Let Us Help You Seek Workers’ Compensation After A Limb Injury
Injuries to the limbs/extremities (including arms, wrists, hands, legs, knees and feet) at work are commonly referred to as scheduled injury claims. The workers’ compensation statutes contain a schedule, or a list, of body parts with a certain number of weeks assigned to them.
This basis of compensation seems to be straightforward. But like many other aspects of workers’ compensation, individual cases are often more complex than they should be. It is in your best interests to review the issue, as well as other workers’ compensation issues with a knowledgeable attorney like those at Wertz Law Firm, P.C. Based in Cedar Rapids, our firm represents injured workers throughout Iowa.
How Injury Scheduling Works
Limb injuries are called “scheduled injuries” because each affected body part is listed on a workers’ compensation schedule created by Iowa legislators many years ago. The schedule defines how many weeks of financial compensation are available for each type of injury.
According to the schedule:
- The loss of a hand is compensated on the basis of 190 weeks.
- The loss of an arm on the basis of 250 weeks.
- The loss of a foot is compensated on the basis of 150 weeks.
- The loss of knee (leg) is compensated on the basis of 220 weeks.
From there, the schedule lists smaller losses like individual fingers and toes.
Physician Assessment And The Impairment Rating
Typically, at the end of a healing period involving a scheduled limb injury at work, a physician provides an impairment rating. This rating is then applied to the respective scheduled loss basis to determine the number of weeks owed to the injured worker as compensation for the permanent injury.
Let’s say a hand injury at work results in a 10% impairment rating by a physician. Since the value of a total loss of a hand is 190 weeks, a 10% loss is equivalent to 19 weeks of benefits. Typically, the insurance company will then initiate workers’ compensation benefits for an additional 19 weeks based on the physician’s impairment rating.
As you can imagine, scheduled payments are often inadequate to compensate for the long-term consequences associated with these injuries and losses, especially when a worker loses their job because they can no longer perform the essential functions of it. Some workers who have suffered scheduled injuries can take advantage of additional benefits under Iowa’s second injury fund.
We Will Review Your Legal Options For Free – Contact Us Today
Talk with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Wertz Law Firm, P.C., for a review of your claim. We’ll make sure you are being compensated to the full extent provided by Iowa law. To get started, you can send us a message online or call 319-774-2687.