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Losing a limb can drastically alter your life. Normal everyday tasks can become a challenge, including completing the basic functions of your job. This unplanned event could cost a great deal and leave you wondering what options are left for you. At Knutson + Casey, we want to make sure you can get all the help you need to recover losses and gain the necessary support to move on with your life. If you or a loved one has recently suffered an injury that has caused the loss of a limb, contact our law office today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and trusted amputation injury attorneys.
If your amputation injury occurs on the job, the law entitles you to worker’s compensation benefits. The worker’s compensation official will use a rating schedule to determine your specific loss payment depending on the severity of your situation and its relevance to your position. In addition to the specific loss payment, worker’s compensation will cover costs for medical treatment and lost wages.
The government considers most amputations as a permanent partial disability. This means the injured party can still work, but he or she may not have the means to return to the same position as before. A family physician or independent medical examiner will review your condition to rate the permanent partial disability for the insurance adjuster to calculate a settlement award. In the event that you find the settlement award insufficient, a personal injury attorney can assist you in seeking additional compensation.
Your amputation could also qualify you for Social Security disability benefits. If you apply for disability and are not satisfied with the decision, you have the right to appeal the decision for further review. A hearing will take place with an administrative law judge to consider your request for further review. Before the hearing, you can review evidence with your personal injury lawyer and submit further evidence if needed. Submitting new medical evidence before the hearing, such as a statement from a surgeon about expected future medical expenses, can help your case and, in some circumstances, may eliminate the need for a hearing.
During the hearing, the administrative law judge will question you and any other witnesses, such as a doctor or vocational expert. Following the hearing, the judge will create a written statement regarding the final determination. The Social Security hearing process can be long, so appointing a representative as quickly as possible will help speed things along.
A vocational expert is knowledgeable about the injured party’s industry, including job tasks, required skills, and the current labor market. If you have an amputation injury, you can use vocational expert as a witness in the hearing to testify that you are no longer fit for your employment. During the hearing, the judge will likely ask the vocational expert what jobs you could do with your skill set, experience, and new physical limitations. This information is key in determining whether or not the judge will approve your disability claim. The vocational expert can also assess your wage-earning capacity to determine the social security benefits owed to you if you are deemed unfit for employment.
Recovery for amputations can be some of highest amounts of all injury cases. Not only are you left with high medical bills, you most likely will have high future medical expenses arising from your new condition. Often, you are unable to work and must recover lost income as well.
Using the help of a lawyer, you can navigate through the world of worker’s compensation and disability benefits to obtain the compensation you need and deserve. The law firm of Knutson + Casey has more than 25 years of experience handling cases in Minneapolis and will keep you informed through every step of the process. Call our offices today to set up a free initial consultation.