An amputation may become necessary after an accident or due to infection or disease. The consequences of the procedure generally last for a lifetime and a person who undergoes it may find it difficult to perform daily tasks. With the best available treatment, rehabilitation, and therapy, victims of limb loss may overcome their struggles and learn to lead normal lives; however, it can get quite expensive. Without financial assistance, victims may not be able to fund a full recovery.
In many cases, amputations are the result of an act of negligence, such as a car accident, a misdiagnosis at a hospital, or a catastrophic construction accident caused by a careless property owner. If you or someone you love lost a limb due to someone else’s negligence, then you may be able to pursue full compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, physical pain, and mental anguish. To do so, you will need to work with an experienced New York amputation attorney. At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, we can utilize our more than 50 years of experience to investigate your case and advocate for compensation for your loss. Call our office at (212) 986-7353 to discuss your case in a free consultation.
Amputations can be caused by a wide variety of circumstances. They are separated into four primary classifications, as described below:
- Dysvascular-related: Circulation problems stemming from vascular diseases, such as diabetes account for 82 percent of all limb losses, making this the number one category. An overwhelming majority (97 percent) of dysvascular amputations involve lower limbs.
- Trauma-related: A limb may experience severe physical trauma in an accident, making an amputation necessary. This is the second most common type of amputation. Approximately 68 percent of trauma-related amputations involve the upper limbs.
- Cancer-related: An amputation procedure may be called for to stop the spread of cancer from a limb to the rest of the body. A limb may also be removed if it has been thoroughly ravaged by cancer. A third of cancer-related amputations involve the lower limbs.
- Congenital-related: Fibrous bands of the amnion may constrict foetal limbs to the point where they receive no blood and consequently fall off, causing a child to be born without one or more limbs or with partial loss of limbs.
In cases involving trauma, amputees may be able to pursue compensation if someone else caused their injury due to an act of negligence. These typically include serious accidents such as:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle collisions
- Truck accidents
- Collisions between pedestrians and motor vehicles
- Bicyclist accidents
- Dog attacks
- Construction accidents
- Defective auto parts
But even in cases involving cancer or infections, if a patient was misdiagnosed and did not receive proper treatment in time, requiring a surgical amputation, he or she may have a case of medical malpractice.
Whether trauma, cancer, or infection-related, all of these cases require a thorough review of the cause of your amputation in order to determine what type of claim you can file.
An accident victim may pursue compensation for the losses they have suffered due to their amputation by filing a claim. The type of claim a victim can file depends on the circumstances of his or her specific case. The following types of claims are commonly filed for amputation cases:
- Personal Injury: If a person has to undergo an amputation due to an accident that was caused by another party, he or she may collect damages from the liable party through a personal injury lawsuit.
- Medical Malpractice: There are plenty of ways hospitals or physician errors can lead to an amputation. A careless physician may make a misdiagnosis which leads to a dysvascular-related or cancer-related amputation. A surgeon may perform an unnecessary amputation procedure on the wrong patient. A patient's infection may not be addressed in a timely fashion, leading to limb loss that was completely preventable. A medical malpractice claim is merited in all of these cases and more.
- Workers' Compensation: All employees have the right to workers' compensation benefits for any injury suffered while on the job (such as machinery amputations), even if they may have had some fault in the incident. They may receive medical coverage and disability payments during their recovery.
In any case, the assistance of an experienced NY amputation lawyer is invaluable. Civil suit procedures are complex affairs with many pitfalls; without legal guidance, claimants may jeopardize their rightful compensation by agreeing to unfair settlement offers or making mistakes that put the validity of their claim into question.
According to the Amputee Coalition, more than 500 Americans lose a limb each day, and nearly 2 million Americans presently live with limb loss. Approximately one out of every two hundred people has experienced amputation of a digit (finger or toe). In summary, amputations and limb loss affect a significant portion of our nation's population on an annual basis and is associated with over $8.3 billion in medical costs each year.
Victims of amputations must contend with extensive medical costs, corrective surgeries to repair scars and damaged tissue, physical rehabilitation, and psychological therapy to deal with the aftermath of an amputation. This does not even include the high price of purchasing and fitting a prosthetic, which may need to be replaced over the years. In addition, if the trauma is severe, it may lead to a serious disability that forces the victim to change careers and seek new employment to make a living.
Beyond the financial costs of an amputation, victims also suffer significant “non-economic damages” due to their trauma. Non-economic damages broadly refer to the physical pain of an injury, the emotional distress caused by an amputation, the loss of enjoyment of life, and any costs that cannot be normally calculated as financial losses.
Altogether, an amputee can pursue compensation for:
- All medical costs, including past and future expenses
- Medical equipment and prosthetics
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment
Pursuing compensation -- even figuring out what you should ask for -- can be difficult on your own. Oftentimes, at-fault party is covered by powerful insurance companies that will not budge when pushed to provide fair compensation for the wrong their insured has done. You’re healing. You shouldn’t have to worry about dealing with an insurance company or filing a lawsuit. Instead, you should call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP. We have more than 50 years of experience representing amputees and can shoulder the legal burden for you. We will vigorously advocate for full compensation while you focus on healing and moving on from this terrifying event.
Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, has garnered great acclaim over the many years of their practice due to their excellent standards in client service and legal representation. If you are currently seeking a top New York personal injury law firm for your case, please call our office today at (212) 986-7353 for a case evaluation at no cost to you.
NY Amputation Verdicts & Settlements
$6.2 Million - Medical Malpractice: Above-the-Knee Amputation
$5.75 Million - Construction Accident: Injuries Including Finger Amputation
$1.4 Million - On the Job Injury: Amputation of Two Fingers
$1.2 Million - Medical Malpractice: Amputation