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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Partial Finger Amputation

    Searching for answers to questions I have about my injury I came across this site and came up with a few more questions I hope can be settled here. This all happened in Pa. So here we go...

    About a month ago, part of my right middle finger was cut off at work. I have been off work for about five weeks and return to a "light duty" type of work this week. I believe my workers comp rep has been pretty forthcoming with me, and all of this is just for verification.
    I have been receiving workers comp benefits to date, the %66 of my wages including all overtime work, that seems legit. He is also telling me once all weekly payments stop, they will be sending me a check for 20 weeks worth of wages for the half finger loss.

    Is the 20 week payment also subject to the %66? Or is it 20 weeks of %100?

    The other question I have came from reading posts on this site...Another individual was talking about a payment for permanant disability loss. While I have learned on this site that the 20 weeks for half of a middle finger is standard and cut and dry, it seems there is a lot I need to learn or find out about the permanant disability. I asked the WC rep about any long term effects (like early arthritis or any future complications from this injury) and from what I understood from him, the payment they will be issuing for the 20 weeks covers all that. Is that accurate?
    And about how they decide it is half the finger, not the entire...He told me it goes by a chart and what bones are removed, and because I have a very small amount of bone left above that first knuckle (below the fingernail, that is gone), it is considered half, even if the small amount left above that knuckly is completely useless.
    Anyway, thank you in advance for reading and any responses are welcomed and greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Partial Finger Amp

    Sorry about your accident.

    Section 306(c)(15) of the WC Act provides that, “The loss of any substantial part of the first phalange of a finger, or an amputation immediately below the first phalange for the purpose of providing an optimum surgical result, shall be considered loss of one-half of the finger. Any greater loss shall be considered the loss of the entire finger."

    The Act provides for a 30-week benefit period for the loss of a middle finger and a 6-week "healing period", during which compensation is also payable.

    Compensation benefits for specific loss and the healing period ARE paid at the same 66.66% benefit rate as your wage loss benefits.

    You raise a concern about future long term effects. The employer/wc carrier will still be responsible for paying for the medical treatment for those long term effects. However, no additional compensation is payable unless the condition deteriorates to such an extent that your entire hand becomes useless for all practical intents and purposes. If that happens, you may be entitled to additional benefits. However, no additional wage loss or specific loss benefits are payable for this specific injury.

    Do not sign any documents finalizing your right to benefits without having them reviewed by a workers' compensation attorney.
    Halmon L. Banks, Esq.
    Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Attorney
    Email: HLBTeam@paworkinjury.com
    www.paworkinjury.com

    DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information and advise only. This post is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tunkhannock, PA
    Posts
    1,101

    Default Re: Partial Finger Amp

    I agree with the prior post. I would add that if the injury expands to a separate body part there could also be a claim for additional wage loss. An example would be if the amputation results in nerve damage that impacts your ability to use the hand to the extent that it restricts your ability to work. Even if you do not lose use of the entire hand, the restrictions related to a separate body part may still be compensable.
    Timothy D. Belt, Esquire
    Helping injured workers in Northeast Pennsylvania.
    belt-law@belt-law.com
    www.belt-law.com

    DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Partial Finger Amp

    I thank you both for the info. This all seems to be in line with what the WC insurance rep is also telling me, such as if anything results in losing more of my finger or anything of that sort, then there would be more that can be done. I will make sure I do not sign anything giving up future rights, and apparently just accepting payments is not doing so. Am I correct by assumbing at this point a lawyer may not exactly be neccessary? Is there any sort of time frame I should be aware of to report any type of nerve damage, etc, that could limit my work? I am a mechanic by trade and working with my hands/fingers is vital to what I do, I can already tell there will be at least some minor limitations on certain aspects of my job, but maybe not enough that I can not perform the task in an alternate manner. Again thank you for your time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tunkhannock, PA
    Posts
    1,101

    Default Re: Partial Finger Amp

    Obviously I am biased, but I personally believe that a lawyer is always a good idea when dealing with a workers' compensation claim. As to the time frames, that would depend on what document, if any, has been filed with the bureau. If the claim has not been officially accepted, you have three years from the date of injury to file a claim. A similar time frame from the last payment of compensation would apply to expanding the description of injury if the claim has been accepted.
    Timothy D. Belt, Esquire
    Helping injured workers in Northeast Pennsylvania.
    belt-law@belt-law.com
    www.belt-law.com

    DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality.

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