Thumb Injury Compensation Claims

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If you've suffered a thumb injury in Queensland due to someone else's fault or negligence, you might be wondering about your rights to compensation. We understand how daunting this process can seem. This page is dedicated to providing clear information about the compensation claims process.

Keep reading to learn about your rights to compensation, common causes of these injuries, the process for lodging a claim, frequently asked questions, and time limits for making a finger injury claim in 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 Thumb Injury in Queensland

In Queensland, hands are one of the most common areas of the body to be injured. If you've suffered a thumb injury due to someone else's negligence, you may entitled to compensation. 

This is important to know as there is often a financial burden on not only the injured individual but their families and loved ones as well. Understanding your rights can help you get the compensation you deserve.  

Here's a summary of the compensation schemes available:

  • Car and Road Accidents: Through the Compulsory Third-Party (CTP) Claims Scheme, you can file a claim if your injury was the result of a traffic accident. An at-fault driver's CTP insurer is typically responsible for paying the compensation.
  • Work Accident: If you've injured your thumb at work, statutory claims via WorkCover Queensland (or your employer's workplace compensation insurer if they are self-insured), regardless of fault. If your employer was negligent, and it resulted in your injury, you can file a common law claim.
  • Public Place Accident: If you've been injured in a public place, common law claims can be made against the public liability insurer of the entity responsible for the public area.
What is a Thumb Injury?

Understanding what constitutes a thumb injury is crucial. Typically, a thumb injury refers to any damage or harm that affects the function or structure of your thumb. These injuries can severely affect the functionality of your hand, considering the vital role the thumb plays in gripping and handling objects. 

In Australia, 15% of injury hospitalisations are for the hand, many of which are thumb injuries. The impact of these injuries varies widely, with some victims experiencing minor sprains while others suffer severe damage leading to partial or full disability.

It’s important to note these facts because the magnitude of your thumb injury has a direct implication on the potential compensation you can claim. Furthermore, understanding the extent of your injury is essential in helping your personal injury lawyer build a strong case for you.

Common Causes of Thumb Injuries

Thumb injuries are often caused by repetitive overuse of the thumb and hands. Certain jobs and activities can put repeated stress on your hands and arms, which can prevent you from completing everyday tasks. However, there are still some other common finger injuries causes. 

Below, we've highlighted some of them:

  • Vehicle accidents: Whether you're the driver, a passenger, or even a pedestrian, car accidents can often result in injuries to the thumb. This could be due to the sudden impact or even from the force of an airbag deploying.
  • Workplace incidents: Some jobs carry a higher risk of damaging your thumbs, particularly those involving heavy machinery, manual handling, or repetitive activities that put a strain on the thumb.
  • Slips or falls: Slipping on a wet floor or falling from a height can lead to you instinctively stretching out your hand to brace your fall, which is the most common cause of a thumb sprain.
  • Sports injuries: Participating in sports, especially contact sports like football or games that involve heavy use of the hands, like basketball or netball, can often cause these injuries.
  • Public place accidents: This can occur when you are in a public area or building and sustain an injury due to hazards like unsecured flooring or improperly maintained equipment.
Common Types of Thumb Injury

Thumg injuries can occur from various unfortunate incidents on the road, in the workplace, or even in public spaces. Understanding the complications associated with each type of thumb injury may help you manage, recover, and navigate through the compensation claim process.

The most common types of this injury are as follows:

  • Fractures: These are common in car accidents and workplace incidents involving heavy machinery. The impact can cause the bones in your thumb to crack or break. Fractures may require surgery and extended rehabilitation, disrupting your life and work.
  • Dislocations: A thumb dislocation can occur during a fall or direct blow, often seen in road or public place accidents. The thumb joint slips out of place, leading to immense pain and difficulty in movement.
  • Strains and sprains: A sprained thumb injury is commonly called “skier’s thumb,” because falling on the ski slopes with your hand strapped to a ski pole is a common cause of this injury. Sprains occur when the soft tissues around your thumb, such as ligaments and tendons, are stretched beyond their limits. This also often happens in workplace incidents where repetitive movement is involved.
  • Cuts and lacerations: Serious cuts can potentially damage nerves and vessels, leading to long-term complications. These are common in accidents involving sharp objects in the workplace or public places.
  • Crush injuries: Injuries typically found in workplace accidents that involve machinery or heavy objects. The thumb is compressed between two objects, leading to potential tissue, nerve, or bone damage.
Workers Most at Risk of Thumb Injury

Some professions and industries have a greater risk of hand and finger injury due to the nature of their work. Statistics indicate that for several of these professions, thumb injuries were found to be the most prevalent hand injury, accounting for more than 50% of all hand-related problems.

