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Finger injury compensation icon with bandage and medic cross symbol

If you’ve suffered a finger injury due to negligence of another party, whether at work, on the road or in a public place, then you may be entitled to compensation. Our experienced injury compensation lawyers are committed to fighting for your rights and ensuring that you receive the appropriate amount of support through a successful injury compensation claim. All claims have no upfront costs and are no win, no fee.

Finger injuries are commonly suffered through work-related accidents or incidents. Indeed, in 2018-2019 in Australia there were 15,120 serious injury claims (claims requiring five or more days off work) involving injuries to the hand, fingers and thumb. Of these finger and hand injuries, 1,345 were caused by strain or stress and 6,850 were caused by crushing or being hit by moving objects. The remainder of hand and finger injuries were associated with slips, trips or falls, hitting objects with hands or fingers, or due to a range of other environmental factors.

While work related injuries are sadly all too common, finger injuries can be suffered in things like motor vehicle accidents, cycling accidents, or through a public place accident where you are injured through something like a crushing injury or a slip, trip or fall. So, if you have suffered an injury at work, or have injuries resulting from another type of accident or incident, speak to our expert accident lawyers today. We can help with your finger injury compensation claim and are here to ensure you are supported throughout your claim.

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Common types of finger injuries

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There are many different types of finger injuries you can suffer, ranging from the mild through to the severe. A minor finger injury might be something like a sprain or a strain, while a severe finger injury would be something like a crush injury or loss of a finger altogether. In 2014-2015, Queensland Workers Compensation statistics showed 842 crush injuries, and 96 digital nerve injuries. Some of the other common finger injuries include:

  • Finger tendon injury - the cord-like fibres which connect muscles to bones can be prone to injury. Tendons can rupture due to impact with a surface, contact while playing sports, injury at work, or through hitting or otherwise crushing your finger in some way that impacts on the tendon.
  • Finger fractures - this painful injury results in the fracture of bones in your finger and can be caused by a crushing injury, impact with a surface, or in any number of other ways.
  • Crush injuries - fingers are used to manipulate and move items in our work and daily lives. When you get a finger stuck between two objects and your finger gets crushed it is generally incredibly painful. Crushing injuries are common in trades and in occupations involving machinery.
  • Loss of tips or parts of a finger - power tool users and anyone who uses machinery or mechanical tools in their work are at risk of the loss of a fingertip through contact with moving parts.
  • Finger amputation - this finger injury can be caused in a range of ways but most commonly involves power saws or factory machinery.
  • Finger degloving injury - a particularly horrific injury which generally involves a person wearing a ring or having their hand or finger stuck in machinery. It involves the skin being ripped from the finger and involves a great deal of painful rehabilitation to recover.
  • Carpal tunnel - an injury involving weakness and numbness in the finger resulting from the compression of the median nerve in the wrist.

Injuries can happen to the index finger, the thumb, the ring finger, or to all fingers - depending on how you have suffered a finger injury. No matter how your injury happens, if you are making a finger injury claim through WorkCover or a common law claim, we are here to support you and assist you to achieve the best possible outcome for your circumstances.

Common causes of finger injuries at work

Icon showing finger being cut on blade of a saw at work

Depending on what you do for work, there are a range of ways in which you can suffer a finger injury. Some of the common causes of finger injuries at work include:

  • Slicing injuries from saws or blades - partial or full loss of fingers are common from accidents with saws, knives and blades.
  • Mechanical entanglement - when fingers become trapped in machinery the resulting injuries can be significant and cause a great deal of pain and issues with rehabilitation.
  • Repetitive motion injuries (RSI) - performing the same tasks over and over again can result in a repetitive strain or repetitive motion injury (RSI).
  • Sprains and strains - overuse of your fingers through things like typing, manual handling tasks, and general duties can cause sprains and strains which can impact on your ability to move and use your fingers.

