What’s the Value of a Finger Injury?
Workers’ compensation lawyers complain about the dreaded finger injury case. The value of fingers in Maryland workers’ compensation is so low it’s almost laughable. In fact, according to a comprehensive report done by ProPulica, Maryland has literally the lowest maximum compensation for index finger cases at $6,720, the third lowest for middle fingers at $5,880, the sixth lowest for ring fingers at $5,040, and the sixth lowest for pinky fingers at $4,200.
Losing a Finger Will Get You Less than $10,000
To be clear, those figures above are for the complete loss of the finger. Your fingers, in Maryland workers’ comp, are worth far less than $10,000. God forbid it’s the ring or pinky you lose – you’re barely looking at $5,000. Other injured body parts in Maryland workers’ comp are worth significantly more – fingers are worth next to nothing. I’ve yet to meet a client who is not shocked at how little their amputated finger is worth.
In Other States, Fingers Have Reasonable Values
In Oregon a pinky is worth $79,759. In Nevada it’s worth $30,912. In fact, Oregon is worth the most for all workers’ comp finger injuries, and Nevada is in the top five or six. No state, however, has values of more than $100,000 for a lost finger. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t trade my finger for anywhere close to what workers’ comp wants to pay.
And to be clear, all of the values above are for lost fingers – not fractured, dislocated or broken fingers.
But You Don’t Have a Choice
If you have injured a finger at work, you don’t have a choice but to file a claim if you want compensation. In Maryland, it’s the exclusive remedy for injured workers. That said, it’s important to look to see if there is anyone else that can be sued. For instance, if the finger injury happened in a car accident or as the result of a device malfunction, it’s possible that the negligent party or the defective product can be held accountable.
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According to the Pinkbook
The vast majority of the time, the finger is not cut off, amputated or 100% disabled. In fact, according to the Comp Pinkbook, a study of more than a quarter of a million Maryland workers’ comp claims, the average percentage disablement for finger cases ranges from a low of 27.29% for the ring finger, to 28.86% for the pinky. This means that the injured worker is getting a fraction of the full value.
However, according to the Pinkbook, sometime finger cases settle for more than the maximums. This comes from cases involving the Subsequent Injury Fund and/or cases involving other body parts.
Finally, it’s important to understand, all figures above do not include possible temporary total disability for time lost from work and they do not include the value of the medical bills, which the employer/insurer does pay for assuming the injury is related to the work accident.
We Can Help With Your Finger Injury Case
Many workers’ comp lawyers will not take finger injury cases. We will. The reason is simple – we represent injured workers. Some cases are worth a lot, meaning larger attorney fees (the fee is virtually always 20% of just the permanency money), some cases – like finger cases – are not worth a lot. The injured worker – you – still need help. Assuming it’s an injury attributable to a workplace accident (or a personal injury case attributable to someone’s negligence), we can help.