How Much Is a Loss of Limb Payment for Workers’ Compensation?
After the loss of a limb, workers’ compensation will provide benefits, including loss of limb payment. The benefits you receive for amputation injuries in Chicago depend on factors such as whether you suffer total or partial loss of a limb or the level of disability you suffer due to the loss of use of a limb. There is also a schedule of benefits that determines how much compensation you are entitled to, depending on which limb has been affected.
Suffering an amputation in a workplace accident impacts your personal life and has ramifications for your career, ability to work, and finances. While a work injury can cause a disturbance in your life, your employer’s workers’ compensation policy should assist with medical coverage and partial wage replacement.
Workers’ compensation is insurance for employees suffering workplace injuries, providing compensation for their losses, including the loss of a limb. If you have lost a limb at work, an amputation injury lawyer can help you to get loss of limb payment from workers’ comp.
Most Common Causes of Amputations in the Workplace
Between 2015 and 2022, an average of 27 workers suffered amputation or hospitalization daily. Numerous risk factors and accidents add to these numbers and the level of risk workers face.
Some of the most common causes of amputations in the workplace include:
Machinery or Equipment
Heavy machinery includes any equipment that does heavy-duty work, such as forklifts, conveyors, compactors, and grinders. Generally, heavy machinery requires special training to operate.
Due to the size and dangerous nature of the equipment, when these accidents happen, the injuries tend to be severe, often resulting in amputations.
Inadequate Training, Safety Gear, or Safeguards
Because of the dangerous nature of machinery in the workplace, it often requires special training to operate, as well as safeguards to ensure worker protection. Lack of training, safety gear, or sufficient safeguards can leave workers vulnerable. There is also a risk if there have not been sufficient steps taken in preventing crush injuries in the workplace.
In certain industries, such as construction, workers are frequently required to climb ladders, scaffolding, or onto other high places. If a worker falls, there is a greater risk of severe injury due to the height. There is also a risk of debris or heavy objects falling, leading to severe injuries, including amputation.
Available Disability After an Amputation
After suffering an amputation from a workplace injury, you may be able to receive disability benefits from workers’ comp. The benefits that you can receive, as well as how long workers’ comp lasts, will depend on the type of disability that you have suffered.
There are four different types of disability, each with its own characteristics and different benefits:
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
These apply when an injury temporarily prevents an injured employee from carrying out some tasks, but the employee is still able to perform his or her job at a reduced level.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
An employee is unable to perform in his or her job at all for a time, while he or she heals from an injury. Workers’ comp will compensate the employee at two-thirds of his or her gross weekly wage until he or she is able to return to work.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
These cover an employee who suffers an injury resulting in the permanent partial loss of the use of a body part. Workers’ comp gives a loss of limb payment using an amputation compensation chart, which lists compensation available for different body parts that are amputated. For example, compensation for an amputated leg has a different amount than an amputated hand or another body part.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
PTD occurs when an employee is either permanently unable to return to work or loses two of the same major body parts, such as both hands, feet, arms, or legs. The employee is eligible for workers’ comp benefits for the rest of his or her life.
Other Workers’ Comp Benefits
Aside from temporary and permanent payments for partial and total disabilities, in Illinois you can receive workers’ compensation benefits that include the following:
Medical expenses are all the expenses associated with treating your injury, including treatments and ongoing care.
Loss of Wages
Your injury may be so severe as to prevent you from continuing in your job or, a similar-paying job. If you are forced to take a lower-paying job, workers’ comp can make up part of this differential in wages.
If your injuries prevent you from being able to perform your normal line of work, you may be eligible to receive vocational training benefits to enable you to begin a new occupation.
What Is the Difference Between Permanent Partial Disability and Total Disability?
Permanent Partial Disability
Permanent partial disability (PPD) happens when an employee loses a limb but is still able to return to work and earn wages. PPD prevents an employee from performing the same type of work as before the injury, or holding the same position.
In Illinois, workers’ compensation body part values are listed in an amputation compensation chart, which indicates the number of weeks for which an employee can receive compensation as a percentage of his or her wages.
- Thumb – 76 weeks, index finger – 43 weeks, middle Finger – 38 weeks, ring finger – 27 weeks, and fourth or little finger – 22 weeks
- Hand – 205 weeks and arm – 253 weeks
- Leg – 215 weeks and foot – 167 weeks
- Eye – 162 weeks
- Loss of hearing in one ear – 54 weeks
- Total and permanent loss of hearing – 200 weeks
The amount of wages claimable is determined by what percentage you have lost the use of that limb. This percentage is determined by an examining doctor. For example, if a doctor determines that you have lost 25% use of your index finger, and your weekly wages are $500, your partial finger amputation compensation would be calculated as follows:
Weekly wages × the number of weeks assigned for the limb × percentage loss of use of the limb.
= $500 × 43 × 25%
In this case, you would be able to claim $5,375 in compensation. Amputation lawyers in Chicago will assist you with this calculation based on reports from your doctor.
Permanent Total Disability
Permanent total disability (PTD) happens when injuries prevent an employee from ever returning to work. Under Illinois worker’s comp laws, PTD benefits are automatic if an employee loses both hands, both feet, both arms, or both legs. Benefits are also given when an employee is not able to do any type of work for which he or she has a reasonable prospect of employment.
In such cases, a worker is awarded two-thirds of his or her wages, which is payable for the rest of his or her life. If the worker does return to work, these benefits may be altered or terminated.
Your workers’ compensation attorney can assist you in determining what amount of compensation you can claim and the loss of limb payment you can expect based on your injury and disability.