In 2010, Brian White, a Georgia man, was working in the industrial industry. Due to a workplace accident, he lost one of his legs. Without his leg, he could not continue working in his industry. But the loss of his leg did not deter him. Rather, it emboldened him to seek a new career – prosthetics.
While in recovery for his lost leg, White met Steve Miller, the regional vice president for Hanger Clinic, which builds prosthetics and orthotics. Miller built White a prosthetic leg and provided encouragement and inspiration – Miller, too, is an amputee. When doctors told White that even with a prosthetic, he likely would never walk again, White took it as a challenge. Miller believed that the doctors were wrong. White proved that they were.
Now, White is channeling his experiences as one of 14 students accepted to Georgia Tech’s two-year prosthetics program. He is seeking his master’s degree in orthotics and prosthetics.
How Much Is a Limb Worth?
Workers who lose limbs in workplace accidents are entitled to workers’ compensation to cover things like medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. According to the nonprofit ProPublica, in Georgia, the average workers’ compensation a person who loses a leg could receive is $118,125. That is not a lot of cash in the grand scheme, especially for something as serious as the loss of a leg.
These workers have options, though. Depending on the circumstances of an amputation injury, the worker may be able to seek greater benefits through a third-party injury claim. If negligence can be proven on the part of an employer, a coworker or some other party, that injured worker could receive damages greatly exceeding what can be obtained through workers’ comp.