What is a reasonable settlement for a hand injury resulting in partial amputation of a finger?
by Anonymous (USA)
While working my fingers (middle, ring, and pinky) got caught in a conveyer belt between two rollers crushing them and then (what the doctors call) a de-gloving to my middle and ring finger. I was flown to the E.R. where they stitched my fingers up. A few days after that i had a follow up and they said that the tip of my ring finger wasn't healing so they had to amputate down to the 1st joint from the top.
I have a decent sized scar that wraps around the tip of my middle finger that causes some pain when i pick things up over 5 lbs (if that) and it's still pretty tight. They say it may loosen up over the next few years. My pinky didn't really sustain any long term damage.
Workmans comp has paid for my medical bills and everything that has to do with the injury which puts them around 30k so far. I'm told i should still receive a settlement but haven't been made an offer. So i was just wondering what's normal for an injury like mine. i don't want to accept an offer below average.
Oh yeah, the company added steps to the machine i was injured on and failed to put the proper safety guards on. If they would have had them on this never would have happened. I'm not saying it was completely their fault cause i was the one up there. I don't know if that will have anything to do with the amount or not, I'm just wondering. I've obviously never been in a situation like this before. Well thanks for your time, if you can help great if not no biggie.
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ANSWER for "What is a reasonable settlement for a hand injury resulting in partial amputation of a finger?":
Workers compensation is a very specialized area of the law which differs substantially from personal injury. The basic gist of a work comp case is as follows...
You are evaluated by the workers compensation carrier through either an IME (independent medical examination) or a QME (qualified medical examination). From there, they set up a course of treatment for you. It sounds as though you have already done this. Once you have completed your treatment, the workers compensation carrier will assess your degree of disability by assigning a percentage to you, for example: You are 16% disabled as a result of the work related injury.
These percentages are on a matrix, if you will, which assigns a dollar amount (for settlement) to each percentage. This also depends greatly on what you do for a living - a surgeon who relies solely on his hands and earns a substantial income will receive more than someone who earns less and can work around the injury. Therefore, it is difficult to tell you what this case will settle for.
Since laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions, you should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state (if you haven't already). Find an experienced local attorney to give you a free personal case review here.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.