Feeling Helpless After a Work-Related Amputation Injury?
The emotional trauma may be just as bad as the physical insult. If you’ve suffered a work-related amputation injury, you may feel totally helpless. As far as you’re concerned, your life has changed – and not for the better.
More than likely, it’s no consolation that you are not alone. The first year that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) required employers to officially report amputations was 2015. Notably, some states maintain their own safety records and are not subject to federal reporting standards. New Jersey is among the states expected to comply with OSHA requirements.
In 2015, the total reports amounted to 2,644 amputation victims. Of those who suffered an amputation injury at work, 57% were employed in the manufacturing industry. No doubt some of the accidents could have been avoided if the employer put more efforts into ensuring the safety of its employees.
Take for example the worker who was cleaning a roller when a conveyor started up. To the worker’s horror, she found her arm pulled into the machinery. After the fact, the business owner put in metal guards and even instituted warning sounds and flashing lights. While that might circumvent future accidents, it didn’t stop this particular employee from a mangled arm requiring several skin grafts.
Unfortunately, there are also cases where a company – or worker – may remove machine guards to increase productivity. The idea is to get the job done without time delays. Of course, the intent is not for the employee to lose fingers or even a hand.
Amputations can occur as a result of other work-related accidents as well. Those who work deli counters or meat grinders are well aware of the associated hazards. Truckers and other professional drivers may also lose limbs in motor vehicle crashes.
Additional Benefits for Amputation Injuries
Without question, an amputation injury involves at least some portion of permanent disability. You may already know that your company’s workers’ compensation carrier is responsible for your medical bills and reimbursement for a part of lost wages. Meanwhile, even if you are not totally disabled, you are most likely entitled to at least partial permanent disability benefits.
The amount of partial permanent disability benefits that victims receive is dependent on the year of the accident. For example, the 2018 Schedule of Disabilities allocates over $132K for loss of a hand – with an additional 30% awarded because of the amputation.
Third Party Cases
Did someone other than your employer or another employee cause your accident? If so, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the negligent party. For example, if a machine malfunctioned, it could be the fault of the machine manufacturer.
An experienced personal injury attorney will investigate the circumstances of your accident to determine any third party liability. You will also be advised of any rights the workers’ compensation insurance company has as far as recouping the money they expended.
Did you suffer an amputation as a result of a workplace accident? The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone can help process your claim and work towards achieving maximum recovery on your behalf. No fees are assessed until the end of the case. Contact us to schedule an appointment.