Losing a finger or an entire hand to a workplace injury can be incredibly traumatic. If the injury cannot be repaired, the loss might make it difficult to return to work or to keep performing your current job. Fortunately, most employers in Arkansas carry workers’ compensation insurance which should entitle you to ongoing medical care and lost wages for your injury.
If you or a loved one suffered an amputation of their fingers or hand in Arkansas, talk to our Fayetteville amputated hand and finger workers’ compensation attorney today. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, represents injured workers in Arkansas and fights to get them the medical care and wages they need for serious workplace injuries. Call (479) 316-0438 today to schedule a free legal consultation on your case.
Calculating Workers’ Compensation for Hand and Finger Amputation in Arkansas
Many workplace injuries affecting a specific part of the body are handled through a “specific loss” claim when you file through workers’ compensation. Under Arkansas law, there are specific guidelines for how much many of these injuries are worth, which helps you understand easily what your ongoing disability benefits should be for an injury like hand or finger amputation at work.
The guidelines in Ark. Code § 11-9-521 provide a specific number of weeks for every injury. This number of weeks tells you how long you will receive benefits for according to what injury you suffered. The payment you receive each week should be equal to 2/3 (66 2/3%) of your average wages when the injury took place. Finger and hand amputations should provide these weekly wages for the following amounts of time:
- Hand amputation – 183 weeks
- Thumb amputation – 73 weeks
- Index finger amputation – 43 weeks
- Middle finger amputation – 37 weeks
- Ring finger amputation – 24 weeks
- Pinky amputation – 19 weeks
If you lose part of a finger down to the first joint, this provides 1/2 the wages instead, while amputation of more than one segment of your finger counts as a full amputation.
If you lose more than one finger or at least one segment on each of 2 or more fingers, your damages will be proportional to the function you lose. For instance, if losing your pinky and ring fingers in an accident causes you to lose 2/5 (40%) of the function in your hand, you will receive 40% of the benefits for a lost hand rather than the benefits for a pinky plus the benefits for a ring finger. This typically results in higher benefits.
In addition to the wage-loss damages, your medical care should be paid in full. As long as you use an approved physician and follow all recommended treatment for your injury, the cost of medical care should be covered by workers’ comp.
Suing Instead of Using Workers’ Comp.
In Arkansas, workers’ compensation is the main way to receive compensation after a workplace injury. There are exceptions to the workers’ compensation rules that allow you to take your case to court instead, but you should speak with an attorney to see if you qualify for any of these exceptions or whether your case is better filed through workers’ comp.
If your employer does not have workers’ comp. coverage, you are always entitled to take them to court. In addition, if you work for the federal government or fall under certain types of dock or railroad workers, you may not be able to use the Arkansas workers’ comp. system and might have to use federal workers’ comp. or file a lawsuit.
If you were injured because of a third party’s negligence, you may also be able to sue instead. This is common in cases where your injury is caused by a defective piece of equipment and you file a lawsuit against the manufacturer instead. Talk to a lawyer about filing this type of personal injury case, since it may open up additional damages like pain and suffering damages.
Applying for Workers’ Comp. for a Hand or Finger Loss
Applying for workers’ comp. can be difficult if you have never done it before – especially if you have an injury that physically prevents you from filling out forms and paperwork. Talk to an attorney for guidance in your application process. Many of the forms and submissions you must make to get workers’ comp. coverage require talking to your employer, but your employer is also the one with the ability to deny your claim, and your employer or their workers’ comp. insurance company may not be on your side. Hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to advocate for you and help you apply and receive the workers’ comp. coverage or settlement that you need.
Contact Our Fayetteville Hand and Finger Amputation Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
To schedule a free legal consultation on your workers’ compensation claim, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law. Our Fayetteville hand and finger amputation lawyer for workers’ compensation can help you apply and get the benefits you need after suffering a finger or hand amputation at work. For a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (479) 316-0438.