The loss of a limb due to accidents and injuries, known as traumatic amputation, is life changing if not fatal. Amputation can involve a leg, foot, toe, arm, hand, or finger. In addition to lifelong physical impairments, it can have mental, emotional, and financial impacts. The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani is your Los Angeles amputation injury attorney; we can hold those who caused your injury accountable and get maximum compensation.
According to The American Journal of Surgery, the most common cause of amputation is blunt trauma, which accounted for 83% of the 8,910 amputees tracked in the study. Motor vehicle accidents cause the most amputations, but accidents with factory, farm, and power tools frequently lead to limb loss as well. In the United States, there are about 2 million amputees, according to estimates by the Amputee Coalition of America; every year, there are about 185,000 new lower extremity amputations.
Complete Amputation vs. Partial Amputation
If a body part is completely severed, it’s said to be a complete amputation. Reattaching a severed limb or digit is complex, but possible if proper care is taken for the severed body part. A partial amputation is one in which some soft tissue remains attached after the accident. This doesn’t necessarily make it easier to reattach the limb/digit. If the injury is severe, surgical amputation may be necessary.
Our amputation accident attorney may look at complications resulting from your accident and subsequent amputation in calculating a settlement to pursue. Potential complications may include severe bleeding. Infection and shock may also occur. The long-term consequences of an amputation must be considered as well, which include significant physical limitations and emotional and psychological effects. Prosthetics and other adaptive devices may be required for the rest of a person’s life.
Amputations are classified as catastrophic injuries per California personal injury law. The costs are difficult to calculate. Hospital stays may range from weeks to months. Amputees often require inpatient rehab and physical therapy, which may extend for years past the initial recovery period. Beyond medical care, there is the cost of in-home modifications and vehicle upgrades. All the while, loss of income is problematic because the individual may miss extended periods of work, if they ever return to their job at all.
What you need to know about amputation and disfigurement injuries before you hire a lawyer
Amputations and disfigurement injuries are life-changing and permanent. They require highly qualified attorneys who are well versed in this area of law, because these cases are very complex and typically require large settlements.
Nothing can describe the intense shock of waking up in a hospital bed and realizing that your arm or leg is missing. It was there this morning; now you’re on the other side of a car accident, and it’s gone.
An amputation or disfigurement injury is lifelong and permanent, though scientific advances are leading to promising surgeries that might be able to restore some semblance of normalcy. As these are in their early stages and cost-prohibitive, most people make do with prosthetics or reconstructive surgery after having suffered such a grievous wound and must relearn even the most basic tasks.
Beside the shock of the accident itself, a new amputee or victim of disfigurement must also deal with the emotional fallout of having to face this unwanted challenge, and many patients will experience severe situational depression.
What is considered amputation or disfigurement?
Amputation refers to the removal of a limb – this can be as small as part of a finger digit or as large as a leg, and it can be because of external trauma or because of an internal medical emergency such as a bacterial infection.
Disfigurement is permanent damage done to soft tissue (ligaments, skin, muscles, fascia, etc.) or bone. This damage can include nerve damage, severe scarring, burns or other grievous wounds. Amputation is a type of disfigurement, and both are catastrophic injuries. This category of injuries requires lifelong rehabilitation.
Technically, anything that could physically disfigure the body or face or remove a body part would be considered this type of case. Here are some of the more typical cases that can be the underlying cause of an amputation or disfigurement case:
- Road rash: Sliding on pavement at high speeds or being hit by an air bag during a car crash causes skin peeling, abrasions and burns. (See motorcycle accident story)
- Fractures and amputations from accidents: These can result in bodily movement restriction or hampered performance that requires rehabilitation and relearning of physical skills.
- What makes amputation or disfigurement cases different?
The extensive nature of these injuries and their lifelong implications indicate how much an amputation patient will be paying in medical bills. That’s not even saying how much it will cost to pay for continuing care after surgery and rehabilitation. This patient will need physical therapy, medications, medical equipment, doctors’ visits and much more over the course of his or her lifetime.
Additionally, the facts of an amputation and disfigurement case are usually quite complicated.
There will be far more medical testimony than a normal case, and the insurance companies involved will have mountains of material through which to sort. Depending on how many parties are named, proving fault could be a battle in itself. Many amputation cases also require naming third parties, such as when machinery was involved that was defective in its safety warnings.
These types of cases are a strange blend of personal injury and potentially medical malpractice (if the injury was caused in a hospital or by a doctor), motor vehicle cases (if the injury was caused on the road), workers’ compensation law (if the injury happened on the job) or product liability law (if the injury was caused by faulty machinery or a bad product), among other types of cases as well.
Steps to take if you’ve suffered an amputation or disfigurement injury
First and foremost, if you’ve been injured in such a way, find the care you need and get yourself to a place mentally where you are prepared to proceed with a lawsuit.
There are statutes of limitations for personal injury depending on the state in which you are located, and if you are at risk of running out of time to file, simply have an attorney – any attorney – file the necessary paperwork in order to preserve your claim.
To truly pursue the claim, however, you want to have an expert. You will want someone who specializes in amputation and disfigurement law, as there are many aspects that your normal personal injury attorney would overlook.
Once you have appropriately determined liability and how much compensation you are owed, you can attempt to settle with the defendant’s insurance company. If you can reach a settlement out of court, then everything ends and everyone goes home. If not, then you may have to proceed with a lawsuit.
Why You Need a Los Angeles Amputation Injury Lawyer
An experienced amputation attorney can analyze all the medical expenses associated with a loss of a limb. These include costs of treatment leading up to and after the amputation. Your lawyer can even extrapolate the lifetime costs of the injury, and fight for economic and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. They can also hold a negligent party accountable for your injuries, and pursue maximum compensation, while working with investigators and insurance companies on your behalf.
The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani is an personal injury attorney in Los Angeles with over 20 years of experience. Whether you or a loved one suffered an imputation due to a motor vehicle accident, defective product, or medical malpractice, we fight for compensation that can cover immediate and long-term care, rehabilitation, and lost wages as well as emotional hardship. Call 888-732-8948 today for a free consultation to find out how much your case is worth.