A couple of weeks ago my boyfriend lost half of his middle finger at work. When the machine ripped it off it also took the tendon out. We wanted to know what to expect in the injury claim process and how much we should expect as a settlement for this kind of injury?
The kicker is his company did not have a “lock out” tag nor was he trained on how to lock out the machine. All his medical expenses are paid of course, but he will have permanent damage and this should increase the claim right? Any information you can give would be much appreciated. 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.
Although you didn’t mention if your boyfriend was covered under his employer’s workers compensation insurance, I will presume he was. Workers comp insurance exists to provide compensation for medical bills and a portion of your boyfriend’s lost wages.
Negligence is not factored into a workers compensation claim. Once an employee is injured he or she is referred to a doctor or doctors on the employer and his insurance company’s “approved” list. Your boyfriend has the right to see one or more doctors until such time as he is comfortable with his diagnoses, treatment and prognosis.
In addition, during the time your boyfriend is unable to work he will be paid a majority of his lost wages. Once his injury is finally and fully diagnosed the insurance company will make an offer of settlement.
There are good points and some not so good points about workers comp…
With workmans compensation insurance an injured employee is afforded immediate medical care without having to pay any portion out of his or her pocket, a majority of lost wages, and a settlement for a permanent disability.
But even though you present facts which would indicate some degree of the employer’s negligence regarding the machine, that negligence is not compensable. In other words, negligence is not factored into a workers compensation settlement.
If though your husband believes the machine was faulty and the “tagging” was a result of a product defect, your husband would have the right to sue the manufacturer of the machine separately. In that lawsuit your husband could ask for reimbursement for his medical bills, all of his lost wages, out of pocket expenses such as prescription and over the counter medications, and finally an additional amount for his pain and suffering.
If you both believe the machine was defective, seek the advice and counsel of several personal injury attorneys. Most will not charge any fee for an initial office visit.
Finally, it is impossible at this time to tell you the amount the case should ultimately settle for. Regrettably, it probably won’t be anywhere close to the amount you believe it should be.
Learn more here: Compensation 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.
Best of luck with your claim,
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