Benefits Available for Loss of Limb At A Work Site

Suffering the loss of a limb in a workplace accident is an unequivocally life-altering event, presenting overwhelming challenges for workers across physical, emotional, and financial domains. It’s not just about the immediate medical costs – long-term recovery and drastic changes in lifestyle can impact so many aspects of a person’s life. 

In these critical times understanding what benefits are available through D.C.’s workers’ compensation system becomes crucial. This knowledge can provide peace of mind and help you prepare for the future.

Permanent Partial Disability After an Amputation

Experiencing an amputation after a work-related incident goes beyond initial treatment; it shifts into analyzing how this permanent alteration to your body impacts future employment and life quality. In such cases, workers’ compensation plays an important role by covering not just medical bills or wage loss but also offering recourse through what is known as permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits.

Once you have reached the extent of recovery possible (referred to as maximum medical improvement or MMI), a doctor will evaluate the long-term consequences of your amputation, assigning it a PPD rating. 

This appraisal will take into account many aspects, like your age, overall physical health, work skills before and after your injury, and the extent of visible disfigurement. 

The partial disability rating effectively informs how much you’ll receive in PPD benefits based on pr-established schedules that stipulate compensation amounts for different types of injuries, including amputations.

Amount You Could Be Entitled To Under PPD After an Amputation

In Washington D.C., workers’ compensation benefits for lost limbs are calculated according to the body part affected and the impact it has on your ability to work. 

Specific guidelines establish a fixed number of weeks’ worth of compensation based which limb is lost. For example, a lost arm leads to 312 weeks of compensation, a lost leg leads to 288 weeks of compensation, and a lost hand leads to 244 weeks of compensation.

In case of disability partial in character but permanent in quality, the compensation shall be 66 2/3% of the employee’s average weekly wages which shall be in addition to compensation for temporary total disability or temporary partial disability paid in accordance with paragraph (2) or (4) of this subsection respectively, and shall be paid to the employee, as follows:

(A) Arm lost, 312 weeks’ compensation;

(B) Leg lost, 288 weeks’ compensation;

(C) Hand lost, 244 weeks’ compensation;

Individuals who have suffered traumatic amputations due to third-party negligence at work may also have options beyond standard worker’s comp: filing a third-party lawsuit.

How To File A Lawsuit After An Amputation

For example, if your amputation occurs as a result of an equipment malfunction, and that can be traced to a manufacturer, you may have grounds to file a defective product claim against the responsible entity in the form of a personal injury lawsuit. This can be done on top of claiming workers’ compensation benefits. This gives you the opportunity to potentially seek compensation for damages that fall outside workers’ comp coverage, like pain and suffering or punitive damages.

Navigating a third-party claim requires in-depth legal knowledge of both personal injury law and workers’ compensation laws, making it important to have representation from amputation injury attorneys who are knowledgeable about handling such complex cases.

If you have experienced the loss of a limb in a workplace accident and need guidance on navigating D.C. workers’ comp regulations or pursuing third-party claims, our Washington D.C. work injury attorney is here to assist you every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and begin discussing your rights and options.