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Amputations and Specific Loss Benefits in Western PA

Committed representation in Pittsburgh

Amputation can be described as the removal of a body extremity by trauma or surgery.

Amputations are serious and debilitating injuries that affect the lives of the amputee and those around them. They can cause not only significant physical ailments but can be the source of mental anguish as well. If you or someone you know has suffered from a total or partial amputation of a body part, you should contact an attorney at once.

Amputations can result from many sources, including car accidents, defective products and occupational/work accidents. Common causes of these types of injuries are the use of power tools, unguarded machines, and everyday household maintenance products.

An amputation is such a severe injury, with such permanent effects, that you owe it to yourself to contact an attorney to make sure you are fully compensated under the law for your past, present and future injuries, pain and suffering, and any future medical treatment, including prosthetics, that you may require.

Non-occupational injuries

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recognizes the specific value of the loss of a limb, and you may be entitled to additional compensation over and above your pain and suffering in a personal injury claim.

Traumatic injuries are the ones most commonly associated with amputations. However, there is another category of amputations: surgical amputations. Surgical amputations are sometimes necessary, due to either a trauma experienced or some other ailment that makes the procedure surgically necessary.

If you are involved in an accident that later involves the surgical amputation of a body part, you should contact an attorney at once.

Additionally, if you required a surgical amputation, you should also contact an attorney at once. Sometimes surgical amputations may not be necessary, and you could possibly be the victim of medical malpractice.

Whether an accident caused an amputation or you required a surgical amputation due to medical malpractice, any lawsuit related thereto must be filed within two (2) years of your injury.

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Sources of workplace amputations

According to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, all mechanical motion is hazardous, but there are a number of common types: Rotating, Reciprocating, Transversing, Cutting, Punching, Shearing and Bending. OHSA has set forth a number of guidelines addressing these issues in the Code of Federal Regulations in order to protect workers from injury. When a worker is injured, it may be the result of an OSHA violation.

You should contact a lawyer at once to discuss your legal rights if injured in the workplace by a defective machine, such as one that lacks the proper safety guards. You may have not only a Workers’ Compensation claim, but a personal injury claim as well.

For additional information, you may find the following link useful:

Click here for the OHSA Fact Sheet Regarding Workplace Amputations.

Otherwise, call our office for additional information.

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Specific loss benefits

In addition to wage loss and medical benefits, there is another category of benefits available under Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law, known as specific loss benefits. If your hand, finger, arm, leg, foot, toe, hearing or sight has lost some or all of its function due to a work injury/accident, you may be entitled to benefits for that loss. These benefits are payable for the specific loss of the injured body part and are not payments for lost time from work, which is a separate benefit.

You may be entitled to these benefits even if you have not missed time from work. The body part affected need not be amputated or rendered useless to be compensable. The legal test is whether the body part or eyesight has been lost for all practical intents and purposes. For specific loss of body parts or eyesight, the Workers’ Compensation Act provides for a specific number of weeks of benefits as well as a healing period during which benefits are paid.

Scarring of the head, neck, face or certain surgical scars caused by a work injury are also compensable as a specific loss with a maximum of up to 275 weeks of compensation payable. The amount of weeks awarded is based upon the discretion of a Workers’ Compensation Judge.

If you have only lost part of the use of a finger or toe, you may be entitled to receive one-half of the compensation provided under the Workers’ Compensation Act.

A claim for specific loss benefits must be filed within three (3) years of the date of injury. Please note that under Pennsylvania law, to recover Workers’ Compensation and specific loss benefits, it does not matter whom or if anyone was responsible for the injury.

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Additional information

If you believe that you or a loved one suffered an amputation as a result of an accident caused by someone else, or due to a physician’s malpractice, or if you have lost all or a portion of the use of a body part due to a work injury, please call Rudberg Law Offices, LLC for a free consultation.

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For additional information, you may find the following link useful:

Contact a skilled accident lawyer in Pittsburgh

If you have been injured in any type of accident caused by the careless or wrongful actions of others, call the Pittsburgh accident attorneys of Rudberg Law Offices, LLC for assistance at (412) 488-6000, (866) 306-2667, or complete our quick contact web form.