Here are some of the most at-risk sectors: 

  • Construction Industry: Workers in this field are continuously handling heavy equipment and materials. Unpredictable movements and sudden accidents can cause serious thumb injuries.
  • Healthcare Professionals: Hand injury is the second most common work-related musculoskeletal injury among healthcare workers. Medical staff often perform repetitive motions and activities, such as surgical procedures, that can lead to thumb strain and injuries.
  • Automotive Mechanics: Auto-fixing tasks often require forceful gripping and twisting movements, which puts a great deal of stress on the thumb, increasing the risk of injury.
  • Agricultural Workers: Those in agriculture often use machinery or tools for extended periods, applying significant pressure on the thumb, making them vulnerable to finger injuries.
  • Manual Labourers: Jobs with repetitive manual tasks like packing, sorting, or conveyor-belt jobs demand continuous use of the thumb, heightening the risk of strain and injury.

If you're working in these industries and suffer a thumb injury, you should consult with legal professionals to discuss your entitlement to claim compensation.

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

Understanding the Compensation Claims Process

If you've experienced an injury in a road, workplace, or public place accident in Queensland, you may be entitled to make a finger injury compensation claim. Having experienced legal representation is key, as navigating the thumb injury claim process can be complex. 

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 make a claim.

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 Thumb Injury Claim?

Gathering supporting evidence is crucial to the success of your thumb injury claim. Having the right evidence is crucial in achieving fair compensation for your suffering.  

Here’s a brief rundown on the type of evidential materials you will need: 

  • Medical Records: Detailed records from your doctor or healthcare professional outlining the severity of your thumb injury, necessary medical treatment, and potential long-term impacts on your health.
  • Photographs or videos: Visual evidence of the accident site, conditions that contributed to the accident, and the physical injuries suffered can help support your case.
  • Witness Testimonies: Statements from anyone who witnessed the accident can provide key details that may be beneficial to your claim.
  • Workplace accident records: If you were injured at work, a record of the incident should be kept by your employer. This can include accident report forms or log book entries.
  • Past and future wage loss: If your thumb injury has caused or will cause loss of earnings, it's important to provide evidence, such as pay slips or letters from your employer outlining the impacts on your work.
  • Expense Receipts: Keep all receipts and documents relating to expenses incurred as a result of your thumb injury. This could include costs relating to medication, medical equipment, or travel expenses.

Calculating Your Compensation Amount

Whether you've suffered a thumb injury in a car accident, at work, or in a public place, you might be wondering how much compensation you could potentially receive.

Here are some of the main factors that go into determining the compensation amount: 

  • Severity of the injury: More serious injuries involving broken bones or amputation, for instance, generally warrant higher compensation due to the significant impact they have on personal life and livelihood.
  • Impact on your work: If your thumb injury severely disrupts your ability to work, causing you loss of income or a change in job role, the compensation may increase.
  • Age: Your age can also play a part. Younger individuals have a longer working life potentially disrupted and hence could receive higher compensation.
  • Medical and rehabilitation costs: The financial burden from surgeries, therapies, and other medical interventions also contributes to the amount of the compensation.
  • Pain and suffering: Another important factor is the amount of physical pain and emotional distress the injury has caused you.

It's crucial to understand that compensation for these types of injuries isn't a fixed sum. Two people with similar injuries may indeed receive different compensation payouts due to their individual circumstances.

For example, consider two individuals who suffered identical thumb injuries in separate accidents. One is a younger artist who relies on their hands for work, while the other is a retired person.

In this scenario, the artist may receive a larger compensation sum because the impact of the injury on their work and income loss is significant. This illustrates how personal circumstances can greatly influence the claim settlement. 

The process can seem daunting, which is why it’s important to seek professional legal advice to get you on your way towards the rightful compensation you deserve.

Time Limits for Thumb Injuries

In Queensland, the statutory time period to lodge a claim for such injuries is typically three years from the date of the accident. There are a few nuances to note, however.

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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Can I file a thumb injury compensation claim if the accident occurred at work?

Absolutely, you can file a compensation claim if the injury occurred at your workplace. In Queensland, Workers' Compensation schemes are in place to protect employees who sustain injuries while performing their duties. Smith's Lawyers can guide you through the process, ensuring it's hassle-free. 

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What are the possible complications of thumb injuries?

Thumb injuries, though seemingly minor, can lead to significant complications if not treated promptly and adequately. Some possible complications could include long-term pain, decreased mobility, and susceptibility to arthritis, among others. In worst-case scenarios, individuals might experience permanent impairments such as loss of function or amputation.

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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 Thumb Injury 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 6, 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.