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Amputations are common catastrophic occupational injuries

Soldiers are often the victims of amputation injuries suffered in combat, but workers can also be victims. Along with car accidents, industrial and agricultural accidents in Tennessee and nationwide are frequent causes of amputations. These are regarded as catastrophic occupational injuries with exceptionally traumatic and emotionally disturbing consequences.

Although occupational amputations sometimes result from motor vehicle accidents, industrial and agricultural accidents often cause workers to lose fingers or even their hands when they come into contact with moving or rotating parts of machines. Losing an entire or part of an arm is also common. Injuries that leave a body part partially attached by bits of muscle, tissue or bone are known as partial amputations, and complete amputation injuries involve body parts that are severed.

In some cases, the severed body part can be reattached successfully if the injury represents a guillotine-like amputation with no damage to surrounding anatomy. Amputations that are classified as crush injuries involve more damage to arteries and soft tissue, and reattachment is often unsuccessful. The most catastrophic are avulsion amputations, which involve vascular tissue and nerves being torn or overstretched forcefully. This can happen when a worker's limb is forcefully pulled into a working machine, and the extensive damage typically makes limb salvage unlikely.

Tennessee workers who are victims of catastrophic occupational injuries will be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. However, this type of injury will likely cause permanent disabilities, and obtaining maximum applicable benefits will be crucial. An attorney who is experienced in looking out for severely injured workers can assist with the benefits claims process to obtain not only medical expenses and lost wages but also any occupational rehabilitation to equip the disabled worker with skills to pursue a new occupation.

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