Finger Injury Compensation

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If you, or someone close to you, has suffered a finger injury in Queensland due to the negligence or fault of another party, you might wonder if you're entitled to finger injury compensation.

This straightforward guide aims to help you understand the intricacies of claiming compensation, including your rights to compensation, common causes of such injuries, an overview of the claims process, frequently asked questions, and time limits for making a claim specific to Queensland. 

Smith's Lawyers team of personal injury claim experts offers free initial advice and no-obligation appointments at home, in the hospital, in-office, or via phone. All claims have no upfront costs or risks of being left out of pocket under our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise. We operate Queensland-wide.

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Understanding Your Rights After a Finger Injury in Queensland

If you've suffered a finger injury or even lost one and it wasn't your fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation. This can help you cover any expenses incurred due to being injured and aid in your recovery. 

  • Motor vehicle accidents: If you've been involved in a car or road accident, the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) claims scheme could provide compensation. This covers all road users - even pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Work accidents: In Queensland, these are initially covered by statutory claims via WorkCover Queensland or your employer's workers' compensation scheme (if they're a self-insurer), which applies regardless of whether the employer was at fault. But if your employer's negligence caused your injury, you could also file a common law claim for further compensation.
  • Public place accidents: If your injury or amputation resulted from an accident in a public place, you can make a common law claim against the public liability insurer of the at-fault party.

It's crucial to seek professional legal advice to fully understand your rights and how to navigate any finger injury compensation claim effectively and smoothly.

Smith’s Lawyers are personal injury experts who offer a no-obligation case review.

Common Causes of Finger Injuries

Finger injuries, including amputations, can occur due to a variety of situations, most commonly in workplace environments.

Knowing the common causes can be beneficial in preventing such injuries. These include: 

  • Machine entanglement: This generally happens in industries involving heavy machinery. Your finger might get entangled in the moving parts of a machine leading to serious finger injuries or amputation.
  • Falls: A fall can cause you to instinctively outstretch your hand to break your fall, resulting in finger injuries. This can happen anywhere, from work to a public place.
  • Cuts and lacerations: Using sharp objects, tools or machinery without proper safety measures can result in deep cuts or even amputations.
  • Crush injuries: Heavy objects falling onto your hand or getting your finger trapped between objects can cause your fingers to get crushed, resulting in fractures or even loss of a finger.
  • Burns: Workers dealing with fire, heated machinery, or chemicals are at risk of suffering burns that can cause serious injuries to the fingers.
Common Types of Finger Injuries

Fingers are among the most commonly injured parts of the body. In Queensland, over 60% of workplace injuries are related to manual tasks.

From minor cuts and sprains to a more serious injury, here are the most common types of injury: 

  • Fractures: These are cracks or breaks in the bone, typically caused by a sudden impact such as a car or workplace accident. Fractures can limit your ability to use your fingers and may require surgery.
  • Dislocations: Sudden trauma like a fall or collision can cause a finger bone to move out of its normal position; this is known as dislocation. These can cause severe pain and can lead to chronic instability or arthritis if not treated properly.
  • Sprains and strains: These are injuries to the ligaments and tendons that support the finger, commonly due to a sudden pull or twisting motion. These injuries may affect your grip and hand function.
  • Crush injuries: When a finger is caught between two objects with significant force, such as in heavy machinery or a car door, it could be crushed. These can be severe, potentially leading to long-term complications like nerve damage or finger amputation.
  • Cuts and Lacerations: Sharp objects can result in these injuries. Depending on the severity, it may impact nerve function, lead to infection, or require stitches.
  • Amputation: In more serious cases, accidents can result in partial or complete finger amputation. This injury can be life-changing, as it can dramatically impact your ability to undertake everyday activities and work tasks.

It's important to seek medical treatment for any finger injury immediately. If the accident wasn't your fault, you may be entitled to finger injury compensation. You should speak to a personal injury lawyer to understand your options.

