Law Office of James M. Hoffmann Articles Workers’ Compensation for On-the-Job Loss of Body Parts

Workers’ Compensation for On-the-Job Loss of Body Parts

By James M. Hoffmann  Oct. 19, 2015 9:52a

If you suffer an injury on the job, you are entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits. The compensation amount varies depending on the severity of the injury and its consequences. Some injuries require only first aid treatment, while others may require hospitalization or days off from work. Unfortunately, some on-the-job injuries are even more serious and may require long-term or life-long treatment. Some examples of such injuries include spinal injuries, head trauma, severe burns, and finger amputations. Workers' compensation may pay additional benefits for these injuries.

Specific Loss

Some job-related injuries are considered as "specific loss" under Missouri workers' compensation laws. These include any on-the-job loss of body parts, such as, fingers, hands, and legs. You suffer a "specific loss" when some parts of your body is amputated or lost forever. Different states have different parameters for rating a specific loss. The compensation amount also varies accordingly.

Insurance companies often use the state's specific loss rating schedule to decide a lump sum settlement amount they want to offer to the accident victim. This amount varies depending on how the loss is going to affect the victim's life and financial future. Different workers may be offered different settlement amount even for the loss of the same body parts.

Workers' compensation typically pays an additional amount for any specific loss. This is separate from the usual workers' compensation payments for medical bills, out of pocket expenses, and lost earnings. This means that if someone losses his finger on the job, he is generally entitled to receive an additional lump sum amount from workers' compensation. Remember, however, that workers' compensation usually does not pay for pain and suffering.

Finger Amputation and Permanent Partial Disability

Loss of finger is generally considered a permanent partial disability. This means that the worker who lost his finger is not completely disabled. The injured worker may not be able to continue his previous job, but he may be about to obtain another job that pays less.

In most cases, your current employer is not bound to offer you an alternative job that suits your current health conditions, unless stated otherwise in your employment contract. If you don't get an offer from your current employer, you will likely have to look for a suitable job elsewhere.

A permanent partial disability rating is determined on the basis of your primary physician's report. The primary physician takes into consideration several factors when giving you a disability rating. These factors include your current health conditions, age, and professional experience. This rating is sent to the claims adjuster of the workers' compensation insurance company. The adjuster determines a compensation amount based on that rating.

If you have lost a body part on the job, you should talk to an experienced Missouri workers compensation lawyer to understand your legal rights before accepting any offers. It is important to remember that insurance companies have billions of dollars and many attorneys on their side. An experienced workers comp attorney can help you gain an even footing and fight on your behalf to get you the full compensation you are entitled to.

Fired After Loss of Body Part

In some states, it is unlawful to fire a worker who was disabled from an on-the-job accident. Most of the US states follow the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which mandates against any discrimination against the workers on the basis of physical disability.

Contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 for a free consultation if you have been injured on the job in Missouri. We have a proven track record (over 20 years) of helping injured Missouri workers receive the compensation they are entitled to.

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