Amputations: What Workers Compensation Covers
Losing a limb is like losing a part of yourself too. It changes you. It alters your life, how society sees you and how you see yourself.
No matter what others tell you, it’s hard not to lose confidence in yourself. Every amputee goes through that. Sometimes they lose more than just their self-confidence but also the will to live.
The thing with amputation is the psychological trauma remains long after the physical wound has healed. It takes a really long time to get over it. Some never do. They just learn to live with the pain, both physically and psychologically.
It does not just rob you of the ability to do things that you normally do. It can also entail a huge financial burden. You’ll miss many days of work. When worse comes to worst, you might never be able to go back to work again. Or find any type of gainful employment for that matter.
On top of that, there are medical bills arising from the surgery itself and any post-surgical treatments. You’ll also be needing physical therapy, prosthetics, and mental health therapy. For someone who’s living paycheck to paycheck, this increases your suffering. This is why getting your workers compensation benefits is vital.
Why Do You Need an Experienced Workers Compensation Lawyer?
Employers don’t like paying for workers compensation (even if the injury is their fault). Neither do insurance companies. That’s why most workers compensation claims are not easy fights. Most of those who’ve gone through it will say it’s an uphill battle.
But with an experienced workers compensation lawyer like Victor Malca, you stand a great chance. Attorney Malca has represented thousands of injured workers in the span of his 23-year career. He’s been through cases like yours a lot of times already. Thus he knows how best to present it.
His extensive experience defending the rights of Florida’s workers plays to your advantage. He knows the ins and outs of the state’s workers compensation law. Those he’s helped can also attest that he personally takes the time to know more about his client’s medical condition.
If you’re worried about the cost, never fret. You won’t have to pay anything until the case is won. You may also contact us for a free consultation.
What Does Florida Law Say About Amputation Claims Cases?
Every state has its own policies on workers compensation benefits. In Florida, certain employers are required by law to get a workers compensation policy for their employees. They can get it from either a private insurance provider or through a self-insurance fund.
The state enforces a no-fault system for workers compensation benefits. In other words, it doesn’t matter by whose fault the injury happened. Unlike other states, you don’t have to prove that the accident is due to the negligence of your employer. As long as it occurred while you’re doing your job, then you’re entitled to a workers compensation.
There are exceptions to this though. The employee must be able to show that there is clear and convincing evidence that:
- the employer actually intended to injure the employee
- the employer knew about the hazard based on previous similar incidents and hid such information from the employee
Depending on the severity of the amputation, you can claim for either a temporary or permanent disability benefits. The amount may differ but, in general, it includes medical benefits and compensation for lost wages.
Permanent Partial Disability
If your injury left you amputated but can still work in some capacity, then you may qualify for permanent partial disability benefits. Like when a construction worker loses his fingers. He might still be able to work but in a lesser-paying position as that of before the accident.
There are two ways to qualify for this. One is you must reach 104 weeks of total temporary disability. Or your doctor confirms that you have a permanent impairment as a result of your injury.
The formula for computing the permanent partial disability benefits is set by law. It generally depends on the extent of your disability. You may ask the Bureau of Monitoring and Audit for help in estimating the benefits you should get.
Most employers or insurance company will disagree with you on how severe your disability is. In cases like this, you need the expertise of our preeminent attorney, Victor Malca. He can assist you throughout the negotiation process and represent you in court should negotiations fail.
Permanent Total Disability
If the amputation is so severe that doctors determine you won’t be able to do any type of work ever again, you may apply for permanent total disability benefits.
The state’s workers compensation laws presume that an employee is permanently and totally disabled in cases involving amputation of an arm, a hand, a foot or a leg effectively losing the use of those body parts. Unless the employer can prove that the employee can still do even light jobs within a 50-mile radius of the latter’s residence.
Permanent total disability benefits amounting to 66.67% of their average weekly wage will be continually paid until the employee reaches 75 years old.
Temporary Total Disability
Employees who’ve lost an arm, leg, hand or foot but cannot yet be declared permanently disabled may still avail of temporary total disability benefits. They shall be paid 80% of their average weekly wage for a maximum of 6 months from the date of the accident.
If after 6 months the employee is still deemed to be temporarily totally disabled, they will still receive workers compensation. But it will only be at 66.67% of their average weekly wage for a maximum of 104 weeks.
By law, medical expenses for the surgery and post-surgical care has to be paid for by the employer. They are also required to pay for medicines, medical supplies, and prosthetics. Remedial treatments and pain-management programs may also be covered if it’s recommended by the attending physician.
To be eligible, the employee’s health care provider must be accredited by their employer. Except, of course, for emergency medical treatments.
How We Can Help
As one of the leading workers compensation lawyers in Florida, we use our expertise to help you fight for what you rightfully deserve. From helping you gather the necessary documents, talking to medical experts and negotiating a favorable amount of compensation benefits, we got you covered.