Amputations and disfigurement can completely change your life. They can affect your quality of life, change your self-image and cause great disability and frustration. Only those workers who have experienced the loss of a finger, hand, arm, or leg can appreciate all of the significant effects it has on your life. Loss of a finger, arm or leg can prevent a person from enjoying sports, other recreational activities, and even simple daily activities. Scarring and disfigurement can destroy a person’s self-esteem and result in physical limitations and psychological damage.
Hiring an experienced attorney is the best first step you can make. Attorneys will be able to maximize your recovery and ensure that you are being compensated completely for your loss. Set forth below is a chart for total loss of body parts; workers do not always lose the entire body part and it is important to have someone skilled in presenting your case in the most favorable light.
The specific loss payment is separate to other workers’ compensation benefits. This means that any award you receive for the facial disfigurement, scarring, amputation of your left foot or paralysis of an arm will not diminish any of the other disability benefits that you may be entitled to. It is important for you to remember that you can claim specific loss of use benefits even if the injury does not cause you to miss significant time at work.
Below are the periods of time for which compensation is payable for the various specific losses recognized by the Workers’ Compensation Act. “Weeks of Comp. Benefits” equals the number of weekly checks you are entitled to for that specific loss; and the “Healing Period” is the number of weekly checks you are entitled to as you “heal” from the injury.
Specific Loss/Weeks of Compensation Benefits /Healing Period
- Arm:/410 /20
- Foot:/250/ 25
- Lower Leg:/350/25
- Eye:/275 /10
- Index Finger:/50/6
- Middle Finger:/40/ 6
- Ring Finger:/30/6
- Little Finger:/28/6
- Great Toe: /40/12
- Any Other Toe:/16/6
- Disfigurement of face head or neck:/Maximum 275/None
As you can see, each body part is assigned a different value under the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act. Your award is determined based on the amputation, or loss of use “for all intents and purposes,” consequently, you may be required to have a medical professional provide medical evidence to justify an award for a “specific loss.”
It is important that you speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that you receive all of the benefits you may be entitled to because of a work injury.