If you or a loved one has suffered an injury that required amputation of a finger, arm, leg, or other body part, the attorneys of Wilshire Law Firm want to express our sincere wishes for your speedy and complete recovery. If that amputation injury was to any extent due to the negligence of others, or if an insurance company does not want to adequately compensate your expense and loss, the legal services of our personal injury attorneys can ensure those parties uphold their obligations to restore your financial circumstances and long-term health.
How to Live With an Amputation
Suffering the loss of a limb in an accident is an overwhelmingly traumatic injury. Examples include workplace accidents involving heavy machinery or losing a limb in an explosion.
A surgical amputation can happen due to a major car or workplace accident. The limb in question may be too badly damaged to save or the operation may be necessary to save the victim’s life. This procedure is always performed as a last resort and many times, right in the emergency room.
Medically, amputations are categorized as lower and upper limb amputations.
Lower limb amputations involve legs, feet and toes. These are subdivided according to the affected limb area.
- Digital amputation – The amputation of any toes. The surgery may involve removing an entire toe or a portion of one. Either way, the victim’s balance may be affected.
- Partial foot amputation – If the amputation removes a toe as well as any metatarsals, it falls under this category of amputation. Part of the foot may be left intact.
- Ankle disarticulation – The entire foot below the ankle is amputated.
- Below the knee or a transtibial amputation – This amputation is performed right below the knee, allowing the victim use of that knee joint.
- Knee disarticulation – The entire lower leg and knee joint are removed.
- Transfemoral amputation – This amputation is done through the thigh bone, somewhere between the hip and knee. The entire leg below that point is lost, but the victim does retain use of their hip.
- Hip disarticulation – The entire leg is removed, as well as the femur. In some cases, part of the hip joint is left intact to make sitting more comfortable.
- Hemipelvectomy – The entire leg is amputated, along with part of the pelvis. This is the rarest lower limb amputation procedure.
Upper limb amputations are less common than lower limb amputations. They are categorized as:
- Partial hand amputation – Surgeons may remove the tips of fingers, including the thumb, or the entire digit. The loss of a thumb greatly impedes the victim’s ability to hold and pick up an object.
- Metacarpal amputation – Part of the hand or the entire hand is surgically removed, but the wrist is left intact.
- Wrist disarticulation – The hand and wrist joint are removed.
- Transradial amputation – This amputation removes a section of the arm from the forearm down. The hand and wrist are amputated, as well as part of the forearm. The elbow is left intact.
- Elbow disarticulation – The arm is amputated at the elbow.
- Transhumeral amputation – An amputation above the elbow, somewhere on the upper arm and below the shoulder.
- Shoulder disarticulation – These amputations are rare. They involve the removal of the entire arm as well as the shoulder blade and collarbone.
Common Causes of Amputations
Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of amputations due to trauma, not an illness. But amputations can result from other types of accidents as well.
- Car accidents – Catastrophic car accidents can cause severe injuries to the victim’s arms or legs, leading to an amputation. For motorcyclists, that danger is even greater, due to the lack of protection surrounding them.
- Workplace injuries – Industrial machinery can crush or sever an employee’s limb due to malfunction. Being burned on the job is another workplace injury that can lead to amputation. If the burn is serious enough, doctors may have no choice but to amputate the severely damaged limb.
- Injury on private or public property – Landlords who do not properly maintain a property can put their tenants or visitors at risk. Poorly maintained stairs, elevators or garage doors can cause serious injuries, including amputations.
Compensation for Amputation Injuries in California
Needing to have a limb amputated due to the negligence of another person or entity completely changes a person’s life. It affects the victim physically, psychologically and financially. In most cases, the amputation victim cannot return to their normal life or work in the same capacity as before the injury. This affects their income and consequently their family as well.
When determining the compensation that an amputation injury victim is entitled to, several factors need to be considered. What may seem like a generous settlement offer from an insurance company can quickly vanish due to ongoing medical care and loss of income. Expenses to consider:
- Current and future medical bills and expenses – An amputation injury requires ongoing medical treatment, which can last a lifetime.
- Prosthetic limbs – While great advances have been made in the creation and fitting of prosthetic limbs, the price of obtaining one can be high.
- Physical therapy – Depending on the limb amputated, the victim may require extensive physical therapy to regain the ability to sit, stand, walk or grasp objects.
- Home modification – An amputee’s home may need to be modified to accommodate them. Bathrooms and kitchens will need to be made accessible. Ramps may be needed at doors leading outside. All of these changes can be costly.
- Lost income and future earnings – Some employers will make accommodations for an injured employee, but usually, that isn’t the case. This is especially true in the industrial sector. That usually means a complete or partial loss of income. If the amputation severely affects mobility, it can mean permanent disability and a complete inability to make a living.
- Emotional support – An amputation is one of the most emotionally upsetting injuries that a person can experience. This can translate into ongoing psychological care over a lifetime.
Contact an Amputation Lawyer in California Today For Help After an Accident
If you or a loved one has suffered an amputation injury, due to someone else’s negligence, call the expert amputation lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm for a free consultation. There’s no need to take on the insurance companies or big corporations on your own, especially at such a stressful time. We negotiate fair and just settlements for our clients, and we can help you as well. Waiting can hurt your case, so call us right away at 1-844-432-7044 for a FREE consultation.