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Amputations in Workplace Accidents

According to the Center for Orthotic & Prosthetic Care, "Each year, the majority of new amputations occur due to complications of the vascular system (of or pertaining to the blood vessels), especially from diabetes." While dysvascular-related amputations, such as those caused by diabetes account for 82% of the amputations, the second leading cause of amputations is trauma at 16%, followed by cancer and congenital-related incidences, both coming in at 1% respectively.

According to the Amputee Coalition, a non-profit organization, "There are nearly 2 million people living with limb loss in the United States." While their statistics vary slightly from the Center for Orthotic & Prosthetic Care, both organizations report that vascular disease is the main cause of amputations. The Amputee Coalition says that 54% of amputations are caused by vascular disease, followed by trauma at 45%, and cancer at less than 2%.

Trauma and Amputation Injuries

So, how do people lose fingers, hands, arms, legs, and feet in traumatic accidents? Often, these types of injuries stem from car accidents and workplace accidents; however, we're going to focus on amputation injuries in the workplace.

Millions of America's workers deal with dangerous machinery on a daily basis. Whether a construction worker is handling a saw, or a cabinet maker is using a shaper, or a farmer is using a tractor, there are countless ways for a worker's limbs to get caught in a machine, leading to limb loss, irreversible damage, and a measurable decline in "quality of life."

Popular Mechanics published an article entitled, The 5 Most Dangerous Tools, And How to Use Them Safely, citing the following tools as the most dangerous:

  1. Table Saw
  2. Nail Guns
  3. Chain Saws
  4. Ladders
  5. Circular Saw

If you cut off a fingertip, or loss an entire finger, or another limb in a workplace accident, please know that you should immediately file a workers' compensation claim. Even if the accident was your fault, that does not mean you aren't entitled to compensation through your employer's workers' compensation insurance.

Workers' comp is a "no-fault" system, which means that nobody is faulted for the accident. All that matters is that the accident happened while the employee was performing their job-related duties. In effect, employees who suffer limb loss in a workplace accident should take advantage of the valuable compensation that is available to them.

If you suffered an amputation injury while working, don't delay. Contact our firm to schedule a free consultation with a Columbia, SC workers' compensation lawyer.