The concept of schedule loss of use has been a part of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Law for decades. To highlight the inequities of the Workers’ Compensation Law I would like to discuss loss of use awards involving all toes except the great toe.
Under New York State Workers’ Compensation Law, 100% loss of use of every toe other than your big toe translates to 16 weeks of Workers’ Compensation. That’s right, only 16 weeks of compensation benefits for the loss of a toe. As bazaar as this sounds, it is the current state of law.
When the compensation law was passed, the legislators determined that if you are injured at work as the result of the negligence of a co-worker or your own employer you can no longer file a lawsuit. You can collect workers’ compensation benefits which provide medical treatment and limited lost wages. One of the problems with the system is that you can lose a toe and only get paid 16 weeks of Workers’ Compensation regardless of how many surgeries you have had on your toe or the pain and anguish associated with your injury. New York State Workers’ Compensation Law limits you to a permanency award of no more than 16 weeks.
The Workers’ Compensation Law has set forth schedules for most limbs that provide a maximum number of weeks payable for loss of function.
Because you are unable to receive pain and suffering awards through Workers’ Compensation, it is very important that you maximize your entitlement under the law. The laws are extremely limited and that is all the more reason that you should ensure that you are receiving the correct benefit for your case.