Learn How To Claim Compensation For Hand Injuries At Work

By Lewis Macoll. Last Updated 7th September 2022. Hand injuries at work can cause enormous disruption for the individual concerned. Apart from the pain and recovery involved, accidents like this can stop workers from earning a full income. In extreme cases, hand injuries can even prevent them from returning to their chosen profession.

This article focuses on what steps you can take after suffering a hand injury in the workplace. We also explain the criteria necessary for making a claim. In addition to this, we give examples of the supporting evidence needed to assist a claim and how this can be used to calculate a compensation figure.

Our panel of solicitors are skilled at helping people understand what is needed to make an effective claim after hand injuries at work, so if you are asking ‘I hurt my hand at work – what can I do?’ you can get in touch by:

  • Calling our team on the number at the top of the page
  • Contacting us at Personal Injury Claims UK
  • Accessing immediate 24/7 free legal advice through our ‘Live Chat’ portal at the bottom of this screen

It’s a free initial consultation and there is absolutely no pressure to continue if you do not feel ready. Our aim is to simply provide clear, concise advice about hand injury at work compensation.

hand injuries at work

A guide to hand injuries at work

Select A Section

  1. Explaining Hand Injuries At Work
  2. What Are The Criteria For Personal Injury Claims?
  3. How Could Hand Injuries At Work Occur?
  4. Hand Injury Claims – What Evidence Do I Need?
  5. Compensation Payout Estimates For Workplace Injuries
  6. What Are No Win No Fee Agreements For Hand Injuries At Work?
  7. Further Guidance About Hand Injuries At Work Claims

Explaining Hand Injuries At Work

Our hands can be crucial tools and it’s difficult to think of a working activity that does not involve using them to one degree or another. Any type of accident in the workplace can be highly distressing, regardless of its severity and hand injuries can have far-reaching implications in all areas of life.

Whether it’s your dominant or non-dominant hand (or both), injuries here can mean that you might be unable to perform even the most basic domestic needs. Tasks such as cooking, washing, cleaning or personal care may be impossible or very difficult until you recover.

As you take the necessary time to properly recover or regain mobility in your fingers, hand or wrist, you might be growing increasingly concerned about household bills or your ability to earn an income again. Compensation could offer a solution.

In a successful claim, you could seek compensation for up to two heads of damages:

  1. Special damages (compensation for financial losses caused by the accident).
  2. General damages (compensation for your injuries, whether mental or physical).

This article will provide you with the information to seek damages if these injuries were created through negligence on the part of your employer.

What Are The Criteria For Personal Injury Claims?

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, employers have a responsibility to ensure (as far as is reasonable) the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work. This can entail correct maintenance of the work premises and making arrangements that ensure an absence of risk as much as they can. Proper training, supervision and clear information to employees can also help. 

In addition, employees have a duty to take reasonable care of their own safety (and that of their colleagues) to avoid injury. With this in mind, it’s important to ask yourself three questions at the start of a claim for hand injuries at work:

  • Was I owed a duty of care?
  • Was this duty breached, causing an accident or incident?
  • Did I suffer injuries as a result of this?

If you can answer ‘yes’ to all of the above, you could make a claim. Please call our team if you have any questions about your employer’s responsibilities to you.

How Could Hand Injuries At Work Occur?

It is in the best interests of employers to ensure that their staff are safe and healthy. Therefore, the solid implementation of health and safety procedures in the workplace makes sense for everyone involved. Despite this, workplace injuries caused by negligence can still happen.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the government agency responsible for encouraging, enforcing and regulating best workplace safety practices and they offer clear guidance to all. Despite their work, injuries can still happen. 

Examples Of Hand Injuries At Work

A hand injury at work can be the result of different scenarios. Briefly, some general examples include:

  • Lacerations from exposed sharp edges
  • Cuts acquired from tools 
  • Crushed fingers because of lack of safety provision
  • Hand-arm vibration exposure 
  • Trapped hands or fingers in unguarded or faulty machinery
  • Burning your hands due to insufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or poorly contained chemicals
  • Hand injuries from falling on unmarked stairs or poorly lit areas

Given the extent to which we use our hands, it’s quite possible to suffer an accident in other ways. Please call our team if you are unsure whether the circumstances around your accident had a negligent basis.

Hand Injury Claims – What Evidence Do I Need?

With hand injury claims, it’s essential that you can provide evidence. Like with all types of accident at work claims, you need to demonstrate that not only were you injured but also that an act of negligence caused the accident that resulted in you being injured.

If you’ve suffered a hand injury at work, we recommend you first seek medical attention. If you have suffered a more serious hand injury, such as a broken finger or thumb, you may need to go to A&E. Hospital records could be used as evidence.

