About 1.8 million people around the country live with amputations. An amputation is the removal of all or part of an extremity, such as a hand, or a limb, such as a leg. Amputations may be necessary due to a catastrophic accident, such as a truck accident, or it may be a result of a serious infection or disease that has spread into the extremities and was not treated by doctors in time. If you lose a limb due to someone else’s negligence or intentional misconduct, the personal injury attorneys at The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC may be able to help you file suit. Our California amputation attorneys are experienced in holding careless parties accountable for the harm that they cause.
Pursuing Compensation for Amputations
When a limb or member must be amputated, you may be devastated, and your life may be altered dramatically. The loss of a limb or another body part may adversely affect the quality of your own life, as well as the lives of those around you. Your family members may need to do things for you that they did not need to do before, and this may be upsetting for all of you. Often, it is possible to get a prosthetic, but using the prosthetic may be a huge adjustment. There may be months of lengthy rehabilitation. You may experience phantom limb pain, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder from the trauma that resulted in the limb being separated from your body.
If you have needed to undergo an amputation because of someone else’s negligence, you may sue to recover all of the economic and non-economic damages that flow from it. In most cases, you will need to establish negligence. This means that you will need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant owed you a duty to use reasonable care and failed to meet this duty, and this failure caused your injuries. For example, if you are in a passenger car, and a tractor-trailer driver fails to check his blind spot, you may be injured in a squeeze play accident. The loss of your arm may be a result of the tractor-trailer driver’s failure to use reasonable care to check blind spots.
Types of Compensation Available in California
If you establish liability, you may recover the compensatory damages that flow from the accident. These damages may include both economic losses, such as lost wages and medical bills, and intangible or noneconomic losses.
It is important to work with an amputation lawyer in the California area who fully explores the losses that you have suffered. These may include loss of earnings, changes in your lifestyle, a need for rehabilitation, physiotherapy, plastic surgery, pain and suffering, the cost of prosthetics, counseling, a change in job, or a loss of earning capacity. There are usually psychological effects in addition to the physical loss of the limb. Many people who lose limbs or extremities experience phantom pain, in which they experience pain or sensation in the affected limb or extremity, even though it has been removed. There are also negative emotions that may arise in connection with the loss of a limb, including loss of self-esteem, anger, and humiliation.
Your damages may be reduced by your proportion of fault for the accident if you are found comparatively negligent by a jury. This means that insurance adjusters may be looking for ways in which you were at fault, and it is important to talk to your own attorney before speaking to an adjuster for an at-fault party.