Have you suffered the loss of an extremity or other injury to your fingers, toes, hands, or feet due to activities in the workplace?
Many workplace injuries result in temporary disability and have potential for recovery, but the loss of an extremity or limb is a lifelong hardship that employees affected by such accidents or injuries must endure. For some workers, losing a limb can prevent them from continuing in their profession and require permanent disability.
New Jersey’s workers’ compensation law contemplates the severity and long-term effects of these injuries. The law includes permanent disability benefits. This aspect of the law is specifically written and implemented by the Division of Workers’ Compensation to provide benefits to employees who are dismembered or disfigured, as well as those that suffer other irreversible and permanent injuries.
Causes of Extremity Injuries
For those employees who work on construction sites, laboratories, manufacturing plants, and elsewhere are required to wear personal protective gear to prevent injuries to extremities. Few employees properly utilize this protective gear, and few employers enforce the proper safety standards.
There are an estimated 110,000 hand injuries each year that require time off work. Of these, upwards of 70% of employees were not wearing gloves at the time of the injury. It is believed that of the remaining 30%, most employees were not wearing the proper type of glove. This shows that not utilizing personal protective equipment is a major cause of extremity injuries. Other causes includes:
- Continuous or repetitive motion
- Collision with materials or objects
- Malfunction or misuse of machinery or equipment
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Falls from standing or from a height
- Constrained body position, and
- Bracing body weight against object or material.
Placing Value on Extremities
Overtime, the decisions from the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation have allowed insurance companies and workers’ compensation lawyers to estimate the value of losing a particular extremity. For instance, the loss of a single index finger has a maximum value of $14,820, while a pinky finger is only valued at $5,928.
It is unfortunate that enough employees have lost index fingers, pinkies, and worse while at work for insurance companies to calculate the value of such body parts. However, the division’s decisions provide some standards for employees who lose an extremity, or other body part, during work-related activity.
There are a myriad of other injuries to the extremities that are not as quantifiable. These injuries may still require long-term rehabilitation or have life long consequences, while others can quickly heal after medical attention. Many of these injuries are categorized as extremity trauma. The symptoms of extremity trauma varies from swelling and discomfort, to weakness, numbness, or tingling in the extremity. For example:
- Strains, sprains, and muscular tears
- Fractures and breaks
- Cervicobrachial disorders
- Chronic pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Nerve damage and loss of sensitivity to touch
- Trauma to tendons, and
- Soft tissue disorders.
Speak with a New Jersey Lawyer
Whether you broke an ankle or suffered nerve damage in your hand, if the injured occurred because of a work-related activity, it is likely that your extremity injury entitles you to workers’ compensation. Ensure that you recover the maximum amount of medical costs and disability by speaking with a New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer. The Law Offices of Albert J. Talone, LLC is always available by phone at (856) – 234 – 4023.