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Hand or Wrist Injury at Work – Compensation and Payout Guide.

Hand and wrist injuries at work can range from relatively minor sprains and strains, through to broken fingers or wrists, or even life-changing loss of fingers or hands.

Compensation can pay the costs of your medical bills and wages while you’re off work. But it’s important to look beyond your obvious injury and claim compensation for the full impact it’s going to have on your life. This is the only way to claim your full workers compensation entitlements, which may include significant lump sums.

Read on to learn how to ensure you don’t miss out on any compensation or lump sum payments you’re entitled to for your injured hand or wrist, and how to get help with your claim.

Claiming workers compensation for a hand or wrist injury – what you need to know.

If you’ve injured your hand or wrist at work the first thing you need to do is to have your injuries medically treated and assessed and report them to your employer. Your employer should then report your injury to their workers compensation insurer.

Many people come to us needing help with one of these four common situations:

1- You’ve got a hand or wrist injury caused by a work accident but haven’t claimed yet.

If you don’t know where to begin we can help you with your claim from start to finish.

2- You’re already receiving weekly benefits for your hand or wrist injury but want to know about additional entitlements.

This is a really common query. Many of our clients with hand or wrist injuries are entitled to lump sums they haven’t been told about.

3- You’ve had specific benefits for your hand or wrist injury denied or cut off.

This is also a common situation. We’ve had lots of clients approach us because they’ve had essential hand or wrist surgery or treatment denied by an insurer.

4- Your hand or wrist injury claim was rejected.

Claims are often rejected on the basis that the hand or wrist injury wasn’t caused by a work accident or was a pre-existing condition caused by non-work related wear and tear or age. You may still be eligible for compensation if we can show that your job contributed to your injury.

Whether you’re about to submit a claim or you fall into one of these categories, read on to learn how to get your full entitlements.

What compensation can I claim for my hand or wrist injury?

If you’ve sustained a hand or wrist injury at work in NSW and you make a claim for workers compensation, the following table shows what you may be eligible to claim:

Workers Compensation Payments NSWDescription
Weekly paymentsThese are payments to compensate you for lost income while you’re off work due to your hand or writst injury.
Medical expensesPayment of your medical, hospital, ambulance, rehabilitation (including home help) and travel expenses.
Permanent impairment payoutA lump sum compensation payout to cover a permanent impairment as a result of your hand or wrist injury.
Work Injury Damages payoutThese are payments to compensate you for lost income while you’re off work due to your hand or wrist injury.

Permanent impairment and work injury damages for hand and wrist injuries are not paid to you automatically; you need to apply for them separately, even if you’re already receiving weekly benefits.

Find out how much you can claim.

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What hand and wrist injuries qualify for workers compensation?

We’ve settled many workers compensation hand and wrist injury claims. You can sustain hand and wrist injuries in a variety of workplaces and they can be caused by a range of factors, including repetitive tasks, heavy lifting and accidents.  Here are ten of the most common hand and wrist injury workers compensation claims:

If you fall or impact your hand or wrist you could fracture (break) bones.  These could be minor fractures, or more severe breaks that need surgery.  Complex or multiple fractures to your hand or wrist could result in chronic pain, joint instability and reduced mobility which could require multiple surgeries and long-term rehabilitation.  This could affect your quality of life and ability to do your job and other activities and result in a substantial workers compensation payout.

Overexertion or sudden force applied to your hand or wrist can cause sprains (ligament injuries) or strains (muscle and tendon injuries).  These could happen if you lift heavy objects, make forceful movements, or fall.  This kind of workplace hand or wrist injury could range from being relatively minor just requiring rest, to severe tendon and ligament injuries which require surgery and can affect your ability to perform daily activities and work.  Workers compensation could range from payment for time off work to large compensation payouts.

If you sustain a high-impact crush injury to your hand or wrist it can result in extensive damage to bones, nerves, blood vessels, and soft tissues. This can lead to permanent disability and loss of function which would be eligible for a significant lump sum workers compensation payout.

If you lose a finger, thumb, hand, or wrist due to a work-related accident it’s a life-changing injury.  This can result in significant physical limitations and the need for extensive rehabilitation and prosthetic devices. This could result in a large lump sum compensation payout.

Dislocations happen when the bones in your hand, wrist, or fingers are forced out of their normal positions.  This could be caused by a fall or a traumatic impact.  In the case of more severe dislocations that require time off work and medical interventions ranging from splinting to surgery, you could be eligible for workers compensation payments.

If you work in a job that involves lots of repetitive motions, such as using tools or constant gripping, you could suffer from inflammation in the tendons of your hand or wrist.  This is known as tendonitis and could require treatment which is eligible for workers compensation payments.

