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Does workers’ comp cover finger amputations?

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Each finger serves a different function and losing even one can be traumatizing and life-changing. You may need to adjust how you perform daily tasks and work duties. It’s crucial to acknowledge the physical and emotional that come with such a significant change and to understand that seeking support is perfectly acceptable.

Why do finger amputations occur in the workplace?

Certain industries such as construction, manufacturing, and meatpacking greatly increase the risk of finger amputations. In these settings, heavy machinery, moving equipment, and potentially unsafe conditions actively expose workers to severe injury risks. Frequently, these accidents, which may result in severed fingers or other limbs, stem from employer negligence, including insufficient breaks, excessive workloads and inadequate training.

Unfortunately, it is the workers who suffer. The removal of one or more fingers due to a severe injury may require rehabilitation, ongoing treatment and support.

Every finger counts

Despite their small size, each finger is invaluable. Under Iowa’s workers’ compensation laws, the loss of a finger is a permanent disability. If your amputation resulted from a work-related accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can help cover your medical expenses, travel costs and rehabilitation expenses.

Additionally, you may receive weekly benefits, which vary depending on the specific finger lost:

  • 60 weeks for the loss of a thumb.
  • 35 weeks for the loss of a first finger.
  • 30 weeks for the loss of a second finger.
  • 25 weeks for the loss of a third finger.
  • 20 weeks for the loss of a fourth finger.

Recovering compensation after a work injury

Receiving fair compensation only seems fair after enduring such a difficult experience while performing work duties. However, many injured workers encounter difficulties in securing their benefits after filing a claim. Insurance companies are infamous for minimizing their payouts by underestimating the damage and suffering of injured workers.

If you have sustained an injury at work, consider taking two crucial steps to secure your benefits:

  1. Notify your employer about the accident immediately.
  2. See the medical provider selected by your employer or their insurer.

If your employer or their insurance company is uncooperative, or if you encounter challenges in obtaining your benefits, an experienced lawyer may provide the support you need.