Wrist Injury Compensation Lawyers

We are expert compensation lawyers with offices across Queensland including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and major regional centres. Free initial advice and 100% risk-free claims with no upfront costs and our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise.

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If you've suffered a wrist injury in Queensland following a road, work or public place accident, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what steps to take next.

The impact of such an injury can be immense, affecting your ability to work, enjoy your free time and even carry out everyday tasks. 

Here, you'll find information on your rights to wrist injury compensation, common causes of wrist injuries, the process for lodging a claim, frequently asked questions and time limits for making a claim in Queensland. 

Smith's Lawyers team of personal injury claim experts offer free initial advice and no-obligation appointments at home, in 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 Wrist Injury In Queensland

Injuries to the wrist or hand were one of the major causes of hospitalisation in 2021-22. While they may seem like a milder type of injury, an incapacitated hand can make life and employment incredibly difficult. 

If you've suffered a wrist injury while on the road, at work or just as you're out and about in Queensland, and someone else is to blame, you're entitled to pursue a claim.

In Queensland, there are several compensation schemes you can use:  

  • Workplace Accidents: If your injury occurred at the workplace, you may be entitled to make a statutory claim via WorkCover Queensland or your employer's own workers compensation policy if they are ‘self-insured’ - regardless of who is at fault. Common law claims are also an option if your employer was negligent and this has resulted in your injury. 
  • Car or Road Accidents: Queensland's Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance covers personal injuries sustained while on the road, where another road user was at fault. This is the insurance included as part of your registration (rego) fees.
  • Public Liability Claims: If your wrist injury occurred in a public place, you may be entitled to submit a common law claim against the public liability insurer for the area. This could cover injuries sustained in public spaces or commercial premises.

Making a claim, whether through a scheme or in court, can be daunting. That's why seeking legal advice can help put you at ease and help guide you through the process.

What is a Wrist Injury?

A wrist injury, at its simplest, refers to any harm or damage that affects the properties and functionality of the wrist. This intricate area, composed of eight small bones interconnected by ligaments and tendons, is vulnerable to a range of injuries that can result from daily tasks, accidents, or certain health conditions. 

These injuries can include: 

  • Wrist Sprains: This injury occurs when the ligaments connecting the wrist bones are stretched or torn.
  • Fractures: A heavy fall or impact can cause the wrist bones to crack or break.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: This is a condition caused by pressure on the median nerve present in the wrist, leading to pain and numbness.

If you've suffered a wrist injury due to an accident at work, on the road, or in a public place in Queensland, it is advisable to seek legal advice immediately to understand your rights and potential compensation.

Common Causes Of Wrist Injury

Depending on the nature of your accident and the resulting damage, different factors come into play.

Some of the most common causes include:

  • A work-related incident usually factors in occupational health and safety standards. Workers who spend a lot of time typing or lifting heavy objects can develop repetitive strain injuries. Employers are required to ensure they provide appropriate support and regular breaks to avoid this happening. 
  • For road-related wrist injuries, it's often about determining who was at fault. Even minor car accidents can cause significant force to your hands and wrists. In more serious cases, you could be looking at fractures or dislocation.
  • In public places, a fall from a wet floor or uneven pavement could result in a sprain or fracture to your wrist. If this is a result of negligence, the owners of the property or area may be held responsible. 
Common Wrist Injuries

Wrist injuries can vary significantly in severity. 

Some of the most common hand and wrist injuries in Australia are: 

  • Sprains and strains: These were the most common claims to the Queensland Workers' Compensation Scheme in 2022-23. Sometimes these injuries build up over time which makes it hard to identify. Serious sprains might leave you needing a cast or some form of wrist support to recover. 
  • Broken wrist: Your wrist joint will often take the majority of the impact when putting your hands out to protect from a fall. For example, if you put your hands out to protect yourself from tripping over something, the force of hitting the ground could result in a broken wrist.
  • Dislocations: Road accidents can often result in more serious injuries. If your wrist is dislocated, it can bring with it a range of symptoms from immediate swelling and pain to more prolonged instability and stiffness. 
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: This is most common in people who use their hands repeatedly at work, for instance from typing. Carpal tunnel can include several symptoms, from tingling or numbness to nerve pain and weakness.
Workers Most At Risk of Wrist Injuries

Everyone uses their hands at work, meaning that anyone can get a hand or wrist injury. However, some occupations have a higher probability than others due to the nature of the work involved.

These include: 

  • Construction workers: Frequent use of hand tools and heavy machinery makes them highly likely to suffer from wrist sprains, strains, fractures and carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Mechanics and technicians: Repairing and maintaining vehicles and machinery often involves repetitive hand movements, awkward postures and vibrations. This can lead to overuse injuries and nerve damage.
  • Manufacturing workers: Assembly lines and production tasks often involve repetitive motions and forceful gripping, increasing the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and other repetitive strain injuries.
  • Hairdressers and stylists: Repetitive movements like cutting, blow-drying and styling hair can cause repeated tension in the wrists and hands. 
  • Janitors and cleaners: Mopping, scrubbing and carrying heavy supplies often involve awkward postures and repetitive motions, putting wrists at risk for sprains, strains and fatigue.
  • Athletes or sports administrators: If you regularly participate in sports activities as part of your job, hand and wrist injuries are incredibly common in your industry due to the physical nature of day-to-day activities. 
  • Secretaries and office workers: Constant typing and moving heavy supplies around can cause a repetitive strain injury if proper ergonomics aren't in place.

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

Understanding The Compensation Claims Process

Before you start the claims process, you must speak to a doctor who will diagnose and keep a record of your injury. 