Workers Most at Risk of Finger Injuries

Did you know that in 2020, over half of serious claims that involved hitting the body with an object included the hands and fingers?

Some jobs expose employees to higher risks of finger injuries than others. These include:

  • Construction and carpentry work: These employees often handle heavy equipment, machinery, and materials. The slightest distraction or mistake can lead to severe hand and finger injuries. For example, power tools like drills or saws can easily cause a traumatic injury if not handled with the utmost care.
  • Manufacturing units: Workers are exposed to the continuous operation of high-speed machines, which can easily lead to finger-crushing incidents. The repetitive nature of the work also increases the risk of injuries over time.
  • Commercial kitchens: Chefs and kitchen assistants work with sharp knives and hot surfaces regularly, which can lead to cuts and burns to the fingers. The quick pace and high-pressure environments can intensify the risk of injuries occurring.
  • Agricultural industry: Workers in this field interact with machinery and tools that could result in serious finger injuries and even amputation. Tractors, harvesters, and other farm machinery pose a significant threat if mishandled or improperly maintained.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Finger Injury Compensation Claims Process

Coming to grips with how to file a finger injury claim can initially seem overwhelming. The process will be different for every claim, but we've outlined some of the most common steps.

Remember that your health comes first. It's paramount to seek medical attention as soon as you're injured. Not only to initiate the healing process but also to provide critical evidence if you wish to make an injury claim.

Below is an outline of the steps involved: 

1. Seek Free Initial Legal Advice

The first step is to get in touch with a law firm that specialises in compensation claims for injuries. Such a firm will have the necessary expertise and understanding of the complexities of Queensland law and can confirm your legal options, including eligibility to claim compensation.

2. Engage A Personal Injury Lawyer

After an initial phone assessment, the next stage is a no-obligation consultation to explain the process and client agreement in more detail and to gather initial key information relating to your accident and injury to help assess your case and your injury and identify the liable party. The client agreement will also be explained so you can understand the terms under which the personal injury law operates. Smith’s Lawyers runs all claims risk-free with no upfront costs.

3. Gather Evidence To Build Your Case

Once your compensation matter is opened, you will be allocated a personal injury lawyer who will start gathering the required evidence to build a strong case and to determine liability. This may include medical reports, accident reports, witness statements, CCTV or dashcam footage or documentation of any loss of earnings due to your injury. Further down the track, when your injuries have settled, your law firm may arrange for independent medical assessments such as occupational therapy assessment to assess your ability to work, long-term recovery prospects and so on.

4. File Your Claim

Your personal injury solicitor will lodge a notice of claim and negotiate on your behalf with the liable parties, typically with their insurance companies (or their legal representatives), such as the CTP insurer of the at-fault party for car and road accidents or WorkCover Qld for workplace accidents. 

5. Negotiate With The At-Fault Party's Insurer

Negotiations with the insurance company aim to reach a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Most cases are settled out of court in a compulsory conference, an office-based meeting involving yourself, your personal injury solicitor and a barrister they have engaged in leading the negotiations along with the legal representatives of the at-fault party's insurer. 

In the unlikely event that a settlement cannot be negotiated out of court, proceedings can proceed to court. In most ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case is unsuccessful in court. Smith’s Lawyers No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise protects you from this risk and means you can not be out of pocket.

6. Settlement Payment

If your claim is successful, you will receive a lump-sum tax-free compensation settlement. The amount received will depend on different factors, including the severity of your injury, any impact on your earning capacity, and any medical expenses incurred. Legal fees are charged for the work completed only if there is a successful outcome.

Seek expert advice ASAP: Remember, each case is unique, and the process can vary based on the specifics. It's suggested to seek professional legal advice and have your case reviewed by an expert team to guide you in this journey. Smith's Lawyers are experts in personal injury claims and offer a Queensland-wide service with free initial advice to get you started in your claim process.

