Philadelphia + Delaware County Hand, Wrist, and Arm Injury Workers’ Comp Attorneys
Types of Workplace Injuries on the Hand, Wrist, and Arm
An injury to your arm or wrist can make it impossible to complete even the simplest of tasks, especially if the injury affects your dominant side. This can make it extremely difficult to support yourself financially. However, if your injury occurred at work, you may qualify to receive workers’ compensation benefits under Pennsylvania law. These benefits can replace some of the wages you have lost due to your injury, while simultaneously helping to pay for your medical treatment.
If you suffered an arm injury or wrist injury at work in Philadelphia, the workers’ comp lawyers of Schmidt, Kirifides & Rassias can fight for you to receive benefits. Equipped with more than 60 years of combined experience, we understand how to build stronger claims and challenge employers when benefits are improperly denied or terminated. Proudly serving North Philadelphia, South Philadelphia, West Philadelphia, and Center City, our work injury lawyers are here when you need us. For a free consultation about workers’ comp for a job-related arm or wrist injury in Philadelphia, contact us online, or call (484) 679-5239 today.
Arm and Wrist Injuries that Qualify for Workers’ Compensation
Almost any type of work-related injury to the arm or wrist can qualify you for workman’s comp benefits in Philadelphia. A few common examples include:
Repetitive Stress Injuries and Carpal Tunnel
Hand and wrist injuries often occur as a result of repetitive motions done continuously over time. Repetitive stress injuries are common in workers who are employed in manufacturing jobs, assembly line work, the construction industry and those who work in offices using a computer and keyboard. Repetitive stress injuries to hands and wrists can result in ongoing pain, tingling or numbing sensations, loss of mobility and decreased strength. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of a repetitive stress injury.
Warning signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include tingling, weakness, pain, and reduced coordination in the affected wrist. Carpal tunnel develops when excess pressure on certain nerves leads to swelling and inflammation.
Traumatic Amputations of the Arm, Hand or Fingers
The loss of a limb or body part due to an injury at work is devastating and can result in significant lifestyle changes. An individual’s ability to work or perform everyday functions may be seriously hindered after an accident of this nature. Many of the work-related traumatic amputations of the arm, hand or fingers occur in the industries of manufacturing, agriculture and public utilities as well as work-related automobile collisions or the use of defective products including power tools. Victims of these types of injuries have to deal with not only the physical challenges they face but also the psychological trauma.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), leading causes of workplace amputation injuries include accidents with band saws, conveyors, drill presses, food slicers, grinders, milling machines, slitters, and machinery without proper guards.
Fractures of the Arm, Elbow, Wrist or Hand
A cluster of eight small “carpal” bones make up the human wrist. These bones include the trapezium, trapezoid, scaphoid, hamate, capitate, pisiform, triquetrum, and lunate. Types of arm fractures include a fractured ulna, fractured radius, or fractured humerus.
Bones can be fractured or broken when there is an extreme or sudden force against them. Fractures can occur to the three main bones in the arm called the humerus, radius and ulna, or to the smaller bones in the wrist and hand as well as to the elbow. Fractures can occur on the job as a result of a fall, a twisting injury, being struck by an object or in a work-related car accident. A broken bone anywhere in the upper extremity can limit a person’s ability to carry out day-to-day tasks including those that are work-related. Some fractures of the upper extremity can take a long time to heal and some individuals may experience residual limitations or pain.
Sprains and Strains of the Upper Extremity
Sprains and strains are two types of injuries that can occur in the workplace affecting an individual’s musculoskeletal system. A sprain injury is one in which there is a tearing or stretching of a ligament. A strain injury is one in which there is an injury or damage to a muscle or tendon. The risk of experiencing a strain or sprain of the upper extremity can be associated with repetitive or excessive movements of reaching, gripping, twisting of the hands, and lifting or lowering heavy objects. These types of injuries can also occur as a result of direct trauma to the arm or a fall onto an outstretched arm. Individuals can experience pain, swelling, loss of mobility and weakness.
Rotator Cuff Tears
A collection of tendons and muscles around your shoulder form a structure called the “rotator cuff.” If you accidentally tear your rotator cuff, you can suffer from weakness and pain in the affected shoulder.
An injury called a rotator cuff tear can occur from lifting, falling or repetitive arm activities such as overhead movements. Construction workers, warehouse workers, carpenters, painters and those working in the manufacturing industry are just a few of the jobs in which you see rotator cuff injuries. Many daily activities can become extremely painful and difficult to complete due to weakness and loss of mobility. Treatment often includes rest, physical therapy, medications, and surgery. A person’s ability to work or perform the duties of their job can be compromised with this type of injury.
How Much Does Workers’ Comp Pay in Pennsylvania?
The answer to this question generally depends on how much money you were earning before your accident occurred. That is because Pennsylvania calculates workers’ compensation benefits according to your average weekly wage. You may generally receive up to two thirds of your average weekly wage, or about 66.66% of your earnings, for the wages you have lost. However, certain workers may qualify to receive as much as 90%. Additionally, Pennsylvania limits weekly payments, adjusted yearly for inflation. The maximum weekly amount available for a work injury in Pennsylvania in 2018 is $1,025.
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, which contains Pennsylvania’s rules and regulations for workman’s comp, specifies certain time limits for specific types of injuries, including certain arm and wrist injuries. For example, if you lost your hand in an amputation accident, you can receive two thirds of your pre-accident average weekly wage for 335 weeks, which is equivalent to just under 6.5 years. This period increases to 370 weeks, or approximately seven years, for the loss of a forearm. For the loss of an entire arm, the period increases to 410 weeks, or slightly less than eight years.
The Act also specifies the following: “In addition to… payments… for permanent injuries… any period of disability necessary… as a healing period shall be compensated in accordance with the provisions of this subsection.” The law then explains that the “healing period” ends either when you return to work “without impairment in earnings,” or after 20 weeks (about four and a half months) – whichever comes sooner. This 20-week period applies to injuries that cause the loss of a hand, loss of a forearm, and loss of an arm.
In addition to providing compensation for lost wages, workers’ comp can also help to pay for your medical bills. Depending on what sort of care you require, this might include surgery, hospital admission, medical equipment, prosthetic limbs, or prescription medication.
Our Philadelphia + Delaware County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help
If your arm, elbow, wrist or hand injury was caused by an accident at work or another person’s negligence, you should immediately seek legal guidance from a well-recognized law firm with a proven track record for success. We encourage you to call our Delaware County workers’ compensation lawyers to discuss the circumstances surrounding your work-related accident so that we can determine if you have a valid claim to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits, as well as a Third-Party claim against a negligent party responsible for your injuries.
A serious injury to the arm or wrist can wreak financial havoc on your life. However, help may be available in the form of workers’ compensation benefits. Let the Philadelphia workplace arm injury lawyers of Schmidt, Kirifides & Rassias handle your workers’ comp claim, so that you can focus on getting the care and rest you need to make the best physical recovery. We bring decades of experience to every case we handle, and are focused on making the process as smooth and simple as possible for you and your family. To schedule a free consultation, contact our law offices online, or call Schmidt, Kirifides & Rassias at (484) 679-5239.