The claims process can be long and complicated, but that doesn't mean you're not entitled to compensation for an injury

We've broken down the general steps you'll go through when looking to make a claim:

1. Initial Claim With a Law Firm

A legal professional is your best start to getting the compensation you deserve. They understand how the law works and can advise you on the best path forward. Our team will provide you with a free case review and take you through the whole process, answering your questions, putting you at ease and filing your claim successfully. 

2. Notifying the Party that Injured You

Whether that is your employer, an insurer or a third party, it's important to inform them of your injury as soon as possible. This is a crucial part of your claim and must be in writing. In that document, you need to include the nature and circumstances of the incident. Our team can help you with this. 

3. Identifying Liability

The next step involves establishing who bears the responsibility for the circumstances leading to your injury. This could be your employer, the owner of the public space or someone's insurer if it's a road accident. 

4. Medical Evaluation and Evidence Gathering

A detailed medical evaluation following your injury becomes a significant part of the evidence. This also provides an estimation of the required treatment cost, forming a basis for the compensation amount. Our lawyers can guide you on other pieces of necessary evidence to strengthen your case. 

5. Lodging a Claim

Once all the evidence is gathered, your injury claim is formally lodged with the responsible party. The legal team can assist in ensuring all necessary details are correctly recorded. 

6. Negotiation and Settlement

In many cases, there will be some negotiation regarding the compensation amount once a claim is lodged. The matter may be resolved through a compensation payout, or it might proceed to court if no agreement is reached. Your legal team represent you throughout all of this, advising you to get an outcome in your best interest. 

Your case is not going to be the same as others you may have heard about. This guide is a general overview, so it could also be the case that you may have more or fewer steps. 

If you believe you have grounds for a claim, you should seek legal advice. Smith's Lawyers can offer a free case review. 

What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Wrist Injury Claim?

To make a wrist injury claim in Queensland, gathering the right documents and evidence is crucial. Here are the types of documentation you may need: 

  • Medical reports: A detailed medical report from your GP or a specialist can provide objective evidence of your injury, its severity, and your ongoing treatment needs.
  • Proof of lost earnings: If your wrist injury prevented you from working, having evidence of lost earnings could increase the amount you might receive in a settlement. This can be in the form of pay stubs, tax returns, or a letter from your employer confirming your lost time at work.
  • Witness testimonies: If there were individuals who witnessed your accident, their statements can help support your claim. This could include coworkers, bystanders, or anyone who saw what happened.
  • Details of expenses: Keep a record of all expenses related to your wrist injury, including medication, therapy costs, and travel expenses to medical appointments. Even smaller costs, like bandages, can add up over time.
  • Proof of accident: Efficient documentation to support your claim might encompass photographs of the accident scene, a copy of the accident report if one was filed at the time, or a written account of the event.

Remember, it's important to seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you are fully and accurately covered by your wrist injury compensation claim. 

Calculating Your Compensation Amount

Understanding how much compensation you may be entitled to for a wrist injury can be complex. Essentially, several variables are at play that could influence the final amount.

  • The Severity of Your Injury: The greater your injury, the higher the potential compensation you could receive. This will take a lot of things into account, including emotional trauma, not just the wrist injury itself. 
  • The Impact on Your Life: This could be anything from having to stop playing a sport to struggling to care for your children. The more substantial the effects, the greater your entitlement is likely to be.
  • Your Age: If you're younger and suffer a serious injury, the likelihood is this will have a greater detriment to your life than a retiree. This is why younger claimants may be entitled to larger compensation payouts. 
  • Your Earnings Before the Injury: How much you made before your injury and how that potential is affected will have a role to play in how much compensation you could be awarded. 
  • Unable to Work in the Future: If your injury has effectively put you out of work, this will play a part in determining how much compensation you're entitled to.
  • Medical Treatment: Perhaps you've accumulated medical bills associated with your injury, or may require long-term treatment or rehabilitation. These expenses can also be included in the compensation claim.

There are lots of factors that can come into play when a court is working out your compensation claim. That's why it's important to seek the help of a lawyer to fully understand all your options and receive the compensation you're entitled to.

Time Limits For Wrist Injuries

Queensland has its own laws when it comes to time limits for compensation claims.

Failing to submit a claim in time could result in you losing the chance to claim compensation at all. The general rule is that a claim must be submitted within three years of the date when the injury occurred. 

However, the state also has some rules for specific circumstances. 

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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What if I'm not sure whether I have a wrist injury?

If you're unsure about whether you have a wrist injury, it's essential to get professional medical advice as soon as possible.

Symptoms such as pain, swelling or difficulty moving your wrist may indicate injury. Early diagnosis and treatment not only increase the chances of a full recovery but also serve as documented evidence if you choose to claim compensation later. 

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Should I claim if I'm scared my employer may retaliate?

Retaliation by an employer is a valid concern for many. However, it's important to understand that it's illegal for an employer to take adverse action against you because you've filed a claim or are considering pursuing one. If you do face such reprisal, legal remedies are available. 

Keep in mind the aim of the compensation claim is not to blame or hurt anyone but to offer financial aid during recuperation and to cover loss of income and treatment costs. This may be too heavy a burden to bear on your own, particularly when the injury was not your fault.

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In what ways can a wrist injury cause me problems at work?

A wrist injury can significantly impact your ability to carry out routine tasks at your workplace effectively. The degree of impact, of course, largely depends on the nature of the job you perform and the severity of the injury. 

Tasks that require manual dexterity and strength, such as typewriting, operating machinery, lifting heavy objects or even simple ones like holding a pen can become a challenge. This could lead to a reduction in your productivity and, on a more personal level, cause a significant amount of distress and frustration. 

Depending on how long your injury lasts, it may mean you need extended periods off from work for treatment and recovery. This, in turn, could lead to a constant worry about finances. Furthermore, people who want to progress up the company ladder may find their chances to do so are impeded.  

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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 for wrist 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:
February 19, 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.