Here’s what you could do to potentially gather evidence:

  • Record the incident: an accident book is required by law in workplaces with over 10 employees and allows employers or employees to record details of any accidents. If you cannot log your accident, a colleague could do this for you.
  • Obtain footage of the accident: you are entitled to request CCTV footage of yourself following an accident. The footage could provide crucial evidence of what happened.
  • Photographic evidence: it’s worth taking photos of your injuries and the scene of the accident, particularly anything that can demonstrate negligence. For example, if a slip, trip or fall accident caused your hand injury, take a photograph of the hazard that caused it.
  • Witness contact details: any witnesses who are willing to offer statements can provide important evidence of your accident. A solicitor can collect an official statement from them as part of the claims process.

If you did not seek immediate medical attention following your injury, you could still gather medical evidence. When making a claim with our team, they could arrange a private medical assessment for you. Any notes made by a medical professional during your assessment could be used to prove the extent of your injuries.

Independent medical assessments

As part of the injury claims process, you would attend an independent medical assessment. An unbiased medical professional would discuss your injuries with you, check any medical records and create a report. The purpose of this report is to:

  1. Assess the severity of your injuries.
  2. Establish whether the injuries are consistent with those that the accident could cause (or worsen, if applicable).

 If you use the services of our panel of solicitors to claim, your assessment could be arranged at a location that is easy for you to get to and any associated costs could be reclaimed.

Official Statistics For Hand Injuries At Work

According to HSE statistics, the total number of hand injuries to employees (as reported by employers) reduced between 2018/19 and 2020/21 in Great Britain. As you can see in the graph below, there were 4,738 reported hand injuries in 2018/19 and 3,200 in 2020/21. However, the figure in 2020/21 could be impacted by the pandemic that prevented many from attending the workplace. 

Non-fatal hand injuries to employees in GB statistics graph

Non-fatal hand injuries to employees in GB statistics graph

Compensation Payout Estimates For Workplace Injuries

Solicitors can use the medical report to value your claim, but they can also use a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines. This is an index of award brackets that list general injuries from head to toe in order of severity.

We used figures from the Guidelines to create the compensation table below. 

InjuryNotesPotential Award
HandTotal or Effective Loss of Both Hands£132,040 to £189,110
HandSerious Damage to Both Hands£52,310 to £79,360
HandTotal or Effective Loss of One Hand£90,250 to £102,890
FingersAmputation of Index and Middle and/or Ring Fingers£58,100 to £85,170
HandSerious Hand Injuries£27,220 to £58,100
FingerSevere Fractures to FingersUp to £34,480
HandModerate Hand Injury£5,260 to £12,460
HandLess Serious Hand Injury£13,570 to £27,220
Hand, Finger or ThumbMinor Hand, Finger and Thumb InjuriesUp to £4,461

Compensation for your physical and mental pain and suffering is known as general damages. If you can’t see the amount of general damages that could be appropriate to you in the table above, why not get in touch? Our advisors can give free estimates of what you could claim. 

Hand Injury Special Damages

Financial losses caused by the accident are known as special damages. You can recover these expenses, which can include:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Medical costs for treatment not available on the NHS (such as scar treatments or physiotherapy)
  • Travel expenses (to hospital appointments or work, for example)
  • Any necessary adaptations to your home
  • The cost of damage to personal items

You’d need to prove these losses with documentation such as bills, receipts or invoices. 

When Could I Add A Care Claim?

It can be possible for family or friends to claim care costs if they needed to look after you as you recover. This is called ‘gracious care’ and is calculated on a minimum-wage, hourly rate basis. You could also claim the costs of any professional care you paid for. 

What Are No Win No Fee Agreements For Hand Injuries At Work?

It’s important to note you can represent yourself in a personal injury claim. You don’t have to use the services of a solicitor. However, the advantages of working with an experienced and skilled professional in this field could really help your case.

No Win No Fee agreements are another term for ‘conditional fee agreements’ and they offer claimants a way to access legal representation at no upfront fee. In addition to this, No Win No Fee solicitors ask for no ongoing fees. Should your claim fail, there is no solicitor fee to pay at all. 

A winning outcome requires a small ‘success fee’. This fee is capped by law and only taken after the compensation comes through. What’s more, you’ll know about this fee before the claim even begins. 

Speak With Our Panel Of Solicitors To Claim Hand Injury Compensation

Thank you for reading this guide on hand injury at work claims. We hope it has helped to clarify your understanding. If you want more information or are ready to begin your claim now, please:

  • Call our team on the number at the top of the page
  • Contact us at Personal Injury Claims UK
  • Use the ‘Live Chat’ option at the bottom of this screen. This is a 24/7 service.

Further Guidance About Hand Injuries At Work Claims

Below are some related sources that could help you:

Read more about how to avoid or prevent slips and trips at work

Information is available from the NHS about hand pain

And NHS guidance on hand tendon recovery

Why not check out more of our accident at work claims guides below:

If you have any more questions about claiming for hand injuries at work, why not get in touch with us?

Written by WAT

Published by VIC