How much are my body parts worth?
Under Connecticut’s workers’ compensation laws, all of your body parts have different values that have been established by the State Legislature. This makes sense when you think about it and compare some body parts with others. For example, your heart and brain are certainly more important than your pinky finger. In fact, your heart, brain and carotid artery have the highest value in Connecticut’s workers’ compensation system. The lowest values are your individual teeth. Other very low values are your toes (not the big toe), your gall bladder and your spleen. For some reason, the back has triple the value of the neck, even though both are the spine and even though it’s hard to say that someone’s disabling neck pain should be worth one-third of someone’s disabling back pain.
What does all of this really mean? In workers’ compensation, if you permanently lose all or part of the use of a body part, you receive compensation for the loss. The amount you receive is based on three things: 1) the amount you were paid by your employer before you were injured; 2) the degree to which that body part is now permanently disabled (i.e., 100% or 50% or 10%); and finally 3) the value that has been assigned to the body part in question.
In other words, the overall value assigned to the body part by the Legislature is a critical factor in how much money you receive for permanently injuring that body part. Regarding workers’ compensation, if you have ever wondered how it is determined how much money someone receives for having a permanent disability or loss of a body part, now you know that it is determined, in part, by a value that the Legislature has put on the parts of your body.
If anyone is extra curious, this can be found in Section 31-308(b) of the Connecticut General Statutes. Or of course, you can speak directly with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.