What Evidence do I Need to Support my Finger Injury Claim?

When you’re seeking compensation for a finger injury in Queensland, it's crucial to get enough evidence to support your claim. Here are the types of evidence that could really help your case: 

  • Medical reports: These will provide concrete proof of your injury and its severity. Doctors' and specialists' reports can also present details about required treatments, recovery periods and any long-term impacts.
  • Witness testimonies: If someone saw your accident happen, their account could be valuable evidence. Try to get a written statement from them as soon as possible to ensure their recollections are fresh.
  • Proof of the accident: This could be photographs or videos of where the accident happened, showing any hazards that contributed to your injury. CCTV footage, if available, can also be powerful proof.
  • Details of expenses: Keep a record of all related expenses such as medications, treatments, equipment or modifications needed at home. These costs can be claimed as part of your compensation.
  • Proof of lost earnings: If your injury has temporarily or permanently affected your ability to work or to earn at your previous capacity, including pay slips or a letter from your employer can be tangible proof of financial setback as a result of your injury.

Remember, every case is unique, so evidence requirements might vary. It's recommended to consult with a personal injury lawyer like Smith's Lawyers for a comprehensive understanding of your situation.

Calculating Your Compensation Amount

When a finger injury or amputation occurs, it can be traumatic and life-altering, particularly if it impacts your livelihood. Whether it's a settlement or the courts making a decision, compensation will be based on your claim's circumstances.

Generally, things that are considered include: 

  • Past and future loss of earnings: If your injury has caused you to miss work or will prevent you from working in the future, you are entitled to compensation. This includes loss of superannuation contributions - ensuring your retirement benefits are not affected.
  • Hospital and medical expenses: Any costs associated with treatment, surgery or medication are covered in your compensation. From initial hospitalisation to ongoing appointments, these costs are considered in your claim.
  • Rehabilitation costs: Treatments like physiotherapy, occupational therapy and specific equipment to aid your mobility can be costly. Compensation aims to cover these essential expenses.
  • Pain and suffering: These non-economic damages are a little more difficult to measure. However, the law recognises that physical injuries can lead to emotional distress and diminished quality of life, warranting compensation.
  • Trauma: As well as your physical pain, emotional distress can be considered too. For example, if your ring finger was amputated as well as the physical pain, you may struggle to accept how your hand now looks. Any therapy or support you need to overcome this can be considered as part of a claim.

As you can see how much compensation you get involves lots of factors. Speaking to a personal injury solicitor can help you navigate and understand every step of the claim process. 

How can a Finger Injury Impact Your Ability to Work?

A finger injury or loss can undeniably have profound implications on your ability to perform work duties, both in the short and long term. In the immediate aftermath, it can cause severe discomfort, impede your movement and limit your ability to grip items, potentially hampering your efficiency at work. 

In the long run, these challenges can persist. Depending on your occupation, the loss of a finger or a lasting injury might render you unable to conduct your regular duties. For example, jobs involving manual labour or precision - like a chef, carpenter or musician - might become difficult or even impossible. You may need to undergo professional retraining or seek out new employment entirely, which can be a burdensome and time-consuming process. 

It is important to remember that your potential compensation isn't just about the immediate medical costs. It also considers the long-term impact on your income - an injury that hampers your capacity to work has far-reaching implications on your financial well-being. That is why a workers' compensation claim will take account of all these factors.

Time Limits for Finger Injuries

In Queensland, it's vital to understand that most personal injury claims, including those involving the fingers, are typically required to be filed within three years from the date of the accident or injury. However, there are some specific circumstances where this can be different.

For work-related injuries in Queensland:

  • You have six months to lodge your claim with WorkCover. The six-month period begins whenever the incident takes place, either when you are injured or after a doctor has made their assessment. 
  • You have three years to commence legal proceedings for a common law claim. If your employer or a third party caused or contributed to your injury, this can be run alongside a standard WorkCover claim.

