Workers who have suffered finger amputations during the course of employment are rarely compensated fairly for their loss. This is because a finger amputation, while always resulting in permanency, will usually fall into the schedule loss of use category.
A 100% loss of a finger will range anywhere between 15 and 75 weeks of compensation. Unfortunately, the schedule is grossly unfair. If more than one finger is amputated it is possible for the schedule to be awarded on the entire hand. 100% loss of a hand under the New York State Workers’ Compensation Law translates to 244 weeks of compensation. As you can see, the hand has much more “value” than the individual fingers do.
Determining whether or not a proper schedule loss of use should apply to a finger only or an entire hand is a tricky proposition. The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board Medical Guidelines discuss the topic of “loading” in certain circumstances which allows for a hand schedule instead of multiple finger schedules for the same injury.
If you have been injured in the course of employment and would like to protect your legal rights, please feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.