You need your fingers to function — there is no way around it. For this reason, the loss of a finger can have a profound effect on your life. If you sustained a workplace injury that resulted in finger loss, you know the degree of this effect all too well. While it's an unfortunate scenario, there are workplace compensation measures in place that can help you navigate this unfortunate challenge, but there are some important things you need to know.
Documentation Is Essential
Every element of your injury must be documented, from the events that led to the incident to what steps you did immediately after to how you are receiving treatment. Your employers' team of attorneys will look for any way to place blame in your direction to reduce the amount of compensation they have to provide. The less documentation you have, the more room there is for them to say you did something wrong.
Different Fingers Have Different Values
As morbid as the concept sounds, different fingers have different values when it comes to compensation for workers' compensation. As a general guideline, the more prominent the use of the finger, the greater the value of the claim. For this reason, the loss of a thumb or index finger would typically have a greater value because they are used more often than, say, a pinky or ring finger. Whether or not the loss occurred on your dominant hand is also a factor.
Age Is an Influencing Factor
How old you were at the time of the injury is also another important factor, particularly when it comes to compensation for lost wages. For example, a 25-year-old worker who had 2 fingers amputated would likely experience a greater potential income loss over their working years than a 62-year-old person who suffered the same injury. The reason for this difference is that it is thought that the younger person may have more years of earning potential ahead of them; therefore, they experienced a greater loss.
Speak to an Attorney
When it comes to evidence of injury, there are few things as obvious as the loss of a finger. However, no matter how blatant the injury is, employers are not always eager to pay workers' compensation claims for injured workers. When an employer does not want to meet their end of the bargain, an attorney can help. From helping you prove employer responsibility to factoring in the total cost of your treatment and long-term financial consequences of the amputation, an attorney can help you with the claim process.
Remember, you did not cause the injury, so you should not be left to travel down the road to recovery on your own. Make sure you pursue all of your workers' compensation options. Contact a workers' compensation lawyer to learn more.