of your legal costs. You will only have to pay a success fee to your solicitor. The success fee cannot exceed 25% of the compensation award, and you will agree upon it beforehand.