Most people in Minnesota are familiar with the feeling of coming in from shoveling snow to find their hands numb with cold. For a few moments, you may feel helpless as your fingers begin to tingle. Until the feeling returns, there is little you can do for yourself. You may be feeling that same exasperation now after your hand injury at work.
Hand injuries are among the most frustrating because most people are completely dependent on the use of their hands. To lose a hand, even temporarily, such as when it is in a sling or cast, may mean days or weeks of struggling through basic tasks like feeding and dressing yourself. Most concerning of all is that you can't work, which means no money is coming in.
Getting a handle on your workplace injury
Statistics show that about 75 percent of disabling industrial accidents are hand injuries. Emergency room staffs treat over 16 million hand injuries a year. Even a minor injury may require you to keep your hand immobile for a period of time severely limiting your ability to do much of anything. Some of the most common workplace hand injuries include these:
- Sprains and strains: Repetitive motion injuries, sprains from unnatural positions or strains from extreme pushing
- Skin trauma: Burns from heat, chemicals, electricity or hot materials
- Lacerations: Punctures, severed tendons or nerves, deep cuts, amputations
- Fractures: Broken or crushed bones
Proper safety equipment and training may prevent many hand injuries. Often, workers hurt themselves during one moment of inattention.
Getting a helping hand
Whether your hand injury was the result of an accident or repetitive motion, the results are likely painful and frustrating. Without complete use of your hands, your daily life can be greatly complicated. Tasks as simple as tying your shoes, preparing a meal or even using your cellphone may be tedious and painful.
In some cases, because hand injuries are not always visible, you may have difficulty convincing your employer or the insurance company that you need help. You may also struggle to make them understand just how much the injury affects your life. Having an attorney on your side can make a difference. Your lawyer will advocate for your needs and work toward obtaining the maximum compensation you deserve.