If you work in an industry like food service or manufacturing you may be at risk of thermal or chemical burns to your hands or wrists.  Depending on the severity of these you could be eligible for workers compensation payments.

If you work in industries like construction, manufacturing, or healthcare, you could be at risk of hand and wrist injuries caused by sharp objects or equipment.  Depending on the severity of these injuries you may be eligible for workers compensation payments.

If you use vibrating tools, such as jackhammers or chainsaws, you could develop HAVS.  This can cause tingling, numbness and loss of grip strength in your hands and wrists, and could be eligible for workers compensation.

If your job involves repetitive wrist and hand motions, such as typing and assembly line work, it can put pressure on the nerves in your wrist.  This can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in your hand and fingers. Severe and untreated CTS could cause these to be debilitating and interfere with your work and daily life.  This would be eligible for workers compensation payments. You can read more in our guide to claiming workers compensation for carpal tunnel.

What’s the average payout for a hand or wrist injury at work?

In the 12 months to February 2024, 113,709 workers compensation claims were submitted in NSW, and $5.8 billion was paid out in benefits and lump sums. That’s $51,007 paid out for every new claim submitted.*

However, hand and wrist injury compensation claims may be higher than the average claim if they involve significant time off work or surgery.

*According to SIRA Open Data, May 2024

Can I claim a lump sum for my hand or wrist injury?

There are two ways you may qualify for lump sums:

Permanent impairment lump sum – you can claim this if your permanent impairment rating is assessed as 11% or more.

Many people with hand or wrist injuries miss out on permanent impairment lump sums because they don’t meet the impairment rating threshold of 11%. But if your assessment wasn’t done correctly and fails to consider the full impact of your injury on your life, you could be entitled to the lump sum.

Work injury damages – a lump sum payout for damages if your hand or wrist injury was caused by your employer’s negligence.

To make a work injury damages claim for a hand or wrist injury, you need a workers compensation lawyer with experience in these claims to build the evidence that your employer’s negligence caused your accident.

If you think you’ve missed out on a lump sum you’re entitled to (for example, your permanent impairment wasn’t assessed correctly) or you need help with your claim you can call 13 15 15 for free legal advice.

Find out how much you can claim.

Get started

Call 13 15 15 or chat to us now for free advice

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Common questions and answers on hand and wrist injury workers compensation.

If you’re no longer able to work at all you could qualify for an additional TPD lump sum payout. If you can still work, but in a different role to the one you were previously qualified for you may still be eligible for a TPD lump sum depending on your insurance company’s terms. Most Australians have this insurance through their superannuation, although many are unaware they’re covered. You can call us on 13 15 15 to find out if you can claim this lump sum payout.

  • Hand or wrist injury claims should generally be submitted within 6 months
  • This can be extended to 3 years in certain circumstances
  • This can be more than 3 years if it relates to an injury resulting in death or serious and permanent impairment
  • If a period greater than 3 years has passed since the accident then a claim may still be made with SIRA approval

If you have pain in your hand or wrist, and doing your job is making that pain worse, then your first step is to stop using it and get a medical assessment and possibly x-rays.  If your pain was caused by an accident at work you should also report it to your employer.  It’s really important for any workers compensation claims to have a medical assessment that shows it’s a work-related injury.

You may have had a work accident that caused your hand or wrist injury and is easy to prove. If your injury has developed over a long period of time, through wear and tear and repetitive activities, you may still be eligible for workers compensation payments if our lawyers can prove your job contributed to it.

There are ways we can challenge the insurer’s decision for you if your hand or wrist surgery claim is denied. Our team has a strong track record in getting claim denials overturned and you can get free legal advice on your options by calling 13 15 15.

Hand and wrist injury workers compensation lawyers.

Hand and wrist injury claims can vary a lot. In many cases, hand and wrist injuries lead to other complications that affect your ability to live and work in the same way you did before the accident. It’s really important that your injuries are assessed and your claim is prepared thoroughly to make sure you get all the compensation you’re entitled to, which can include significant lump sums.

At Law Partners, we take time to get to know you personally. We look at what your life was like before your hand or wrist injury, then we look at what’s changed. It’s this more personal approach that’s enabled us to win more compensation for our clients. We work on a no win no fee basis, and we win over 99% of our cases.

Chantille Khoury bio pic

Chantille Khoury


A Doyle’s Guide listed personal injury law professional and one of the country’s preeminent workers compensation specialists, with over 15 years’ experience in delivering optimal outcomes to injured Australians.