Index finger cut off by chop saw...
(Center Point, WV, USA)
I was at work and had an accident on a chop saw. I severed my index finger, losing the majority of my intermediate phalanx. The finger could not be reattached. My thumb was also cut to the bone, requiring stitches over the majority of it and losing my thumbnail permanently.
Some loss of motion is obvious even though I'm not fully healed yet. This happened a week ago. My index finger is gone, and my thumb probably will never work right again. I work in WV and have a workers comp claim open.
I am in horrible pain, and was wondering how WV handles compensation for this kind of damage (if I am entitled to anything)? I will never play guitar well again, and many of my hobbies and my livelihood depend on my hands. I make $9 per hour and work 40hrs a week. Please help me figure out how calculate this, so at least I have a clue when they try to lowball me.
I like my work, I'm just praying for a little help. I am very lost in this, and don't want to be taken advantage of.
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ANSWER for "Index finger cut off by chop saw...":
Andrew (Center Point, WV, USA):
I would immediately refer you to this document, giving the New York State Guidelines for Determining Permanent Impairment and Loss of Wage Earning Capacity. The guidelines were published in 2012 and represent the latest in New York State’s workers compensation procedures and formulations for compensation.
I suggest you read Chapter 2, Table 2.4, which deals with the amputation of two fingers. If your thumb isn't considered an amputation, you can go on to Chapter 8 - Determining Permanent Impairment and Loss of Wage Earning Capacity.
Because of the seriousness of your injuries you really have no choice but to seek the advice and counsel of an experienced workers' compensation attorney. Compensation for amputations, while set by the News York State Workers Comp guidelines, is still negotiable.
You would be doing yourself a disservice by representing yourself. While issues like your ability to play the guitar aren’t directly compensable under the guidelines, the effect on your quality if life is legitimately arguable.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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