If you are a worker who has lost a limb due to a job-related accident, then you know how devastating the injury can be. You are likely unable to work while. At the same time, you may be facing significant medical bills.
Florida workers’ compensation benefits can play a crucial role in helping you to cope with your injury. You may be able to obtain benefits that will pay for your medical costs, including prosthetics or any assistive devices you may need.
Also, under Florida law, you are presumed to be totally and permanently disabled if you have suffered the loss of a limb due to your work. As a result, you may be eligible to receive benefits that will cover a portion of your lost wages.
To learn more, contact Frank M. Eidson, P.A. We can help you to apply for workers’ compensation benefits and assist you if your claim was denied. We serve injured workers throughout Orlando and central Florida. Our consultations are always free.
What are Amputations?
An amputation involves the loss of an arm, hand, finger, leg, foot or toe, otherwise known as your “extremities.” A worker may suffer this loss due to an accident that occurs on the job such as being in a vehicle crash, getting caught in machinery or mishandling a sharp tool.
In many other cases, an amputation may be medically necessary to protect your health. For instance, a limb may need to be removed due to infection, poor circulation, cancer or the aftermath of a severe burn.
An amputated limb can be reattached. A worker may also be fitted for a prosthesis, or artificial limb. In either situation, a worker can expect to have limited functioning of the limb and the need for long-term rehabilitation as well as physical and emotional therapy.
How Do Workers Suffer Amputations on the Job in Florida?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), amputations frequently occur on the job when workers are engaged in:
- Operating unguarded or inadequately guarded equipment (presses, roll-bending machines, food slicers and grinders, band saws, drill presses and milling machines)
- Handling materials
- Using forklifts
- Operating powered and non-powered tools
- Maintaining machines.
An amputation may occur because an employer has failed to properly train and supervise employees or to provide adequate safety equipment.
However, in order to receive Florida workers’ compensation benefits, you do not need to establish that the negligence of your employer or a co-worker caused your amputation. It is a no-fault system. As long as you suffered your injury while on the job or carrying out a work-related duty, you should be eligible for medical and lost-wage benefits.
If a non-employer or non-co-worker caused you to lose your limb, you may also have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit, or third-party claim. You would be required to prove fault to recover in such a claim. A successful claim would entitle you to funds that go beyond workers’ comp benefits. It may include compensation for your physical pain and emotional suffering.
Who Is At Risk of Losing a Limb at Work?
Those who work around tools, machinery and heavy equipment are the most prone to suffering amputations due to workplace accidents. These employees include:
- Factory workers
- Warehouse employees
- Forklift operators
- Truck drivers
- Construction workers
- Agricultural workers
Those in the food services and hospitality industries also face the risk of amputation. A cook, for instance, uses knives and works around sharp equipment such as slicers and meat grinders.
A worker who operates around hazardous chemicals or toxic substances could also lose a limb due to a chemical burn or an occupational disease.
How Can a Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help with Your Amputation Injury?
At Frank M. Eidson, P.A., we can work with highly qualified medical experts and vocational experts who can help us to establish how your amputation occurred at work, the medical treatment you need and the impact that your injury will have on your ability to earn income.
Our goal is to make sure your job-related amputation is thoroughly documented and to aggressively pursue the full amount of workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. We also can explore and pursue a third-party injury claim on your behalf in order to obtain additional compensation you and your family may need to cope with your life-changing injury.
It is important to act quickly. Contact us today and get started with a free case review.
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