On April 29, 2014 my wife was seriously injured in a workplace accident. As a direct result, she had two surgeries to repair the damage. The end result was a “Ray Amputation” of her left pinky finger. Her company built the machine that caused the loss in house. It has since be dismantled as it had no guarding or electronic safety measures in place.
What type of settlement is “normal” for this type of injury? Does workers’ comp law in our state set an amount for a lost finger, or do we have to file a lawsuit? Thankfully we have never been in this situation before, nor do we ever wish to be again.
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.
In the State of Indiana, a partial disability settlement amount for finger amputation is approximately determined by totaling 35 weeks at 60% of your gross wages.
When it comes to “soft tissue” workplace injuries such as sprains and strains, minor cuts and bruises, etc., a worker may be best served by handling his or her own workers’ compensation claim.
When it comes to more serious “hard injuries” such as fractures, serious burns, and disabling amputations, a worker’s interests will be best served by hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Your injury is quite obviously a serious hard injury. Hopefully you are being represented by an attorney.
There is another important consideration. While Indiana workers’ comp does not permit compensation for pain and suffering, you may have a separate injury claim against the manufacturer of the machine which caused the injury.
In that regard, if you can show the machine was inherently defective, you may have the basis of a “defective product” case against the manufacturer.
Immediately, or as soon as reasonably possible, seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney with experience in product liability cases. Fortunately, most injury attorneys don’t charge for initial office consultations.
Gather all your medical bills and make appointments with various attorneys. They will be able to closely review the facts and tell you if you have a legitimate product liability claim.
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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