New York City worker with a wrist injuryWrist injuries are increasingly common at work in both factory and office settings. The National Safety Council reported that the median amount of days away from work due to wrist injuries is 15, second only to shoulder injuries. Many workers may not even realize that their wrist pain is serious enough to be classified as a work-related injury. Fortunately, not all wrist pain requires medical attention; first aid such as an icepack or a heat pack may alleviate symptoms. First aid, in addition to rest, might rectify the situation.

However, there are warning signs that an injury might be more serious if:

  • The pain becomes noticeably worse
  • Stiffness that causes loss of range of motion in the wrist or hand
  • Pain that comes on sharply
  • Swelling that lasts for several days and is not alleviated by first aid
  • Pain or aching that happens during hand or wrist movement

Especially when work duties require repetitive motion during the daily workday, workers might experience stress-related injuries to the wrist. Stress-related injuries might include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendon pain, or De Quervain’s disease.

Sometimes these stress injuries can be treated with a wrist brace and rest. In other cases, physical therapy is an appropriate treatment for a wrist injury. However, these conditions can cause serious pain and force a worker to miss work, and in extreme cases, become disabling and force a worker to cease working altogether. Especially if a wrist injury prevents a worker from carrying out their usual duties, they may have difficulty continuing their usual employment, leading to financial or personal stress due to missed time at work.

Workers' Compensation for Obvious Hand Injuries

Sometimes more obvious hand injuries occur. As opposed to stress-related injuries that occur from repetitive movement, acute injuries occur from unexpected accidents. These injuries include:

  • Cuts
  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Amputations
  • Ligament or tendon injuries
  • Dislocations, and
  • Sprains and strains

The employee should be treated as soon as possible, and depending on the severity of the injury, they may be able to return to work fairly quickly, or they may need a longer time to heal. Acute injuries are easier to recognize and may receive treatment sooner than a stress injury.

When a Wrist Injury is More Serious, Hire a Workers' Compensation Attorney

Many workers don’t even realize that their injury is serious, or that they may be entitled to some type of compensation for their wrist injury. However, as soon as a worker realizes they may be seriously injured, whether the injury is acute or gradual, the worker should inform their employer as soon as possible. They should notify their supervisor, and then visit an emergency room or physician for an examination.

Since wrist injuries can be complex, and it must be proven that the injury occurred as a direct result of duties in the workplace, legal representation can help give you peace of mind about receiving the compensation you deserve from your workplace injury. O’Connor Law PLLC can help. We will guide you through the legal process and inform you about your rights if you injure your wrist while working. Contact our team today.

Mary Ellen O'Connor
Leading attorney for workers’ compensation and Social Security disability benefits claims in New York.
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