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Whether it be debilitating pain, extensive therapy, or fighting for a fair settlement, the aftermath of an accident is never easy. However, when an accident involves an amputation, an already difficult situation can quickly turn into a nightmare. Depending on the limb, amputees may need to re-learn how to do almost everything in their day-to-day life. They may require extensive medical treatment or special equipment just to go about their day. In these situations, hiring an amputation injury lawyer may be the only way to receive the compensation that you are entitled to after undergoing a horrific experience.
AMPUTATION AND DISMEMBERMENT LAWYERS
Regardless of how it happens, losing a limb is a catastrophic experience for any accident victim. Depending on the limb, everything from driving a car to eating can become a completely new experience. Many types of accidents can leave a victim with the loss of a limb, but they generally fall into one of two major categories—amputation and dismemberment.
An amputation is the removal of a limb by a surgeon in a medical setting. Numerous types of situations can lead to an amputation becoming necessary, but if a doctor removes it in a hospital, it will be classified as an amputation. An amputation can be either the partial or total removal of a limb. According to the Amputee Coalition, there are around 2 million people living with limb loss in the United States and approximately 185,000 amputations occur each year.
On the other hand, a dismemberment occurs when a catastrophic accident results in the loss of a limb.
After an amputation or dismemberment accident, you will certainly have a lot on your plate. Medical visits and rehabilitation alone are overwhelming enough. However, adding the stress of fighting a legal battle can seem downright unfair. This is why it is in a victim’s best interest to hire an experienced amputation injury attorney to fight on their behalf. A lawyer may be able to handle the legal process of seeking compensation for your injuries, while you focus on recovering and getting your life back on track.
ACCIDENTS THAT CAUSE LIMB LOSS AND AMPUTATION
Accidents that may cause a limb amputation include:
Car accidents are not always serious—fender-benders may leave the victim with nothing more than a dent in their vehicle. However, some car accidents are severe enough to cause the loss of a limb. Car accidents involve heavy vehicles traveling at high speeds. If an accident is severe enough to compact the body of your vehicle, this compression of the vehicle into the victim can cause the loss of a limb. Shattering glass or other sharp objects flying around during an accident can be enough to lead to the loss of a limb.
Workplace accidents can happen in just about any workplace, but workplace accidents leading to dismemberment typically happen only in workplaces with inherently dangerous circumstances present. Workplaces like construction zones, factories, or anywhere else where large machinery is present can pose risks to life and limb. For example, standing too close to a large piece of heavy machinery in a factory while it is in operation can quickly lead to dismemberment, or cause an accident where amputation is the only solution. If you work at a dangerous worksite, follow all of the applicable safety regulations to ensure that this does not happen to you.
It is relatively rare that a dog bite attack would be so severe that it would lead to dismemberment. However, while rare, it is important to remember that dog bites, unlike other sorts of accidents, carry a higher risk of infection due to the bacteria present in a dog’s mouth. In a particularly bad case that is left untreated, a dog bite may lead to lead to amputation. If you were bitten by a dog, make sure that you get medical attention as soon as possible to help prevent your injuries from worsening.
SIDE EFFECTS OF AMPUTATION
Some of the main effects of losing a limb might be obvious to those who have undergone this process. However, there are some side effects of amputation that might not be so immediately apparent.
Residual Limb Pain
Residual limb pain is the term used to refer to pain felt in the portion of the limb that remains after an amputation. For example, if an accident victim has their leg amputated from the knee down, they might experience residual limb pain in their thigh. Residual limb pain happens in about half of people who have had an amputation and can happen soon after the operation, but it can also last well beyond healing in some victims.
Phantom pain is similar in some ways to residual limb pain and often happens in conjunction with it, but it is also different in one important way. Phantom pain is pain that the accident victim feels in the limb after it has been removed. For example, phantom pain could include feeling pain in the area where a foot should be after that leg has been amputated. Phantom pain is less a result of physical activity, like residual limb pain, but is rather a psychological effect of losing a limb.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Having a limb removed, whether it is by amputation or dismemberment, is a traumatic experience. Unlike having a broken bone or another minor injury, victims of limb loss are confronted by the effects of their injury every day. Accidents that typically cause limb loss are often more severe than an average accident, which means that they can leave their victims with lasting mental scars. Fully dealing with the effects of PTSD can mean sessions with a mental health professional in addition to the medical doctors that you may be seeing to treat your injuries.
HOW MUCH IS AN AMPUTATION LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT?
It is impossible, to give an accurate estimate of what your case is worth without knowing the details about your case. However, the value in an amputation lawsuit settlement will generally be comprised of two main types of damages, as well as a third type that may come into play as well.
Economic damages are the out-of-pocket costs associated with the accident, which can usually be easily quantified. They are objective and can be proven, typically with documents like receipts and bills. Some common damages that will fall into this category include lost wages from being unable to work, past and future medical bills, and any damage to the personal property of the victim.
Non-economic damages are not as objective as economic damages, and they may depend on the person evaluating them or a lawyer’s ability to present them. Non-economic damages typically refer to the pain and suffering that an accident victim experiences as a result of their injuries. In an accident that results in the loss of a limb, non-economic damages may be higher than in a typical personal injury accident.
Whereas economic and non-economic damages are focused on compensating the accident victims for their injuries, punitive damages are intended to punish the person who caused them and deter other actors from acting the same way in the future. Punitive damages are rare, but if the person who caused your injuries acted extremely recklessly or on purpose, they may be subject to punitive damages.
LEGAL TIME LIMITS
With every type of personal injury, there is an associated time limit, known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the amount of time that you have from the date of your accident to seek compensation for the injuries resulting from that accident. For example, if the applicable statute of limitations is three years, then you will have three years from the date of your accident within which to file a claim. The statute of limitations that applies to your situation will vary based on the state in which you live, so you should contact an attorney in your area as soon as possible.
CONTACT OUR AMPUTATION INJURY LAWYERS TODAY
After losing a limb, accident victims should be able to focus on their physical and mental recovery. Hiring an attorney may help take some of the weight off of your shoulders. Zinda Law Group believes that accident victims should not need to worry about their ability to afford representation, which is why we offer a No Win, No Fee Guarantee—you don’t owe us anything unless we win your case for you.
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