The loss of a limb, whether it is a leg, arm, hand or foot, is one of the most debilitating injuries a person can suffer. It dramatically alters an individual’s life. If the amputation was preventable, then the loss is even more agonizing. Many Americans undergo amputations after a diagnosis of cancer or diabetes, a vascular injury during surgery or a life-threatening postoperative infection. Others have a limb amputated that has been mangled in a vehicle accident or caught in a piece of machinery at work. Even more shocking is when a surgeon makes a mistake and amputates the wrong body part. One of every 190 Americans is living with the loss of a limb, according to published research.
If you or a loved one has suffered the loss of a limb due to a vehicle accident caused by another driver, a doctor’s negligence or a workplace accident, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering and other expenses. The Colleran Firm, based in Philadelphia, represents victims of medical malpractice and personal injuries caused by the negligence of others in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our compassionate attorneys understand the struggles that you face trying to move forward after the loss of a limb. We will review the specific facts surrounding your injury, answer your questions and give you our honest opinion about pursuing a claim related to your amputation. If we believe that we can assist you, our attorneys will work on a contingency fee basis to provide legal representation to individuals coping with the loss of a limb. You will not owe any legal fee unless we obtain money for you.
Our attorneys will analyze your medical records and other facts about your loss of a limb and determine if it likely involved negligence on the part of another individual or company. You may need to sign a release in order for us to secure your medical records. In many cases, we work with independent medical professionals to evaluate whether an amputation was preventable.
If our legal team determines that you have a valid amputation injury claim, we will start the pre-litigation process, which involves collecting evidence, hiring medical experts and developing estimates of the past and future costs related to your amputation injury. We often prepare and present a claim to the insurance company representing the responsible party and seek to negotiate a settlement.
We will negotiate aggressively for a settlement that reflects the full extent of your injury. If the insurance provider is unwilling to make a fair settlement, we will file a personal injury lawsuit in the appropriate court and seek justice through the court system.
After the defendant responds to the lawsuit, the two sides exchange information. The defendant sees the evidence that we have gathered, and settlement negotiations often take place at this point in the process. If we cannot reach a fair settlement, we will proceed to trial, where we are confident of our litigation skills. Our legal team includes widely recognized trial attorneys. Each case stands on its own merits. But our dedicated lawyers have obtained a number of multi-million settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of injury victims.
An amputation injury may be cause by a surgeon’s error, a driver’s mistake, or a workplace accident.
Approximately 45 percent of the amputations each year are the result of trauma such as a car accident or motorcycle accident, according to the Amputee Coalition, an advocacy group.
A traffic accident may be caused by a driver, a roadway condition or a vehicle malfunction. But driver errors are responsible for approximately 85 percent of crashes. Many vehicle accidents involving the loss of limbs are preventable and caused by negligence.
In 2014 in Pennsylvania, more than 3,000 people sustained “major injuries” in traffic accidents including amputation injuries and severe burns, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The average cost of a major injury was $1.4 million, PennDOT estimates.
Many amputations are performed for valid medical reasons such as a complication of diabetes or peripheral arterial disease. More than half of amputations are performed on people with diabetes but surgical errors also may lead to amputation injuries.
The above are referred to as “Never Events” because they are totally preventable surgical errors and should never happen to a patient. Hospitals should have procedures in place to prevent these kind of errors. But never events including unnecessary amputations happen all too often.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine reported in research published in the medical journal Surgery that surgeons perform the wrong procedures on patients 20 times a week and operate on the wrong body part approximately 20 times per week. The researchers based the estimates on an analysis of federal data in the national malpractice claims database.
If you get a hand or foot caught in a piece of dangerous machinery or equipment, it may because the equipment has a defective design such as lacking proper safety guards. You may be entitled to bring a product liability claim against the maker of the unsafe machinery that caused your amputation injury in addition to receiving workers’ compensation insurance from your employer.
Regardless of what caused the injury, for amputees, learning to cope with the loss of a limb takes time. You may be out of work for an extended period of time or need occupational training to pursue a new career after an injury. You may feel financial stress in addition to everything else as the medical bills accumulate.
The cost of medical care and expenses such as prosthetic devices, rehabilitation and psychological therapy will be considerable. You may need compensation for lost income and modifications to your car and home so you can live independently.
You will need to take advantage of the financial resources available to you to provide some financial security. That may include pursuing a loss of limb lawsuit. You can rely on the experienced trial attorneys at The Colleran Firm to fight aggressively to help you seek the compensation you need.
If you suspect that you or your loved one has suffered the loss of a limb in as a result of another individual or company’s carelessness or negligence, call us today to schedule a free consultation. We will answer your questions and review your legal options at no charge.