There are many serious and potentially dangerous hazards that New York City correction officers face each day. While many of these hazards include those that most people may experience at work, like slip and falls or injuries lifting an object, unfortunately correction officers also confront dangers from inmates who want to intentionally cause harm. This includes assaults and attacks on them. One heinous type of assault includes slashes from shanks or bladed weapons, particularly a double razor used to slash at the face. While the intent is to inflict pain or disfigurement, sometimes the injuries can go much further. A severed facial nerve for correctional officers in NYC can result in serious injury and time away from work, despite our workers’ compensation lawyer in NYC knowing that not all facial injuries are fairly compensated.
Here at O’Connor Law, we are dedicated to fighting for the rights of correction officers and other hardworking individuals who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Our experienced and compassionate team can help answer your questions, compile the appropriate evidence, and submit an application for workers’ comp benefits. We can also represent you at a hearing, providing both factual and legal arguments in support of your application. If you or a loved one suffered any type of work-related injury or illness, especially a severed facial nerve for correction officers in NYC, call our workers’ compensation lawyer by dialing toll-free at (914) 595-4502.
A facial injury is a big deal, especially when that injury is a huge scar that will always be on your face for everyone to see. However, New York law takes the untenable position that the maximum amount for any facial injury is capped at $20,000. Adding insult to injury, most times the workers’ compensation board rarely pays out to the maximum cap—often offering only a few thousand dollars, even for a permanent injury.
While the workers’ comp board may try to treat a severed facial nerve or cranial nerve injury the same as all other facial injuries, they are not. Damage to any of these important nerves is a very different type of injury than one that is disfiguring or damaging, especially one that is just superficial. This is because the cranial nerves perform a very important function and damage to them can result in permanent injury, time off of work, and high medical bills.
There are 12 cranial nerves, many are shallow and just under the skin, often in places that are not protected by thick tissue. This means that slashes or stabs to the face, as well as even some other trauma such as a kick or punch, could damage or rupture a cranial nerve. While some ruptures of a cranial nerve or facial nerve can be repaired, sometimes they cannot be.
A severed cranial nerve can result in continued pain, including shocks of pain, burning sensations, and extreme pain. But it can also result in numbness, coldness, tingling, and a complete loss of sensation. Sometimes the sensations can shift, sometimes causing extreme pain, and other times causing numbness.
Many times an injury causing damage to a cranial nerve may need to be surgically repaired. This can include trying to reconnect the nerves, or it could include removing a neuroma or other damage on the nerve that could affect how it functions.
A severed facial nerve or cranial nerve will not get the same type of valuation as facial scarring cases, and therefore is not subject to the same $20,000 cap. This is because a severed nerve is a very serious injury and is treated must differently.
A NYC correction officer who suffers a severed facial nerve or cranial nerve will receive a portion of his or her salary while out of work due to the injury and while healing from a surgery. This is because working as a correction officer is a physical job and the nature of the job can be dirty, working with a facial injury poses a risk of infection, reopening the wound, and disconnecting or damaging the nerves that were reconnected. It can also make a CO with a bandage or stitches on his or her face a target for other inmates. Therefore, most COs suffering from a facial nerve injury will be out of work.
Medical bills will also be covered and reimbursed. This includes for the emergency treatment as well as any surgeries to help repair the damage to the cranial nerve or nerves that have been severed.
Depending on the severity of the injury and which cranial nerve or nerves have been injured, if a CO cannot return to work the benefits are limited by the state which is capped at 130 weeks for temporary benefits, and 225-525 additional weeks for permanent benefits. Based on our experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in NYC, most people suffering a cranial nerve or facial nerve injury receive about two years of temporary benefits and/or five and a half (5 ½) years of permanent benefits.
If you or a loved one suffered any type of facial nerve injury or cranial nerve injury as a correction officer in NYC, you may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits if such injury occurred as a result of work injury—especially an intentional act by an inmate. These are very difficult cases because most WC adjusters will try to limit your recovery, often only offering a few thousand dollars. But a cranial nerve injury is serious and often permanent, sometimes never being fully repaired.
Ask our workers’ compensation lawyer in NYC for help for a severed facial nerve for a corrections officer injured on the job. We offer FREE consultations by dialing (914) 595-4502 or by sending us a private message through our “Contact Us” box available here.