Under workers compensation law, a specific loss means the permanent loss of a specific body part—or the ability or use that body part—because of an injury or amputation resulting from work duties.
Workplace amputations are not common, but they do happen somewhat regularly in certain industries — especially among employees who work among dangerous machinery like food slicers, meat grinders, printing presses, conveyors, and in other hazardous environments.
There is little more devastating than losing a limb or no longer having the use of a body part. Any injury that happens at work can impact your life, but a specific loss can completely impact your ability to work and live as you once did.
What Falls Under the Category of a Specific Loss?
You suffered a specific loss if an injury during your work duties led to any of the following:
- Loss of a limb or appendage, such as an arm, hand, finger, leg, foot, toe, eye, or ear
- Loss of the ability to use any of these limbs
- Loss of sight or hearing
- Permanent and serious scarring or disfigurement to the head, face, or neck
What Do I Do If I’ve Suffered a Specific Loss at Work?
Losing a limb because of a workplace accident is a terrible, traumatic event. We’re sorry if this has happened to you — or to someone you love. And we understand that there is nothing that can truly make it better.
You do have rights, however, and they can make a substantial difference in the aftermath. If you or your loved one lost a limb at work, you could qualify for financial recovery and benefits for an indefinite time period — possibly even for life. Since a specific loss can change your entire life, it’s important to ensure you receive the benefits you’re entitled to for what you’ve lost and suffered. The best way to do that is to talk to a lawyer.
What Benefits Are Available for a Specific Loss in Georgia?
In some states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, an injured worker who suffers a specific loss should receive benefits over a set number of weeks depending on what body part they lost. Under Georgia law, the level of compensation you can receive depends on the severity of your injury. Most workplace amputations are considered as “catastrophic” under Georgia law, as they are permanent. Catastrophic injuries typically prevent an employee from returning to their job—or, sometimes, getting any kind of work. This can certainly be the case if you lose a limb or function of a specific body part.
If you’re a worker in Georgia, your employer is required to carry workers compensation insurance (as long as they have three or more employees). When you’re injured on the job, you’ll need to make a claim for workers compensation to cover your damages. Since a loss of a limb almost always falls under the “catastrophic” category for workers compensation benefits, your employer or their insurance company will need to file a Form WC-R1 with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. This form will designate the injury as catastrophic and is meant to assign a catastrophic rehabilitation supplier.
An experienced workers compensation lawyer can help you through the process of seeking fair workers compensation benefits for your specific loss injury. They will examine your situation and factors related to your injury like:
- The costs of your medical care
- Loss of wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
If you’ve suffered a specific loss—including loss of a body part or function of that body part—during work, you’re typically entitled to financial recovery for the damage to your body as well as future lost wages. Contact a workers compensation lawyer today to make sure you receive what you need to cover your treatment costs and help you adjust to life after the accident.
Talk to a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney Today
At John Foy & Associates, we’ve been helping workers seek a fair financial recovery for more than two decades. If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, we can help. For a FREE consultation to discuss your injury and your damages, contact us today. Call 404-400-4000, or fill out the form to your right to get started.