High risk jobs for finger injuries:

Icon of protective gloves to reduce workplace finger injury risk

Some types of industries are going to be more at risk of suffering an injury than others. This is because certain industries use power tools and machinery, and thus there is a greater risk of a crushing injury, or even loss of fingers through an accident or incident. Some of the highest risk jobs include:

  • Carpenters - cutting and/or crush injuries
  • Plumbers - impact, crush and cutting injuries
  • Electricians - burns and cuts, crush type injuries
  • Heavy machinery operators - high risk of serious injuries through contact with machinery
  • Butchers and deli counter workers - use of saws and blades which can result in loss of fingers or fingertips
  • Abattoir and meat processing - risks associated with cuts and loss of digits
  • Welders and metal workers including boiler makers - impact with hot material can result in loss of fingers or serious injuries due to burns.
  • Truck drivers and logistics workers - fingers can be trapped in doors, latches and straps, or injury can result from crush type injuries
  • Warehouse workers - opening pallets, finger crush injuries and other related incidents

A successful compensation claim can arise from a finger injury suffered while at work through worker’s compensation, can come about through a claim from compulsory third party (CTP) insurance when involved in road traffic accidents, or can be made at common law where your injury arose due to someone else’s negligence.

How much compensation for a finger injury?

Icon of money in scales as icon for finger injury compensation being calculated

Depending on the severity, a finger injury can have a huge impact on your life. And depending on your profession, a finger injury may impact on your ability to work, at least in your chosen profession. While we cannot predict exactly how much you will receive in compensation for a finger injury, we can provide some general guidance on what can be compensated for when you have been injured.

You are eligible to claim compensation for:

  • Loss of income and loss of future earnings
  • Medical bills and expenses associated with treatment rehabilitation
  • Hospital and surgical costs
  • Loss of superannuation
  • Treatment and care, and ongoing assistance
  • Any reasonable modifications to your home that are required as a result of a serious injury (say for example the loss of all fingers requiring a special method of opening doors or cupboards)

How much compensation for loss of finger?

If you have lost a finger (or fingers) in Queensland in a work injury, you will be entitled to a lump sum compensation payment.  The amount payable is set out in the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014 (Qld). This regulation prescribes a method of assessing the severity of an injury and aims to ensure consistency between assessments for payment of compensation depending on injuries.

Note: Much of the compensation will depend on your specific circumstances

While elements of a claim for a particular finger injury are fixed, typically the majority proportion of the total compensation will come from factors that vary for each person such as loss of future income. Therefore, the figures below only represent part of what’s included in a typical finger amputation compensation claim.

Every injury suffered is awarded a numerical value (known in the Regulation as an injury scale value, ‘ISV’) which runs on a scale between 0 - 100. Each equal graduation between 0 to 100 reflects injury not severe enough to justify any compensation, at 0, through to an injury of the gravest conceivable kind which is indicated by 100.

To find out the amount of compensation, the ISV is then multiplied by a certain amount times the Queensland Ordinary Time Earnings (QOTE). This method is used for injuries sustained on or after 1 July 2020. For injuries sustained prior to 20 July 2020, a slightly different method is used. For ease of understanding we will use the method for injuries sustained on or after 1 July 2020. The QOTE figure for injuries at or after this time is $1,609.30.

For example, Glen is at work when he suffers the loss of two of his fingers in an accident with a machine. He is allocated an ISV of 28. The amount of compensation payable for this loss would be:

ISV of 28 = 39.25 x $1,609.30 = $63,165.025

In addition to these compensation amounts, an injured person is also eligible to claim compensation for any associated medical or allied health treatments as necessary for rehabilitation, along with loss of income and rehabilitation costs. 

Past and future loss of income and Superannuation often account for the largest part of the compensation figure.

Our lawyers can assist you in understanding any potential compensation payout and helping you move forward with your negligence claim.

How long do I have to claim for finger injuries?

Sand time green icon to represent time limits for finger compensation claims

When making a claim for damages following a finger injury, you generally have three years in which to commence your claim. However, if you are making a workers compensation claim you must file your claim within six months of your injury occurring. There are some very limited situations in which there may be an exception to these rules. 

Due to the strict time limits associated with filing a claim for compensation it is vital that you seek legal help as soon as you can for your finger injury.

How long does a finger injury claim take?

Every claim is different, but most claims that we run take between 12 to 18 months from start to finish. However, a range of factors can impact on this time frame, including the severity of your injuries, where you are at with your recovery, and the complexity of proving liability of a negligent party.

Posted by Chris McMahon Special Counsel

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Disclaimer: Please note, this content is designed as general information only and does not constitute legal advice. While we make every effort to fact check and keep items up to date, legislation may change from time to time. For advice on your specific situation then please contact us.
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