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Amputation Injuries in the Auto Industry

Chicago Lawyers Helping Factory Workers

Many Illinois autoworkers are at risk of significant injury on the job. One of these potential injuries is traumatic amputation, involving the total and irreversible loss of a body part. They are among the most debilitating workplace injuries. Generally, injuries that remove soft tissue but don’t damage bone aren’t amputations for purposes of workers’ compensation claims. Workers who suffered amputation injuries in the auto industry should consult a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney about the possibility of benefits.

Amputation Injuries in the Auto Industry

Autoworkers who suffer a traumatic amputation on the job may not be able to come back to work. Recovering can be slow and painful. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, your employer or its insurer should pay for your reasonable medical care. This includes emergency care, as well as medical and surgical services. Extensive rehabilitation may be needed for amputation. Your employer or its insurer should pay for any treatment, training or instruction needed for your physical, mental or vocational rehabilitation, including expenses and maintenance costs. The insurer may need to pay for prosthetic devices or a wheelchair. It may also need to pay for modifications to your home, such as by installing a wheelchair ramp, to accommodate your diminished mobility.

You’re entitled to choose your own doctor. You’ll have two choices of doctor if your auto industry employer is part of a preferred provider program and you choose from the preferred providers. These two choices don’t include referrals made by the preferred providers. However, if you select your own doctor outside your employer’s program, you’ll only have one choice. Your employer’s insurer should pay statutory permanent partial disability benefits as soon as the employer knows the extent of your amputation and is able to calculate the proper average weekly wage.

Permanent Total Disability Benefits

You may not be able to go back to work at an auto manufacturing plant if you’ve sustained an amputation. You may need to claim permanent total disability benefits if you are permanently and completely unable to work. Workers who’ve lost both legs, both feet, both arms, or both hands also qualify for permanent total disability benefits.

Permanent total disability benefits are calculated at 2/3 of your former average weekly wage. You may not be sure what the proper amount of this benefit is. In some cases, insurers do not calculate the average weekly wage properly. The average weekly wage can be calculated in different ways. Often, it’s your actual earnings during the 52 weeks prior to the amputation, divided by 52. However, the calculation is different if you worked fewer days or weeks. In other cases, the particular limb that’s amputated and whether it affects your work at an auto manufacturing plant determines what kind of settlement could be negotiated. An experienced lawyer can help you calculate the level of workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled.

Permanent Partial Disability

If you’re not totally and completely disabled or you lose one limb or appendage rather than two, you may be able to obtain permanent partial disability benefits for an amputation. Permanent partial disability benefits can be calculated different ways. Your loss of certain body parts will be assigned permanent partial disability benefits for a specific time period. The number of weeks for which you can obtain benefits corresponds to the body part that was amputated. For instance, you can get 167 weeks of benefits for amputation of a foot. You can get 253 weeks for an arm.

Your permanent partial disability rate equals 60% of your average weekly wage. There’s an increase of 10% in the permanent partial disability rate for each spouse and child you have under age 18.

Consult a Seasoned Chicago Attorney

Amputation injuries in the auto industry can be devastating. If you were injured while working in a car manufacturing factory, you should talk to the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca about your circumstances. Our firm represents injured autoworkers in Quincy, Rockford, Aurora, Chicago, Champaign, as well as Winnebago, Kane, Cook, Sangamon, and Adams Counties. Call us at 800-444-1525 or 312-263-6330 or complete our online form.