Workers Compensation for Amputation Injuries: What to Expect

Apart from fatal accidents, amputations are among the most severe injuries you can sustain at work.

If you’re about to file a compensation claim for your workplace amputation, here’s what you can expect from the entire process.

A Lot of Medical Attention

In the case of amputations, injured workers can expect extensive medical treatment. It usually starts with emergency care administered right after the incident takes place, coupled with additional surgeries and treatment as needed.

Additionally, some amputations may lead to long-term physical therapy. For example, if the worker’s injury leads to a leg amputation, they may require physical therapy for pain management and to learn how to use a prosthetic.

A Complex Claims Process

Amputation cases usually end up with the injured worker receiving disability benefits on top of the usual worker’s compensation benefits. These can be temporary or permanent, depending on the severity of your condition.

However, when it comes to disability benefits, these are generally calculated with specific formulas:

  • Temporary partial disability: 66 ⅔% of the difference between the average earnings before the accident, and the amount the employee can earn during the disability
  • Temporary total disability: 66 ⅔% of the worker’s average weekly wage
  • Permanent partial or permanent total disability: 66 ⅔% of the worker’s average weekly wage

For amputations, they are usually either permanent total or permanent partial disabilities. These benefits can be paid weekly to the injured worker, or they can be given as a lump sum after you negotiate with the insurance company.

These cases are very intricate, and it’s very easy to get stuck in a technicality. The problem is, such technicalities may end with the worker receiving a lot less than they should.

No Help from the Insurance Company

In a lot of disability benefits negotiations, the insurance company will generally try to convince the injured worker to accept a lump sum, especially in the case of permanent total disabilities where the payments are made throughout the worker’s entire life.

The problem is, that lump sum should account for all future expenses the worker may have as a result of their amputation, which must be estimated. If the worker is unrepresented, they may accept a low-ball settlement from the insurance company, not knowing how much their case is worth.

When you accept such a settlement, it is generally not possible to go back and ask for more money, even if your health gets worse and you legally have a right to do so. This is because most settlements include a waiver of the right to ask for further compensation.

What Can You Do?

If your workplace injury has resulted in an amputation, reach out to an experienced Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Your case may be worth a lot more than the insurance company lets on, and you deserve to be properly compensated.

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Updated: December 18, 2020