Amputation/Loss of Limb Injury
There are nearly 2 million individuals living in the United States coping with limb loss. With so many dangerous professions in the United States and the severe injuries that can result from car accidents and similar personal injury incidents, it is a harsh reality that some individuals lose a limb in an accident.
If this has happened to you, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim or workers’ compensation claim to help recover money to help you heal from the accident and move on with your life.
Causes of Injury
An amputation can occur after a broad range of injuries but these are most common for dangerous occupations. Amputation accidents on the job can happen in any situation and anywhere.
Traumatic amputation involves the loss of any extremity or body part including fingers, toes, ears, legs, hands and feet. The most common causes of accidental traumatic amputation are:
- Traffic accidents
- Workplace and factory construction accidents
- Agricultural accidents
- Explosives, firearms and fireworks accidents
- Rain traction accidents
- Electrocution accidents
- Building and car door accidents
Stuck between accidental amputations and being caught in or caught under something on a construction site are some of the most common causes of an amputation or limb loss injury at work. These typically occur when an employee is stuck between some piece of heavy equipment, when a worker falls into hazardous factory machinery, or when a delivery truck runs over your foot. There are significant costs associated with having a limb amputated and it can shape your life in
big ways when you have to adjust to life without that limb anymore. Loss of limb accidents may also be common for industrial warehouse inventory workers, roofers and individuals who have been hurt in car accidents. Those individuals who have had a limb cut off in an accident may need to be fitted with a prosthetic limb and they may never be able to walk again without the support of crutches, a cane or a wheelchair. Occupational therapy may also be essential to recovering from this accident and this can be very expensive.
As with any type of surgery, having a limb amputated carries a risk of many different complications. Your risk for complications is dependent also on the specifics of the accident and how quickly you are able to get medical attention after the accident happens. Serious complications may occur after you have had a limb amputated, including:
- Stump or phantom limb pain
- Psychological problems
- Slow wound healing
- Blood clots
- Heart complications
In some situations, you may have to go through the process of multiple surgeries in order to correct problems that develop. For many cases an amputation is seen as a last resort when all other treatment options have failed. However, for people injured in a serious accident involving a car or on the job, an amputation may be the only way for them to survive.
Damages and Compensation
The purpose of awarding damages to a victim in a personal injury case is to help make the plaintiff whole after an injury has occurred. In some situations, however, particularly in loss of limb cases, you may never be able to recover money that will help to make you whole. However, damages are awarded to help address some of the most pertinent issues associated with your amputation injury. These include:
- Lost wages for any work that you had to miss due to the injury or because of treatment for the injury
- Medical bills associated with the amputation and resulting treatment
- Pain and suffering and emotional distress
- Loss of companionship or loss of consortium in cases where the victim suffers fatal injuries
- Punitive damages in situations where the negligent person’s behavior was particularly reprehensible
Why You Need an Attorney
In the wake of a severe accident where one or more of your limbs has been amputated, an attorney is essential for protecting your rights. Fighting for the right amount of compensation and negotiating with the other individuals involved in the case can be complicated. After a loss of limb accident, it has likely been difficult for you to adjust to your new life and you do not need one more pressure point or area of stress impacting you at this time.
An attorney can help to manage all the pertinent aspects of your case and advise you about what to expect. He or she may be an important point of contact for the duration of your case, working towards settlement or a favorable verdict. An attorney will be your best advocate as you pursue compensation through a legal claim for a lost limb. Even though there is no way to turn back the hands of time and undo the devastating accident that caused your amputation, computation may help you move on with your life.