Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Loss of Limb
Serious work-related injuries can affect an individual’s ability to return to their employment and greatly affect their quality of life. While common, work injuries can be extremely serious and result in loss of limbs. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act is designed to provide protections and benefits to employees hurt at work in an accident or suffering from work-related conditions or illnesses. After suffering catastrophic harm, including disfigurement or the loss of a limb, these workers may be eligible for compensation.
OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, revealed in a 2016 evaluation that in 2015, there were 2,644 work-related reported amputations. While the construction industry accounted for a large percentage of these injuries, OSHA noted the surprising rise of reported amputations among workers in supermarket delis and restaurants. Specifically, these workers reported fingertip amputations due to severe hazards. This surprising trend led OSHA to take steps to reduce future injuries. OSHA also noted that when employees promptly report their injuries, it provides the employer with an opportunity to address the known hazard and prevent future injuries.
Pennsylvania law helps workers who have suffered a permanent injury, such as an amputated limb. Benefits provided under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act provide for payments apportioned in accordance with the employee’s average weekly wage, termed “specific loss benefits.” Section 306(c) of the Act maintains a schedule that clearly indicates compensation for the permanent loss or the loss of use of certain limbs or functions of the body.
For example, according to the specific loss provision set forth in the Act, the loss of a hand provides for two-thirds (⅔) of the employee’s average wages for 335 weeks. The loss of an arm coincides with two-thirds of the average wages for 410 weeks. Whether or not an employee has suffered the “loss of use” of a limb is a factual question that is determined by a workers’ compensation judge.
Specific loss payments that are provided under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act for employees who have lost a limb are in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. When workers have suffered the loss of a limb or body part, they may be eligible to receive compensation set forth in the specific loss provision of the Act, in addition to other disability benefits. Additionally, workers are entitled to continue to return to their employment and continue receiving their specific loss benefits.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help advocate on your behalf as you seek payments and benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. At Needle Law Firm, our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers understand the challenges and potential defenses asserted against an injured worker’s claim for benefits and compensation. Call our office or complete our online form to schedule a complimentary consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer. We can be reached at (570) 344-1266 or through our online form.