About Pennsylvania Specific Loss Benefits
The Workers' Compensation Act offers additional compensation in a lump sum if a work injury causes the loss of use of a specific body part. The amount of compensation varies depending on which state you live in, which body part has been amputated or no longer functions, and how much time you've missed at work.
Additionally, a doctor will evaluate your injuries and assign a percentage to represent the level of impairment for that body part. Your total compensation will be adjusted based on this percentage.
Your employer and/or their insurance carrier will likely attempt to make you an offer which falls well below the maximum compensation you're entitled to. It's often necessary to hire an experienced work injury lawyer in order to secure full compensation.
Social Security Disability
Surprisingly, not all amputees qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. In order to receive this form of compensation, you must meet one of the following requirements:
- Both hands were amputated
- Amputation of one or both legs at or above the ankle, as long as this amputation keeps you from using a prosthetic device
- Amputation of one hand and one leg at or above the ankle, which prevents you from walking
- Amputation of one leg up to the hip
- Pelvic amputation
If you're unsure if you meet one of these criteria, one of our work injury lawyers can help you better understand your options in a free consultation.
How Do I Know What Benefits To Apply For?
There is no easy answer to this question. All work injury cases are complex, and amputation injuries are even more so. It's nearly impossible for a layman to determine the maximum compensation he or she is eligible for without spending many hours pouring through complex legal statutes.
If you've suffered the loss of a limb, you've got enough stress to deal with. You don't need the added pressure of making sure you don't get short-changed in the compensation process. This is why it's necessary to have a seasoned work injury attorney by your side. The lawyers at Monheit Law have helped many victims of amputation work accidents recover the maximum compensation they're entitled to.
We can help you apply for and receive all of the work injury benefits you're entitled to, and also evaluate if you have a strong case for a personal injury claim. If your injury was caused by malfunctioning equipment or the negligence of a nonemployee, you could hold those parties liable for additional damages outside of Workers' Comp, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of life's pleasures
- Past and future lost earnings
Most Dangerous Industries
Amputations are rarer than many other work-related injuries, but they happen more than you might think. According to a 2016 report by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there were 2,644 amputation reports in 2015. Sadly, the vast majority of these accidents could be prevented if employers placed more emphasis on proper safety practices in the workplace.
Workers in the manufacturing industry are at the highest risk of amputations, and it's not even close. Various manufacturing industries accounted for 57% of amputations in 2015. Construction came in at #2, accounting for 10% of workplace amputation injuries. Other industries listed in the report include:
- Wholesale trade
- Retail trade
- Administrative/Support/Waste Management/Remediation Services
- Transportation and warehousing
- Oil and gas extraction
If you believe that your excessive negligence by your employer played a role in your injury, you may be able to hold them liable in a personal injury claim. In March of 2017, a former chemical plant worker in Baton Rouge, LA was awarded over $37 million after the courts found that his employer knew about the dangerous condition which resulted in his work injuries and leg amputation but neglected to address the problem.
Personal injury claims are not common, but this case had video evidence proving that the chemical plant allowed this man to work despite being aware of the dangerous condition. A lawsuit against an employer is only viable in cases of extreme negligence such as this one. However, you will always be entitled to Workers' Comp benefits for a serious work injury.