Visitor Question

Finger Tip Amputated Due to Unsafe Working Conditions…

Submitted By: Anonymous (Michigan)

I was working at a pipe coating plant and got the tip of my middle finger amputated (on my left hand) by a new kind of pipe that we normally don’t work with. The company has, since my accident, deemed that pipe and area not safe to work with.

I am only getting 70% compensation from workers comp and have to have a skin flap surgery and skin grafts. I will not be able to pay my rent at this rate of compensation. I’ll be out of work for at least 2 months and probably loose my rental house. I have a wife and daughter.

Can I sue for pain and suffering and the other 30% I’m not getting? Or for unsafe working conditions? Thanks.

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.


Dear Anonymous,

Workmans Compensation Laws in the State of Michigan, as in other states, do not allow compensation for pain and suffering. That is one of the trade off’s for having readily available compensation for medical and lost wages.

In non Workmans Compensation Personal Injury cases, many times the injured parties have to wait months, or even years, before they see any money for the injuries they sustained as a result of the negligence of a 3rd party.

Although these parties may have a right to additional compensation for pain and suffering, until their case settles they may not see any money, and as a result may not be able to pay rent, car payments or even put food on the table.

Is the trade off worth it? That’s probably determined on a case by case basis, and by those who have been injured.

Although you can’t sue for, or in any manner recover for, any amount for pain and suffering, there is another consideration… There is no law, or other legal restriction prohibiting you from seeking compensation from a 3rd party.

You mentioned you were using a new kind of pipe. If you are able to prove the product which injured you was defective you may be able to pursue a separate claim against the manufacturer of the pipe. 3rd party lawsuits over defective products happen all the time.

Research the pipe and its intended purposes. See if there have been any lawsuits filed against the pipe manufacturer, and if so were any as a result of the pipe being used in the same or similar manner in which yours was.

3rd party lawsuits can be protracted and costly. You might want to consider having a Personal Injury Attorney take a look at your case. Most won’t charge you for an initial office consultation.

If you decide to hire a Personal Injury Attorney you probably won’t have to pay any money out of your own pocket during the lawsuit. The Attorney will “front” or pay all the costs of the suit. If, at the end of the suit you prevail, the attorney will be reimbursed. If you don’t prevail, you will owe the Attorney nothing. It might be a good idea to give this some thought.

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: August 29, 2011

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