Visitor Question

Owner responsible for finger getting ripped off in conveyor belt?

Submitted By: Samuel (Ishpeming, MI)

The owner of the company where I work made a mistake and had me grab a brick when I said I couldn’t. I tried because he said to and because I didn’t want to get fired. When I reached into the machine to grab the brick, my finger got caught in the conveyor belt and was partially torn off.

Don’t I get paid something for losing a third of my right index finger? The ER threw my finger away instead of putting it on ice so it had a chance to be reattached. What can I do about this? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Samuel,

According to the State of Michigan’s Workers Compensation Agency, compensation for lost fingers is computed at:

Thumb: 65 weeks

First finger: 38 weeks.

Second finger: 33 weeks

Third finger: 22 weeks.

Fourth finger: 16 weeks.

For information about filing your claim, go to Michigan’ Workers Compensation Agency’s website. To initiate your claim you will need to file a WC-117 form.

From the facts you present, your injury occurred within the scope of your job duties and is therefore a workers’ compensation claim. This is true even if you told the owner of the company you couldn’t grab the brick.

Why the emergency room staff “threw” your finger away, instead of putting it on ice or taking other measures to save it, is confounding. If there was no reasonable medical reason to do so, and if saving your finger would have resulted in its reattachment, you may have a medical malpractice claim against the hospital.

All medical malpractice claims should be handled by experienced personal injury attorneys. There is too much at stake in a malpractice claim. It is rare for hospitals, and especially their insurance companies, to admit to having committed malpractice. As a result, it’s likely a lawsuit will have to be filed.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: July 18, 2014

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