Visitor Question

Can I receive a settlement for losing the tip of my little finger and feeling in my thumb?

Submitted By: Justin (Billings, MT)

While working in an asphalt plant I was asked to help find the reason a discharge auger kept on tripping a breaker. While doing so I thought to check the gearbox and electric motor while other employees were unplugging the power source – not knowing that the plant operator was going to turn the auger on.

I had my hands on the drive belts rotating the belts to check to see if the gearbox or electric motor could spin freely. At that moment the unit took on power and crushed my little finger and thumb, resulting in a permanent partial amputation and loss of feeling in thumb.

Can I receive a settlement for this injury?

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 Justin,

Be sure to report the injury to your supervisor within 30 days of your injury. The notice must include the time and place where the accident occurred and the nature of the injury. Ask your employer for the form required to report the injury. If your employer does not have the requisite form, you can download it here:
Montana Workers Compensation Commission
While you are required to report the accident and related injury to your employer within 30 days after the accident, you must submit a written and signed First Report of Injury (FROI) within 12 months from the date of the accident.

For more information about filing the claim go to:
First Report of Injury or Occupational Disease Instructions

Upon receipt of your signed FROI, the insurance company has 30 days to accept or deny your claim.

The controlling law in Montana for Workers Compensation permanent Partial disability injuries is:
Section 39-71-703. Compensation for Permanent Partial Disability

Section 39-71-703 states in part:

(1) If an injured worker suffers a permanent partial disability and is no longer entitled to temporary total or permanent total disability benefits, the worker is entitled to a permanent partial disability award if that worker:

(a) has an actual wage loss as a result of the injury; and

(b) has a permanent impairment rating as determined by the sixth edition of the American medical association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment for the ratable condition.

The ratable condition must be a direct result of the compensable injury or occupational disease that:

(i) is not based exclusively on complaints of pain;

(ii) is established by objective medical findings; and

(iii) is more than zero.

Learn more here: Claims for Workplace Amputations

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 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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