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Amputations: Extra Money for Work Injuries
All types of work-related injuries can be significant. Many are even permanent in nature and character. What about amputations? Did you know there is extra money designated for work injuries that involve amputation?
What is an Amputation?
Although the definition of an amputation might seem somewhat obvious, workers’ compensation guidelines are very particular considering the issue. Generally, most of us think of an
amputation as the severance of a limb or extremity. An amputation can happen as a result of an accident or the necessity for surgical intervention from workers’ compensation accidents.
Workers’ Compensation Permanency Charts
In a previous article, we provided you with information concerning the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Permanent Disability Schedule, such as the 2015 chart. In order to determine if a
worker has suffered any degree of permanent injury, medical experts offer their opinions. The court evaluates reports from both parties to make a determination. One does not have to be
totally disabled to receive an award for permanent disability. It is available in different degrees of permanency, referred to as partial permanent disability.
Permanency Awards for Amputations
What are the guidelines for amputations under New Jersey Workers’ Compensation law? Some are clearly spelled out as evidenced by the following examples:
Elbow and wrist amputations:
In determining how to award disability for injuries of this nature, the courts evaluate the level of the loss. The rule is that if the arm was severed below the elbow, it is considered loss of a hand. At the elbow, and above it, the amputation is treated as an arm severance.
Knee and ankle loss:
The types of amputations are classified similarly to upper body limb amputations. Anything between the knee and ankle is considered a foot amputation. At the knee, it is thought of as loss of a leg.
The workers’ compensation disability schedule divides payments for various amputations into a weekly schedule. The amount of the weekly payment is based on a percentage of the individual’s earnings prior to the accident. For example, someone whose thumb is lost in a work-related injury would receive permanent disability benefits for seventy-five weeks. A worker whose pinkie toe is amputated could expect to receive weekly permanent disability benefits for fifteen weeks.
The terminology might strike you as strange, but injured workers who suffer amputations may be eligible for amputation bonuses. According to N.J.S.A. 34:15-12(c), “an additional amount of 30% of the amputation award shall be added to the award to compute the total award made in amputations of body members.”
If you have suffered the loss of a limb or extremity, we sympathize with you. The Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafajlo has many decades of experience dealing with work-related accidents. Our consultation is free and the judge determines our fees at the conclusion of the case. Contact us to schedule a meeting.