Some workers’ compensation cases are quite straightforward. In an ideal world, every injury would lead to a full recovery. If that were the case, workers’ compensation would only need to compensate people for medical treatment and for the time they missed work. Things get more complicated when, despite receiving treatment for their injuries, people are left with permanent injuries of varying severity. Missouri law has various ways of translating the location and severity of injuries into settlement amounts. If you have been offered a workers’ compensation settlement, you should contact a personal injury lawyer in St. Louis before you accept the offer.
The Permanent Partial Disability Schedule
A permanent injury resulting from a workplace accident makes you eligible to receive an amount of money equivalent to your weekly wage times a certain number of weeks. How many weeks’ worth of income you get depends on which body part is the site of the injury. The Permanent Partial Disability Schedule shows which injured body part is eligible for how many weeks of wages. An injury to the spine or whole body is worth 400 weeks, while the loss of vision in one eye is worth 140 weeks. Compensation for hand injuries varies widely according to which part of the hand was injured. An injury to the pinky finger is worth 20 weeks, while an injury to the thumb is worth 60 weeks. If your weekly earnings are greater than or equal to $422.00, the law will multiply the number of weeks by $422.00.
Just How Disabled Is That Pinky, Anyway?
The above calculations assume the complete loss of use of an injured body part. Since the tip of the pinky finger is worth 16 weeks, you would get the equivalent of 16 weeks times your weekly wage (or times $422.00, whichever is less) only if the tip of your pinky had been completely amputated. What if you still had your pinky, but you just couldn’t use it as well as you could before the accident? Doctors would have to determine what percent of the use of your pinky you had lost. The injured person visits one doctor chosen by the employer and one doctor of the injured person’s own choosing. Naturally, the employer-chosen doctor will likely say that the percentage of disability is less, and the worker-chosen doctor will likely say that the percentage of disability is more. The amount the person ends up receiving is usually based on a percentage of disability somewhere between the two doctors’ estimates.
Contact Walton Telken, LLC About Workers’ Compensation Cases
If you have been injured at work, the last thing you have time to think about is all the number crunching that goes into determining workers’ compensation settlements. The best person to figure out whether you have been offered a fair settlement for your case is a personal injury lawyer. Contact Walton Telken, LLC in the St. Louis area to discuss your case.