Losing a limb in a workplace accident changes your life forever. You may need costly prostheses, extensive physical therapy, and multiple surgeries to help manage your injury. You might also lose the ability to perform your former work duties, forcing you to quit your job or start a new career. There is no questioning the financial, physical, or emotional toll that a workplace amputation injury takes. The real question is, who is going to pay for your medical bills? And how will you and your family be provided for in the future?
Baltimore workplace amputation lawyer Randolph Rice is here to help you get answers to those questions. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, or seeking workers’ compensation benefits, Randolph Rice can help you recover for lost earnings, medical bills, and other damages. It is important to consult an attorney before filing a workers’ compensation claim or amputation injury lawsuit, since there are pros and cons to each approach depending on the specifics of your case. If you lost a finger, toe, hand, foot, or limb in a work-related accident, contact the Rice, Murtha & Psoras online, or call (410) 694-7291 for a free legal consultation today.
How Do Amputation Injuries Happen at Work?
Most workers are never exposed to amputation hazards on the job, but certain industries or occupations pose a heightened risk to employees. This fact has been openly acknowledged by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the federal agency that regulates worker safety and protection. In fact, OSHA has banned workers under the age of 18 from participating in certain types of jobs deemed “especially hazardous,” including jobs that require workers to use “band saws, circular saws, guillotine shears, punching and shearing machines, meatpacking or meat-processing machines, paper products machines, woodworking machines, metalforming machines, and meat slicers.”
Adult workers may use these types of equipment. However, even for adults, there is a high risk of injury. Like any job, the risk increases if coworkers or supervisors are careless – and around such dangerous gear, the margins for error are razor-thin. Even a split-second lapse in attention can cause a catastrophic, life-threatening injury. OSHA reports that workplace amputations are most likely to occur when workers operate any of the following types of equipment, particularly if the equipment lacks property safety guards or contains any defects:
- Band saws
- Conveyor belts
- Drill presses
- Food slicers
- Meat grinders
- Milling machines
- Power presses
- Power tools
- Printing presses
- Roll-bending machines
- Shearing machines
Employees at meat processing plants have been identified as some of the highest-risk workers, creating major dangers for workers in the meatpacking industry. According to OSHA records, nationwide, meat plants report an average of 17 serious accidents each month, including approximately two amputations per week. Many of these accidents occur when workers become snared in heavy machinery with moving parts, often while attempting to clear or retrieve objects from the equipment. Even when proper safety precautions are taken, mechanical defects can still jeopardize workers’ lives and safety.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits vs. Personal Injury Lawsuits in Maryland
If you are injured at work in Maryland, there are several ways you may choose to pursue financial compensation. For example, you may wish to file for workers’ compensation benefits or file a personal injury lawsuit, depending on the situation. There are major differences between these two strategies, such as:
- Whether it is necessary to prove negligence. It is not necessary for an employee to prove that a coworker or manager was negligent in order for the employee to receive workers’ comp benefits. By comparison, the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit must prove that the defendant was negligent in order to be awarded damages.
- What sorts of damages (compensation) can be recovered. Filing a personal injury lawsuit may enable you to recover compensation for pain and suffering, which is not covered in a workers’ compensation claim.
It is critically important to review your options carefully in order to ensure that you are not deprived of any compensation you are potentially entitled to. It is in your best interests to consult a knowledgeable attorney who has experience filing both personal injury claims and workers’ compensation benefits, ensuring that no avenue is left unexplored.
Baltimore Workplace Amputation Accident Injury Attorney
Few injuries are more debilitating than the loss of an arm or leg. An amputation accident is a traumatic event to live through, and you deserve answers for what happened. As a worker, you have the right to a safe workplace – and as an injury victim, you have the right to fair compensation.
At the Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we are proud to represent the workers of Baltimore. We will fight tirelessly to secure the full compensation for your injuries, relentlessly seeking every dollar you deserve. Contact us online right away to schedule a free legal consultation, or call the Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to speak with an attorney today.