Wow, that literally costs an arm and a leg!
March 13, 2015 6:26 AM   Subscribe

How much is your middle finger worth? A worker's comp breakdown by state.
posted by phunniemee (35 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Hmmm. Rhode Island is in the bottom 5 on almost all those lists. I could just give them the middle finger.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:30 AM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's interesting seeing the state breakdowns. Like, if I'm in the market for a horribly dangerous job, now I know to look for it in Illinois or Nevada.
posted by phunniemee at 6:32 AM on March 13, 2015


man, the payouts in arkansas are so low, and yet i know multiple people who lost a body part to a job and never saw a dime because the company disappeared in the middle of the night.
posted by nadawi at 6:38 AM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Man, I'm not sure what it says that $50K for a toe has me plotting but yet...
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:42 AM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why do states only care about the big toe? Doesn't any state place a worth on any of the other toes?
posted by Elly Vortex at 6:49 AM on March 13, 2015


Hmmm. Rhode Island is in the bottom 5 on almost all those lists. I could just give them the middle finger.

That'd be $5,400.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:50 AM on March 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


There's got to be some possibility of arbitrage, like buying extra body parts in Alabama and getting them severed in Nevada.
posted by Spanner Nic at 6:52 AM on March 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm kind of surprised that, when you look at individual body parts, Indiana is mostly above the national average compensation. I have to think this is a remnant of our ancient history as a union-heavy manufacturing state. If it were up to our current, redder-than-red, liber-tea-partian conservative government, workers comp would pretty much be "Sucks to be you. Here's a Starbucks gift card."
posted by Thorzdad at 6:54 AM on March 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Sucks to be you. Here's a K-Cup."
posted by oceanjesse at 6:55 AM on March 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why do states only care about the big toe? Doesn't any state place a worth on any of the other toes?

Little toes don't really provide that much dexterity-wise. You can't move them independently for the most part, all they do is help grip downward. Fingers (even relatively useless ones like ring fingers and pinkies) have a much greater impact on your ability to work. The big toe has the greatest impact on your ability to walk, run, and balance. You could lose a middle toe and it would have a negligible effect on your daily life.

*not toeist*
posted by leotrotsky at 6:55 AM on March 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


I have to think this is a remnant of our ancient history as a union-heavy manufacturing state.

Definitely. Give it time, though. Look what's happened to Wisconsin.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:56 AM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I know a guy who got the federal testicle payout. I'm pleased to see that if he had go to through that, at least he got the best payout.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:08 AM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wish I had more opportunities in my life to use the phrase "federal testicle payout."
posted by obfuscation at 7:11 AM on March 13, 2015 [13 favorites]


Man, I'm not sure what it says that $50K for a toe has me plotting but yet...

You're not alone! In fact, have you considered a move to Nub City, Florida? // "By the time the early 1960s rolled around, according to the Tampa Bay Times, Vernon, Florida was responsible for roughly two-thirds of all loss-of-limb-related insurance claims in the United States."

L.W. Burdeshaw, an insurance agent in Chipley, told the St. Petersburg Times in 1982 that "his list of policyholders included the following: a man who sawed off his left hand at work, a man who shot off his foot while protecting chickens, a man who lost his hand while trying to shoot a hawk, a man who somehow lost two limbs in an accident involving a rifle and a tractor, and a man who bought a policy and then, less than 12 hours later, shot off his foot while aiming at a squirrel."
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:13 AM on March 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Funny that Massachusetts (where I'm from) is right at the bottom. When I used to work for a cemetery, we'd often joke about which body parts would give the best payout for the least amount of inconvenience, should we manage to get them "accidentally" lopped off by a lawnmower or a brush cutter. (It's true what they say about gravediggers' black humor.)

We always figured that a finger or two would be the best way to go; you still get a few grand, but the disability wouldn't be very severe. One of us (I forget who) always insisted that a person could get by just fine with only one eye. Little did we know that we were in the worst place in the country to play that gambit!
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:14 AM on March 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Man, I'm not sure what it says that $50K for a toe has me plotting but yet...

