Lots of workers in Illinois suffer injuries that require amputations. They might get crushed by a forklift. They might fall of a scaffold. They even might get rammed by a truck. If this happens to you, your life can be completely changed. Amputations add medical bills, lower earning potential, and damage one’s quality of life. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers assists workers that have needed amputations. We help them bring a case and recover damages to the total extent that Illinois law allows. Read the next few pages to learn about these injuries and lawsuits. Call us to see how we can help you. Recovery is one phone call away!
- Workers’ Amputation Injuries in Illinois
- Treatment for Amputations
- Workers’ Amputation Facts
- Can I sue for Work Amputation Injuries?
- What is the Value of Work Amputation Claims?
- Workers' Amputation Injury Settlements
- Attorneys That can Help You in Chicago
Workers’ Amputation Injuries in Illinois
Thousands of people undergo amputations every year. Doctors perform them for a variety of reasons. Some come from trauma. Some come from disease. Some come other ways. People amputate limbs in order to forestall serious problems. For instance, legs with gangrene can take someone’s life. Many people get injured at work. Many of these accidents require amputations. Read these common workplace amputations:
Certain jobs have more amputations than others. Machines that cut, punch, or shear are particularly risky. Power transmissions, moving parts, and points of operations put employees in danger too. The combo of powerful machines and no safety ed creates workers injuries. In fact, they often do. Amputations are just one negative outcome that workers face.
The government monitors this issue regularly. It sets rules for workplace safety. Yet, not all employers follow them. If they don’t and you get hurt, call us. We can help. We can identify which rules your boss failed to follow. We can build a case for compensation too.
To read about the rules that companies must follow to prevent amputations, see: OSHA Fact Sheet.
Treatment for Amputations
Your amputation may happen accidentally or on purpose. To treat the former, do some things at first then consider long term options. At first, get the lost limb and place it on ice. Go to an ER as soon as you can. On the way, clean but don’t scrub or scratch the wound site. Wrap the limb with a cloth to stop infections. Elevate the wound and splint it to constrict the area. You want to stop bleeding but not cut off all blood flow. Once you get to the ER, inform the staff of the nature of the accident.
Obviously, many people choose to have amputations. Plus, in either case, they require long term care. Long term care involves surgery, prosthesis, and counseling. Surgery aims to remove the affected part and clean the area. It causes pain. Patients must clean the area regularly for weeks after the operation. Prosthesis tries to replace the look and function of the lost body part. Doctors tailor the prosthesis to the individual person. Finally, counseling attempts to address the trauma of the event. Amputations cause a lot of emotional distress. Patients need to talk about it and work through it. They cannot ignore this side of their treatment. To know exactly what you should do, call a doctor. Tell them what happened. Follow their directions. We can help you do this. We have worked with a lot of amputees. Plus, we can help you get recovery in court.
Workers’ Amputation Facts
Here are some facts and figures regarding amputations and the workplace:
- Millions of people have lost a limb in the US.
- Causes of amputation include accidents, cancer, diabetes, and peripheral arterial disease.
- Hundreds of thousands of amputations occur every year.
- The US spends nearly $10 billion treating this issue every year.
- People with diabetes that have lost one leg will most likely need the second one amputated as well.
- Thousands of amputations occur due to work every year.
- Most non-fatal work amputations happen to the finger.
- Manufacturing workers are the most likely to suffer an amputation.
- Non-fatal work place amputations have gone down in recent years.
- Fatal work place amputations have not gone down in recent years.
Can I sue for Work Amputation Injuries?
Generally, you cannot sue for injuries you suffer on the job. This includes amputation injuries. Illinois makes you go through the workers’ comp system. They bar you from filing a lawsuit. Yet, you can still file a claim through the workers’ comp system. This allows you to get many of the same things a suit would have.
Are there exceptions? Yes, you can sue for some work-related claims. You can sue third parties. If a manufacturer makes a defective product, you can sue if the item harms you. If someone crashes into you at work, you can sue that person. If you slip and fall at work, you can sue the real estate owner. Notice, you are not suing your boss in any of these examples.
The impact that workers’ comp has on your claim matters. You need to find a lawyer that knows the system. He or she should know it well. To learn more about it, call our offices. We represent injured workers. We can explain the process to you. In the next section, we discuss the value of your work amputation claims.
What is the Value of Work Amputation Claims?
Note, you cannot sue for workplace amputation claims. You need to go through Illinois’ workers’ comp system. In some ways, this makes it easier. Illinois put your recovery into law. Read these points to review the value of your claim:
- What constitutes amputation? To be considered an amputation, one must lose either a bone or big part of an extremity. Typically, losing muscle or tissue won’t count.
- Which amputations are compensated? Illinois allows compensation for these body parts: arms, legs, toes, fingers, hands, and feet.
- What PPD rate does Illinois use? The rate is about 60% of the average weekly wages per amputation. Yet, the rate applied to thumbs, fingers, toes, hands, arms, feet, and legs might be more. Here is the schedule broken down by body part:
- The IWC requires fast payments. If employers don’t pay fast, the IWC will penalize them. Thus, they must review and act on your claims promptly.
*Loss of fours digit equals loss of one hand at total loss (100%).
**Loss of first phalanx on digit equals 50% loss; loss of more than one phalanx on same digit equals 100%.
This info should show you what your amputation claim might be worth. There could be other things you can get too. Talk to a skilled lawyer to figure out the value of your claim.