For motor vehicle-related injuries in Queensland:

  • You have 9 months from the date of the accident or when injuries first became apparent to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim Form (known as a 'NOAC') with the Compulsory Third Party Insurer (CTP Insurer). A “reasonable excuse for delay” can be provided outside the 9 months but must be within 3 years of the accident, or you will be barred from making a claim. 
  • Or, you have 1 month from when you first consult with a lawyer about the possibility of making a claim to lodge the form. When running a claim with Smith’s Lawyers, your appointed solicitor will help you complete and submit this form.  Note: This time limit is the earlier of the two (1 month vs 9 months), so if you have spoken to a lawyer about your potential claim, you must lodge the NOAC within 1 month.
  • Where the motor vehicle at fault cannot be identified (such as in a hit and run), or the vehicle was unregistered, you have 3 months from the date of the accident to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim form with the Nominal Defendant. For these claims, if you have missed the 3-month period, a reasonable excuse can be provided, but it must be provided within the standard 9-month limit; otherwise, you will be barred from making a claim.
  • After the Notice of Claim Form is lodged, you have 3 years from the date of the accident/injury to start legal proceedings.

These limits can fluctuate based on specific circumstances, such as exceptional delays in discovering the injury or if the injured party was under 18 at the time of the accident. For those under 18, the time limit begins when they reach adulthood.

At Smith's Lawyers, we offer free and no-obligation case reviews to aid you in understanding your legal rights after an injury. Operating on a No Win, No Fee, No Catch® basis, we aim to provide risk-free legal assistance and advocate for your right to proper compensation.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Does it matter which finger was injured?

Yes, the specific finger injured does impact compensation calculations. Our hands are incredibly complex, and each finger plays a significant role. Here's why it matters:

  • Thumb: The thumb is arguably the most important digit for grip, strength, and dexterity. Its loss, or even partial injury, tends to have a far greater impact on daily life and work, therefore attracting higher compensation amounts.
  • Index Finger: Crucial for precision tasks and fine motor skills, the index finger is next in terms of significance for overall hand function. Loss or injury results in substantial disruption to activities and impacts compensation amounts accordingly.
  • Middle, Ring, and Little Fingers: While important, these fingers generally have less individual impact on hand function than the thumb and index finger. Still, injuries are considered in terms of overall hand impairment and their influence on your daily life and work.
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What if I only lost part of my finger?

Compensation is still available for partial finger amputation. The assessment focus shifts to the degree of impairment – how much loss of function, flexibility, and sensation the injury has caused. Even a partial loss can lead to significant compensation, particularly if it impacts your ability to perform everyday tasks or work activities.

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Will a finger injury or amputation affect my ability to work?

Unfortunately, yes, finger injuries can heavily impact your work life. Depending on the nature of your work and the specific injury, there could be serious implications for:

  • Manual Labor: Jobs requiring dexterity, handling tools, operating machinery, etc., become very difficult with hand or finger impairments.
  • Precision Work: Tasks demanding fine motor skills, like writing, typing, or even using a phone, can be severely hindered.
  • Future Earning Capacity: Compensation calculations factor in how the injury might limit your future work options and income potential, even if you're able to return to your current job.

Important: If your injury occurred while working, you may be entitled to workers' compensation, regardless of fault. Seeking legal advice will help you determine all your eligibility and compensation options.

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Are there any upfront costs or risks?

No; our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise at Smith’s Lawyers means there are no upfront costs, and you can never be left out of pocket as a result of the claim. Typically with ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could still be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case goes to court and is unsuccessful. In the unlikely event that your case goes to court and you are unsuccessful, we'll cover the costs - so you won't pay a cent to us or anyone else.

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Get expert advice today

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers. We can explain your options to Finger Injury & Amputation Compensation claims so you are clear on your rights during this difficult time.

Take our 2-minute free claim check

Fill in the form below to find out if you have a claim.

Last updated:
March 10, 2024

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.