Loss of Function of Body Parts
One particularly devastating type of workplace injury is the loss of function of body parts. This may include loss of vision, hearing, limbs, skin, and more. A worker's life can be permanently and dramatically changed due to loss of function, and an insurer may need to compensate disfigurement or scarring separately from medical care, lost wages, or disability. After an accident on the job, a Boston workers’ compensation lawyer at Pulgini & Norton can advise individuals who have lost the function of a body part.Loss of Function of Body Parts
Under Section 36 of the Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Law, you can potentially receive a one-time payment for loss of function. You only qualify for the loss of function benefit if a job-related illness or injury results in the permanent loss of certain bodily functions, or you suffer disfigurement or scarring. The benefit is a one-time payment that is paid on top of the other benefits for medical bills or lost wages. The amount of this payment depends on where the loss of function is located and how severe it is.
Vision loss can change your life. For total loss of use of a single eye, the insurer must pay you a sum equal to 39 times the average weekly wage in Massachusetts on the injury date. If you lose function in both eyes, you can receive a sum of 96 times the average weekly wage in Massachusetts on the injury date. Different calculations must be completed for correctible reductions of acuity or field of vision.
Hearing loss is also considered quite disabling. For hearing loss in one ear, you can receive a sum that is 29 multiplied by the average weekly wage in Massachusetts on the injury date. Hearing loss in both ears entitles you to 77 multiplied by the average weekly wage in Massachusetts.
The amputation of your arm can make a huge difference to whether you are able to work or lead a life close to the one you led before your injury. You can recover a one-time payment of 43 times the average weekly wage for the major arm, while the same injury to the minor arm entitles you to 39 times the average weekly wage. When both arms have been amputated, you can recover 96 times the average weekly wage. If you lose one major hand at the wrist, you can recover 34 times the average weekly wage, while loss of a minor hand at the wrist can entitle you to a sum equal to 29 times the average weekly wage. Loss of both hands entitles you to 77 times the average weekly wage.
The amputation or total loss of function in either leg entitles you to 39 times the average weekly wage, while amputation of both legs entitles you to 96 times the average weekly wage. The loss of a foot above the ankle entitles you to a benefit equaling 29 times the average weekly wage. Loss of both feet above the ankle allows you to recover 68 times the average weekly wage.
Partial losses may be compensated as well. Other bodily function or sensory loss that is not specified under the law may also be compensated based on the evaluation of the member or the reviewing board in accordance with the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairments. This sum cannot exceed 32 times the average weekly wage.Consult an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Boston
The loss of function of body parts can be devastating to a worker. Even if he or she otherwise recovers from an accident, the loss of function may make it impossible to do the same job or enjoy the same activities. At Pulgini & Norton, our experienced workplace accident attorneys are committed to pursuing benefits for employees who suffer loss of function of body parts. Call us at 781-843-2200 or contact us via our online form for a consultation with a Boston amputation attorney. We also represent workers' compensation claimants in Waltham, Quincy, and Newton, among other Massachusetts communities.