Fingers are not particularly valuable in WC, which is ironic because they are fairly useful in everyday life. You should absolutely hire an Attorney, because while the fingertip may only be worth a few thousand dollars, the potential remedy against the equipment designer may be many times more than that. Or it may be worthless, but only a GA Attorney can assist you with that after reviewing all your facts.
We offer general concepts, but you should give ALL your facts to a licensed Attorney in your state before you RELY upon any legal advice.
Sorry to hear about your accident. That is a painful injury. I cannot give you an average settlement figure, as the figure depends on many factors, including your need for ongoing medical care and whether your treating physician has assigned any permanent impairment rating. It also depends on how much you make. I do recommend talking to an attorney, as the insurance company is not going to offer you the full amount to which you may be entitled. I offer a free initial consultation and would be glad to speak with you. You should also speak with a personal injury attorney or product liability attorney regarding potential liability of the machine manufacturer. I wish you a speedy recovery.
B. Shawn Rhodes
Powers and Rhodes
In my experience, finger amputation cases do not pay very much in WC. Middle fingers are worth 35 weeks of workers' compensation benefit. A week of benefits is the amount you would receive if you were out of work. That would be 2/3 of your average weekly wage up to a maximum of $500/wk. You would multiply the percentage of disability given to you by your doctor times 35 times your weekly benefit to see what the disability would generate. I do not think that you would need a lawyer because this money should be automatically sent to you. You might want to consult with a lawyer to see if there is a possible lawsuit against the manufacturer of the machine. Good luck.
I agree with Mr. Holder and Mr. Rhodes that fingers do not result in large settlements, as the value for fingers are set amounts. However, the matter with the manufacturer is definitely something to look into with an attorney. Also, a worker's comp attorney could give you some advice on how to handle the situation at work. Many employers take comp claims personally, and look to try and find a reason to get rid of you. Worker's compensation attorneys can tell you what your rights and obligations are so that you know what to look out for.
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Several factors affect a "settlement" or a "financial resolution" of any injury. I use the term "financial resolution" because you may not actually wish to totally resolve your claim, as a resignation is usually a part of a settlement. You can, however, get paid in the form of permanent partial disability benefits, retain your job and keep the option open for future medical treatment for this injury. Once your treating doctor provides the percentage of permanent impairment you have sustained, these benefits should be paid shortly thereafter.
I join others in passing along my wishes for a speedy recovery. As the other attorneys have touched upon - the worker's comp piece of the case may be the very small part of the settlement if there is a legitimate product defect that you can pursue a claim against. I would encourage you to contact a personal injury attorney in GA to see if you may be able to pursue the case against the manufacturer. I would encourage you to do this sooner rather than later so that evidence can be preserved and your claim is not time barred (you have 2 years from the date of the accident to file your claim). Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions.
* Please note that I am a Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Attorney practicing in Georgia, but I am not your attorney. This post is intended to provide some helpful insight into your particular situation, but it should not be taken as legal advice. If you would like to discuss your Georgia Personal Injury or Medical Malpractice case, I am happy to discuss your specific situation with you at no cost to you. I can be reached at 404-996-5157 or Fareesh@SarangiLaw.com.
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