I had the joy of representing a spunky, sweet 24-year-old who sustained a tragic work injury. Christan worked at a local factory. Her left middle and ring fingers got partially amputated when they got caught in a bailer machine she operated. Basically, on her middle finger, she lost from the bottom of her nail up and half the nail on her ring finger.

Christan found us on a Google search. Being this young and this injured was scary and confusing for her. She benefited from my paralegal Rose’s comfort and guidance as we ushered her through her medical care and case.

Christan’s injuries required two operations: one to repair the amputations and another to remove scar tissue and damaged cartilage from her left middle finger.

Her surgeon did an excellent job. In the end, he released her with no work restrictions. When you're just 24, and you've lost two fingertips, that's some of the best medical news you can get.

How We Helped Get a Solid Workers’ Compensation Finger Amputation Settlement

In a typical case, South Carolina workers’ compensation settlements revolve around impairment ratings, work restrictions, and future care. High impairment ratings, extremely limiting work restrictions, and expensive future medical care results in bigger settlements.

Christan didn't have those factors. The surgeon gave her a 13% impairment rating for her left hand. She had no work restrictions. She needed no future medical care.

We Helped Her Settlement by Showing the Unique Effect of the Injury 

For Christan, I made it plain her case was different because not only is she young, she's a lady. That makes a huge difference in how she views her permanent disfigurement, which can be considered in a South Carolina workers’ compensation settlement.

In the demand letter that drives negotiations, I pointed out to the insurance company's lawyer that Christan’s stuck with her disfigurement longer, and it hurts her more. I made sure the insurance company remembered she is a unique person with unique pain as a result of this because she forever lost things girls her age love to do. I did this using what I heard Christan tell me:

  • “I can’t get my nails done anymore.”
  • “I won’t be able to comfortably take engagement pictures with my ring on my finger.”
  • “It’s uncomfortable when I shop because people stare at my left hand.” 

I also pointed out the challenges she faces in daily life. It's hard to cut food, button her pants, and do her hair.

Our negotiations got Christan a good settlement for her South Carolina workers’ compensation partial finger amputation case. The insurance company agreed to pay a settlement representing the loss of 42% of her left hand, which in Christan’s case was $25,000.


Rob Usry
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Rob is a Spartanburg personal injury lawyer. Rob also practices as a workers' compensation attorney.