Workers' Amputation Injury Settlements
Workers give a lot to their jobs. Sometimes they even give their limbs and need an amputation. Here are some of those stories to help give you some perspective on how juries value these situations when a worker suffers an injury that results in amputation of a limb. As with nearly all work-related injuries, these people are afforded workers compensation benefits. In addition, as you will see below, workers may also have a claim against a third-party for their damages.
2011; California; $400,000 Settlement:
The victim in this case was at work and told to use a box-gluing machine. As she started, she noticed that a lot of the hot glue was gumming up the process so she went to get rags to clean the machine. While she was attempting to do that, her hand got stuck and she could not remove it. Her hand was glued to the machine for almost half of an hour and injuries from the incident forced doctors to amputate one of her fingers. She brought a workers’ compensation claim for her injuries arising out of the accident and she received $400,000.
2011; Alabama; $565,000 Settlement:
The victim in this matter was working on a construction crew. He parked his car, turned the lights on, and walked around to the front of his vehicle. Not long after this, another truck came around the corner and rear-ended his car causing it to slam into him. Both of his legs were crushed and one had to be amputated. He sued the other driver and the driver’s employer for negligence. Additionally, he sued his own employer for workers’ compensation. This was a pretty cut and dry case. The defendant driver was clearly negligent so all sides sought a quick settlement. As it broke down, the defendant driver and his employer paid $465,000 and the plaintiff’s employer paid $100,000. Thus, he received $565,000 in total.
2007; Florida; $180,000 Settlement:
A construction worker was going about his day at work when he stepped on a nail. The nail went all the way through his shoe and entered his toe. Soon after this, doctors discerned that he needed an amputation so they removed the affected digit. Eventually, the man went back to work for another construction company but after a few months he realized that it was seriously bothering him and affecting his ability to work. He brought a workers’ compensation claim against the original construction company. The claim alleged that he now had a complete and permanent disability from the nail incident and asked for compensation. The defendant replied that his condition was the result of his employment with the second construction company, not theirs. However, both sides amicably agreed to end the matter for $180,000.
2015; Illinois; $1,800,000 Settlement:
A young man, just under thirty years old, was driving a drill rig when hit power lines immediately above his vehicle. The crash sent volts through the rig and electrocuted him almost instantly. He sustained burns all over his body, severe eye damage, and an injury to his left leg that required a below-the-knee amputation. He brought claims against the power company, rig manufacturer, and his employer for these injuries. The combined group of defendants paid a total of $1,800,000 to him for this incident with about $300,000 of that coming from his employer for workers’ compensation charges.
2014; Massachusetts; $400,000 Settlement:
Here, a painter was painting on his employer’s property. He went to move his ladder when he accidentally stepped on a live wire. The charge sent him instantly into cardiac arrest and gave him pretty serious burns. After his condition stabilized, he still needed various surgeries including skin grafts and amputations for two of his toes. He brought a workers’ compensation claim against his employer to recover compensation for the injuries that he received while on the job. The employer quickly denied the extent and permanency of these harms. However, once the plaintiff’s health was completely assessed, they decided to enter into a confidential settlement for $400,000.
2005; Illinois; $2,350,000 Settlement:
This accident took place in a machine parts factory. A man in his middle forties was working on a machine when he stepped away from it for a moment. During that pause, a piece of steel whipped out of the machine and severed his arm right above the elbow. The incident required him to have an amputation. In the subsequent suit and claim, he alleged medical bills of almost $100,000 and lost wages of almost $150,000. He sued the manufacturer as well as his employer and argued that they were negligent in the design of the machine, warnings of the machine, training him, and supervising him. He also sought money under workers’ compensation. The defendants replied that his injuries were exaggerated. Also, they said that he was contributorily negligent by stepping away from the machine without turning it off and not following the machine’s instructions. Prior to trial, all sides settled for $2,350,000 that included a $596,815 workers’ compensation lien.
2004; Illinois; $230,000 Settlement:
A 37-year-old female punch press operator was pulling out and cleaning modules from a machine when it suddenly fell down on her hand without any warning. She lost three fingers because of the accident. In due time, she brought claims against the press machine’s manufacturer as well as his employer. The two combined to give him a settlement of almost a quarter million dollars and of that figure about one third of it was for workers’ compensation.
2013; Massachusetts; $600,000 Settlement:
The employee in this case was 49 years old. He was working on a roof and accidentally fell off of it. The fall gave him a calcaneal fracture in his foot but that was just the start of his problems. He also developed an infection that threatened his heart, an addiction to the prescription medication they treated him with, and doctors said his foot might have to be amputated. He brought a workers’ compensation claim against his employer but the latter denied that he could not return to work or that his injuries were as severe as he claimed. To settle the matter, they offered $600,000 and the man accepted thereby dismissing any chance of trial.
Attorneys That can Help You in Chicago!
Did you lose a limb at work? Are you handicapped because of your job? If this is true, we can help you. Our lawyers work on amputation cases every year. We know how to make employers pay their fair share. We have done it before and we can do it for you. You deserve compensation. Illinois law set up a system by which you can recover. Let us show you how you can get on the road to recovery. Call us today!
If you would like to learn about other kinds of injuries sustained by Illinois workers, then please read the following pages: