Loss of Limb Compensation

Loss of Limb Compensation

Nearly two million people live with a loss of a limb in the United States. The leading causes are vascular disease and trauma. About 6,000 cases of workplace amputations occurred in the United States in 2018. About 58 percent of them involved heavy machinery.

A loss of a limb changes your life. At best, you'll need a prosthesis and physical therapy to re-learn to perform your daily tasks. At worst, you'll be permanently unable to do the same job or most previous activities. You may find performing any job impossible. In any case, you'll need loss of limb compensation.

This guide will help the injured person or family member understand the loss of limbs claims, compensation, and benefits. The guide also will enable an understanding of how an attorney experienced in social security disability and worker's compensation law can help you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injury.

To learn more about compensation available after a workplace injury, or to begin the workers’ comp claims process, call (516) 997-0997 or contact us online for a free consultation.

What is a loss of limbs?

A loss of limb, or amputation, is a type of personal injury that results in the severing of a body part. It can be minor, such as losing the tip of your finger. Or, it can be a very serious injury, such as the loss of an arm or leg. 

Loss of limb injuries can be physical or functional. In a physical loss of limb, the body part actually is severed, while in functional loss of limb, the body part is still attached but no longer functions. For example, an accident can cause an individual to lose sight in one eye or to lose hearing in one year.

The second most frequent cause of limb loss is trauma. A severe work-related car accident can tear away or cut off a body part, or the body part can be damaged from a crush-related injury or severe burns to require surgical amputation. Loss of limb injuries, however, can occur in many settings.

 In addition to the physical impact, limb losses can impact an individual's psychological and emotional health. The loss of a limb can also affect the amputee's ability to earn a living over the short-term, long-term, or for the rest of their lives.

Depending upon the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to benefits such as worker's compensation, Social Security disability, personal injury damages, and private disability insurance benefits. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney can help you receive fair compensation for your injury.

Loss of limbs compensation

The amount of compensation available to you depends on several factors. These include:

  • The type of injury
  • The seriousness of the injury
  • The laws of a particular state
  • Whether you can return to work
  • The length of the recovery
  • The circumstances of the case
  • The type of insurance coverage and how much insurance will cover.

For example, if someone files a worker's compensation claim, they may receive money for their medical bills and lost wages, but not pain and suffering. Or, if a person suffers a loss of limb injury in a factory, they will be compensated based on their state's Schedule of Loss.

An injured person also can receive compensation through filing a personal injury case. In these cases, the person likely received the injury somewhere other than on the job or is not entitled to workers' compensation.  A successful personal injury lawsuit can provide remedies such as:

  • Economic damages, which include payment of medical costs, reimbursement for loss of income, and similar expenses
  • Non-economic damages, which include damages for pain, suffering, and psychological and emotional distress
  • Punitive damages in rare cases that courts award to punish the person or organization that caused the loss of limb injury

Some states will cap the damages an injured person can recover or limit punitive damages; however, New York has no cap. The state does have time limits within which you must file to be eligible for recovering damages in court.

Workers' compensation and disability benefits for loss of limbs

The benefits available for loss of limb injuries are covered under New York state's Workers' Compensation Rules in workers' compensation cases. These benefits, however, are based upon the opinions of specific medical practitioners and, unfortunately, do not always reflect your best interests. 

A worker's compensation lawyer can help you obtain a fair workers' compensation settlement.

Workers can receive benefits for medical care and lost wages; in case of death, survivors can receive benefits. Health care benefits include care provided by doctors, dentists, surgeons, and optometrists, as well as assistive devices and drugs. However, in emergencies, a provider authorized by the Workers' Compensation Board must provide this care.

Workers who suffer a loss of limb injury and are partially or permanently disabled in New York may also receive benefits under a Schedule of Use Table. 

The opinion of the authorized medical professionals will determine the extent of the disability. These awards are limited to a specific amount and have a maximum cap on the number of weeks the injured employee can receive them. They are given to those who have permanently lost the use of their:

  • shoulder
  • arm
  • hand
  • finger
  • wrist
  • hip
  • knee
  • leg
  • ankle
  • foot 
  • toe
  • hearing
  • vision

The weekly income benefit is based on the worker's average weekly wage before the accident. However, the maximum weekly benefit is capped based on the date of the injury. 

For example, someone who was injured between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022, can receive no more than $1,063.05 a week. Permanent disabilities that occurred before March 7, 2007, are not capped. If an employer continues to pay the injured worker, they are not eligible for lost wage payments from their compensation insurer.

Disabled workers also can generally receive Social Security Disability payments, as well. In some cases, they may also be able to claim disability benefits from a third-party insurance policy. 

Also, if third-party negligence caused the injury, an injured worker might consider a personal injury lawsuit. Often faulty equipment causes loss of limb injuries.

Key Takeaways

  • A loss of limb injury or amputation injury is when a body part is severed or becomes nonfunctional.
  • Trauma, which includes accidents, is a significant cause of loss of limb injuries.
  • About 2 million people live with a loss of limb injury in the United States.
  • About 6,000 people lost a limb because of a workplace accident in the United States in 2018
  • Losing a limb changes your life. It can affect your ability to earn a living and to perform daily activities. It also can have psychological and emotional effects.
  • In some cases, those who lose a limb on the job are eligible for workers' compensation benefits. These benefits include the payment of medical expenses and lost wages based upon a schedule.
  • Workers' comp benefits are based upon the opinions of medical professionals that are authorized under your employer's policy rather than those of independent professionals.
  • If the injury did not occur on the job, workers' compensation rules do not apply.
  • Many people who lose a limb are also eligible for Social Security. Disability Insurance compensation. Some also are eligible for benefits under a private disability policy.
  • If the negligence of another or faulty equipment caused your loss of limb injury, you might be able to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit.
  • A personal injury attorney can help you claim all the benefits that are due to you.

Speak with a workers’ compensation attorney about your loss of limb claim today

Terry Katz & Associates, P.C., a Long-Island-based team of experienced workers’ comp lawyers, understand the impact of a loss of limb injuries on the quality of your life. 

We take the time to listen to you, and we are passionate about fighting for your rights. 

For example, you have a legal right to a second medical opinion from an independent medical professional when you are injured. We can request and facilitate that second opinion about the seriousness of your issue and your functionality. 

We understand workers' compensation law and know about all potential sources of compensation based on your injury and will ensure that you understand and apply for all your benefit options. We can also help you file for Social Security disability if that's appropriate in your case. 

You've worked hard for much of your life. 

Don't let an injury force you and your family into economic ruin. If you've suffered a loss or limb injury on the job or in another type of accident, we can help. 

Call (516) 997-0997 or contact us online to speak with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer today. We serve clients throughout New York state.

Frequently Asked Questions About Workers' Compensation

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