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The Average Workers' Comp Hand Injury Settlement in 2024

Written by
A drawing of the lead workers' compensation lawyer for Atticus.
Victoria Muñoz
Lead Attorney
April 26, 2024  ·  4 min read
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that nearly 119,500 people injured their hands at work in 2020, and 22% of them missed work for more than a month while recovering.1 If you suffer a work-related hand injury, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, including wage replacement and medical care. You may also receive a settlement worth tens of thousands of dollars in some cases.


How much is the average workers' comp hand injury settlement?

Data from the National Safety Council (NSC) shows that workers with hand injuries settle for an average of almost $26,300. Of that, about $14,600 is earmarked for medical expenses while the remaining $11,700 is an indemnity payment that covers lost income.2

While the average payouts can help you estimate what your own settlement may be, settlement amounts vary widely depending on the type of injury you have, how serious it is, what you do for work, and how much you get paid. If you injure other parts of your body in addition to your hand — like your wrists, fingers, or arms — you may be able to negotiate a higher payout.

You deserve a fair workers' comp settlement. Atticus can help.

Why your hand settlement could be higher

How much you get from a settlement depends partially on how your injury will limit your ability to work in the future. Most workers use their hands at work, but if the majority of your job duties require hand strength or fine hand movements, you could negotiate a bigger payout.

Injuries that involve another body part — like your wrist or thumbs — could also trigger higher settlements. Workers who face a lengthy recovery or have a pre-existing condition that complicates their recovery can negotiate for more. Older workers tend to get more because they need longer to recover and miss more work in the process.

Your specific injury also plays a big part. For example, the NSC also reports that fractures lead to an average settlement of roughly $62,000, while cumulative injuries like carpal tunnel receive approximately $17,000, on average.

Surgery could increase your settlement too. A small procedure with a quick recovery may not have much effect, but workers receive an average of over $100,000 after amputations.


Hand injuries that qualify for workers’ comp

All hand injuries qualify for workers’ comp, assuming the injury happened while at work, keeps you away from work for days or more, and you’ve reported it to your employer.

You must report your injury to your employer within a limited number of days. After that, it may not be possible to get benefits. Here’s how long each state gives you to report.

Unfortunately, gig workers, contractors, and freelancers don’t usually qualify for workers’ compensation.

Common workers’ comp hand injuries

Every hand injury is different, but you can get workers’ comp benefits following one-time accidents and repetitive-use injuries. If you experience weakness, pain, stiffness, or decreased range of motion in your hands, you could qualify. In all cases, you will need to prove that your job caused or significantly contributed to your injury.

Below are some common examples of eligible hand injuries:

  • Avulsions, such as jersey finger or rugby finger

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Crushed fingers

  • Cuts and abrasions

  • Dislocations

  • Fractures, such as a boxer’s fracture

  • Mallet finger

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Sprains

  • Strains

  • Tendonitis

  • Trigger finger

  • Twists

Learn more about the common injuries that get you workers’ comp benefits.


When workers’ comp offers a settlement for a hand injury

A hand injury doesn’t automatically result in a settlement. You’re more likely to receive a settlement offer if you’ll be out of work for an extended time, particularly if you’re approaching maximum medical improvement (MMI) and will need permanent disability benefits.

Chronic injuries that will impact your work indefinitely or conditions that require complicated medical treatment more often lead to a settlement. In either case, the insurance company may offer to settle to avoid months or years of payments.

Whether or not you should accept an offer from the insurer — and at what point you should accept it — depends on your situation. A workers’ comp lawyer can recommend the best option for your case.

Related: When Will Workers’ Comp Offer a settlement?


What you should do after a settlement offer

If the insurance company offers a settlement for your hand injury, you can respond in a few ways:

  1. Accept the settlement.

  2. Reject the settlement and continue receiving benefits.

  3. Negotiate a higher settlement.

Any of these options could be right for you. In the end, your goal is to secure enough compensation to cover your current and future medical costs, lost income while you’re out of work, and other expenses related to the injury. Estimating that amount isn’t easy, so it’s a good idea to find a workers’ comp lawyer once you get a settlement offer. A local lawyer can identify a fair settlement amount for your industry, your hand injury, and the cost of medical care where you live.