Plot carefully. Years ago I heard a story about a guy who was working on the oil rigs in Western Canada. He decided to to sacrifice a finger in order to get money to fix his car. But when he tried to stick just the chosen finger into some machinery, it sucked in his entire hand.
posted by orange swan at 7:27 AM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


My index finger would have been worth a lot, had I destroyed it at work and in the US and had the real problems not been because my first surgeon was incompetent.

Oh well.
posted by jeather at 7:30 AM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]




So in Kentucky, if you lose a thumb, the average maximum compensation is $195k. But in Massachusetts, if you lose your whole arm, the average maximum compensation is $52k.

???
posted by The Girl Who Ate Boston at 7:43 AM on March 13, 2015


I wish I had more opportunities in my life to use the phrase "federal testicle payout."

Right. Like, you pull up to the boat ramp in a huge 4x4 all murdered out with a sweet-ass bass boat on a matching trailer and, when the other guys are all like, dang, man, 'atrighttere's a bad-ass rig, son, dude must be a baller, and you just lean out the window and say, "yep, but only half as hard as I used to: federal testicle payout."
posted by resurrexit at 7:46 AM on March 13, 2015 [8 favorites]


This time last year I had a accident in the lab. Everything was fine, but I stood at the eye wash station for over an hour and was freaking out about the possibility of losing some (or all) of my vision the entire time.

As much as some extra money would help out life right now, I'd rather have my eyes.
posted by lucy.jakobs at 7:50 AM on March 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


If I remember correctly, there's a chapter that touches on this in Fast Food Nation. Reading about the prevalence of repetitive-motion injuries and the smallness of workers' comp payouts (if you could get 'em) was what made me choose to be a vegetarian for years.
posted by MsDaniB at 8:00 AM on March 13, 2015


I wish I had more opportunities in my life to use the phrase "federal testicle payout."

You could start a band.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:09 AM on March 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


in california a thumb is only worth $382, while a pinky is $5253. wtf california?
posted by fuzzypantalones at 8:33 AM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


in california a thumb is only worth $382, while a pinky is $5253. wtf california?

Dr. Evil obviously made that ruling.
posted by jeather at 8:34 AM on March 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


in california a thumb is only worth $382, while a pinky is $5253. wtf california?

Tea Party influence.
posted by resurrexit at 10:02 AM on March 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


MetaFilter: opportunities to use the phrase "federal testicle payout"
posted by Foosnark at 10:24 AM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Once there is an objective test for losing your mind, workers comp will go fucking bust.
posted by sylvanshine at 10:39 AM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why is the value of the hand not counted in the loss of an arm? Do they attach the hand to a shoulder? I guess I have to lose the hand first and then the arm for the full value. Seems like a lot of work.
posted by Splunge at 11:15 AM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ugh, just like the government to care about the little piggy who went to market and not even place a monetary value on the one who stays home.
posted by Elly Vortex at 11:26 AM on March 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


If it were up to our current, redder-than-red, liber-tea-partian conservative government, workers comp would pretty much be "Sucks to be you. Here's a Starbucks gift card."

Shame on you for that gross mischaracterization, Thorzdad. This Republican government wouldn't even offer the gift card.
posted by Gelatin at 11:46 AM on March 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thorzdad: “If it were up to our current, redder-than-red, liber-tea-partian conservative government, workers comp would pretty much be "Sucks to be you. Here's a Starbucks gift card."”
They're working on it.

“The Demolition of Workers’ Comp,” Michael Grabell and Howard Berkes, ProPublica, 04 March 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 12:33 PM on March 13, 2015


Why is the value of the hand not counted in the loss of an arm? Do they attach the hand to a shoulder? I guess I have to lose the hand first and then the arm for the full value. Seems like a lot of work.

I'd guess the hand does count for much of the value of the arm, and losing the rest gets you a much smaller payout. Or are there states where the hand is worth more? That would be odd.
posted by atoxyl at 12:36 PM on March 13, 2015


About ten years ago I interviewed a guy for an oral history project in Pennsylvania who had sacrificed one finger per child to get enough funds to send them to college. He had four children.
posted by carmicha at 12:56 PM on March 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow, I remember my first growed-up job with insurance/benefits, being totally freaked out (and then tickled) by the dry presentation in the benefits booklet of what you get for various permutations of body-part-loss. "Hmm, if I lopped off my baby toe somehow that would be a pretty awesome vacation..."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:47 PM on March 13, 2015


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