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Limb Loss and Amputation

Accident Attorneys Explain Limb Loss and Amputation

An amputation is a form of a catastrophic injury in which a limb is extremity separated from the rest of the body. There are several ways in which a person may incur an amputation injury, and all situations can lead to a significant change in that person’s life. There are physical as well as emotional effects of amputation and limb loss. There are many different types of accidents that can cause limb loss or amputation and it’s imperative you speak with skilled injury attorneys who can evaluate your case and get you the compensation you deserve.

Approximately one out of every 200 United States citizens have had an amputation. Rates for trauma-related amputations have decreased, but the numbers are still relatively high for the severity of the injury – around 1.8 million people in the US. Accident-related amputations are the second leading cause for a loss of limb after vascular disease.

Nearly 70% of accident-related amputations involve the arms. Men are significantly more likely to experience a loss-of-limb event and the risk of amputation increases with age. Recovering from amputations from any source can be very difficult. There are usually many medical bills, a loss of wages, and rehabilitation can be a long struggle. If your injuries were a cause of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact your local personal injury lawyers for legal representation.

Situations in Which Amputations May Occur

  • Trauma – A trauma is a serious form of injury incurred by accident. Sometimes people lose limbs during the actual injury and sometimes limbs must be removed surgically after. Traumatic amputations may occur during traffic accidents, labor accidents, from weapons such as guns or knives, ruptured wires, etc.
  • Illness – Limbs may be lost due to illness such as diabetes, frostbite, or osteomyelitis (bone infection).
  • Surgery – After a traumatic injury, some damaged limbs cannot be saved. Some diseases also require surgical amputation, such as gangrene or diabetes.

Types of Amputations

  • Arm amputations – The most common amputation due to an accident. Arm amputations include the loss of fingers, hands, the forearm, or from the shoulder down.
  • Minor leg amputation – Includes the loss of toes, feet, and parts of feet.
  • Major leg amputation – Includes the loss of limb from the knee down, from the hip down, or the loss of a partial limb and the rotation and reattachment of the lower part of the limb (for example the reattachment of the ankle to the femur when the knee and shin is removed).
  • Other amputations – Includes self-amputations, and the loss of extremities not mentioned above (eye, ear, nose, tongue, teeth, breasts, genitals, etc.

Costs and Recovery

There are many costs associated with a loss of limb injury, not all completely financial. This may include:

  • Medical bills – This can include surgery costs, hospital stays, medications.
  • Future medical bills – Ongoing rehabilitation and medications.
  • Physical therapy
  • Lost income – This relates to the time the victim is unable to work and the long-term changes to their earning potential.
  • Prosthetics – These can costs tens of thousands of dollars depending on the amputation and must be replaced every few years.
  • Vocational training – As individuals who undergo an amputation often cannot return to their original job, and must be retrained in a field that can be done without whatever limb was lost.
  • Lifestyle modifications – This may include changes to the home such as the addition of a wheelchair ramp, etc.
  • Pain and suffering, emotional distress, lower quality of life.

Some of the above lists costs can continue throughout the victim’s entire life, such as physical and emotional therapy, prosthetics, and medications. Most insurance companies will not cover all the associated costs, leading to financial difficulties for a victim and his or her family. If there is an organization or individual that is responsible for these injuries, it is possible to seek compensation from them. Speak to accident lawyers if you believe you have a case in which you deserve compensation for.

The emotional trauma that goes along with the catastrophic event such as the loss of a limb often translates to pain and suffering and severe emotional distress. There is also often a decrease in the quality of life a person may enjoy after the loss of a limb. Though these effects are not directly financial, a victim may seek monetary compensation from the negligent party.

The state of California believes “just” compensation should be provided for those who need it. These could be settled out of court, but sometimes the person responsible doesn’t want to deal with the costs or pay all of what they owe. In these situations, going to trial may be necessary. At any point in the process, it is extremely helpful to have experienced injury lawyers on your side. This can make the process less stressful and confusing and may help you get the maximum compensation.

Don’t Wait to Speak to Personal Injury Attorneys Regarding Your Catastrophic Injury

The Weinberger Law Firm knows how traumatic a catastrophic injury can be on the victim and loved ones. With over 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases of all extremities, we have the knowledge, dedication and resources to bring your case to justice and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Call (916) 915-0446 to speak to one of our accident attorneys today.

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    Joseph B. Weinberger
    Joe Weinberger has represented thousands of injured people nearly 30 years of practicing law. Widely respected by colleagues and known for providing practical, friendly and effective service, Mr. Weinberger attracts clients throughout the Northern California area.
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