How much workers’ comp pays if you don’t settle

Before you settle, workers’ comp in most states offers payments worth two-thirds (66.67%) of your average wages. It also pays medical expenses during your recovery. That includes bills for specialist visits, copays, prescription drugs, and any surgical procedures.

See how much workers’ comp pays in your area.


How long payments last if you don’t settle

Workers’ compensation payments last until you return to work or reach MMI in most states. If you’ve recovered as much as possible (you reach MMI) but still can’t return to work, you should automatically transition to permanent benefits.

How long the permanent payments continue is based on the type of injury you have and the disability or impairment rating from your workers’ comp doctor. Lifetime payments are possible though not the most common for hand injuries.

Here’s how long workers’ comp pays in your state.


Do I need a workers’ comp lawyer?

You don’t need a workers’ comp lawyer, but hiring a workers’ comp lawyer can greatly simplify the whole process. An experienced lawyer will be able to negotiate for more medical care and likely better care than insurance wants to cover. They’ll keep the insurer from taking advantage of you and advise you on other benefits you may be eligible for. They’ll know the best point in the process to negotiate a settlement and the average settlement with an Atticus lawyer is double what people get on their own.

Cost isn’t a factor with Atticus lawyers, either. Our workers’ compensation lawyers offer free consultations, charge no upfront fee, and you won’t have to pay them anything until after you get your settlement.

Get workers' comp help today.

Common questions about workers’ comp hand injuries

Who qualifies for workers’ comp?

Most full-time and part-time workers can qualify for workers’ comp, but independent contractors, consultants, and freelancers don’t usually qualify.

Can a hand injury qualify for workers’ comp?

If your hand injury is serious enough that you need to miss work and you report it to your employer quickly, you could qualify for workers’ comp benefits. Here’s how long you have to report a work injury in your state.

How much will my settlement be for a hand injury?

The average workers’ comp settlement for a hand injury is over $26,000 nationally, but you could get much more or less depending on your situation. If you want to maximize your settlement, talk with a workers’ comp attorney. Settlements are twice as high with an Atticus attorney, on average.

Should I accept a workers’ comp settlement?

It depends on your personal situation. Negotiating is best in many cases, but we recommend getting a lawyer’s opinion before you make any decision. They can help you negotiate enough to cover your current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and other bills while you’re out of work.

Will hand surgery increase my workers’ comp settlement?

It depends. Hand or finger surgery could increase your potential settlement if you have complications or require a long recovery. Get a more detailed answer in our guide to when surgery increases workers’ comp settlements.

Will I pay tax on my workers’ comp settlement?

No. Workers’ compensation settlements aren’t taxable, with only very rare exceptions.

What if I can’t return to work after my hand injury?

You may qualify for permanent workers' comp benefits or long-term benefits through a program like SSDI. Learn more about your options if you can’t return to work after an injury or illness.

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Related resources:

How Much a Workers' Comp Lawyer Costs

A hand draw portrait of a smiling, helpful lawyer.
By Victoria Muñoz

5 Common Questions About Workers' Comp Lawyers

A hand draw portrait of a smiling, helpful lawyer.
By Victoria Muñoz

See what you qualify for

How long ago did you get an injury or illness at work?

References

  1. 1.
    Bureau of Labor Statistics, Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities,” U.S. Department of Labor, accessed January 26, 2024, https://www.bls.gov/iif/.
  2. 2.
    Workers’ Compensation Costs,” National Safety Council, accessed April 30, 2024, https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/work/costs/workers-compensation-costs/.
A drawing of the lead workers' compensation lawyer for Atticus.

Victoria Muñoz

Lead Attorney

Victoria Muñoz is an attorney on Atticus’s Workers' Compensation team. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of Stanford Law School, and has counseled hundreds of people seeking workers' compensation. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her pup.
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