“The surgeon couldn’t save my hand. When I first heard that, all I could think of was how I didn’t really need to get in the car that day. Now, with the pain I’m experiencing, I’m wondering how I’m going to do much of anything at all. How we’re going to get by with just one income is another thing I worry about. I can never go back to my catering job, that’s for sure. I don’t know what we’re going to do.
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Let an experienced Los Anbgeles based personal injury attorney review your case for free. We serve all of California providing aggressive representation to get you maximum compensation.
Personal injury attorney Sean F. Salamati dedicates much of his practice to representing individuals who are dealing with the life-altering consequences of a traumatic limb loss or amputation. The sudden loss of a limb is an incredibly catastrophic injury, affecting every aspect of the victim’s life.
Many amputees lose much of their independence and are unable to perform the simplest of daily tasks without assistance. The loss of an arm, hand, leg or foot can make it impossible to dress, bathe or move without the benefit of a wheelchair or artificial limb. In some instances, an amputee may be unable to perform their previous job or work at all. Even those who suffer partial amputations to a limb face an uphill struggle in learning how to cope and function with permanent disability.
For over two decades, The Salamati Law firm has advocated on behalf of amputees who lost a limb through no fault of their own. Based in Los Angeles, our amputation attorneys understand the profound physical and emotional effects accident victims must deal with, and we fight for the financial compensation our clients are rightfully entitled.
Amputation and limb loss statistics in CA
In the United States, nearly 2 million people are living with limb loss, which affects nearly 200,000 new residents every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the immediate health care costs of limb amputations total more than $8.3 billion annually. This astronomical figure does not account for long-term rehabilitation expenses, home modifications or prosthetic devices.
California hospitals reported more than 14,000 limb amputations in 2012, which reflects a 15 percent increase over the previous five years. Nearly 50 percent of lower limb amputations involved the toes, while 22.3 percent were below the knee, and 13.1 percent were above-knee amputations.
Though rates of trauma-related limb amputations have dropped significantly over the past 20 years, preventable accidents still occur with alarming frequency, leaving victims with devastating limb loss that forever changes their lives.
In cases where gross negligence, hazardous products or unsafe conditions were to blame for the loss of one or multiple limbs, victims may be eligible for monetary damages under California law. Liability hinges on the facts of each case, and is best determined by a knowledgeable attorney.
Accidents and injuries leading to amputation
Common causes leading to limb amputation include unmanaged diabetes, traumatic accidents, vascular disease, cancer, infection, congenital defects and nerve damage.
Amputation personal injury claims often arise from the following types of traumatic events:
- Truck or car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Cross walk/pedestrian injuries
- Workplace injury caused by dangerous machinery
- Construction site accidents
- Negligent post-operative surgical care
- Dog bites and animal attacks
Though they can be life-saving, some amputations are completely avoidable and the result of medical negligence. For example, when a doctor fails to accurately diagnose and treat diabetes, or prevent infection (gangrene) following surgery. In unfortunate situations like these, the patient has the right to sue for damages.
Life-long impact of amputation on emotional well-being
Up to 80 percent of people with amputations suffer from “phantom limb pain,” a very real condition caused by nerves that retrace familiar circuits even after the source of pain is gone. Amputees may experience intense cramping, tingling and pain in the lost limb for several weeks. In cases where phantom limb pain continues for longer than six months, prognosis for improvement is generally very poor.
As hard as all that is, the toll amputation takes on one’s emotional well-being may be even more profound, with psychological effects that last years after the wound itself heals:
- Amputees may find it difficult to adapt to an artificial limb, or prosthetic device
- Many suffer the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and relive the accident compulsively
- Extreme depression and social anxiety is common
- Prolonged emotional distress and depression can lead to suicidal thoughts
Available damages for loss of a limb
After a traumatic accident and limb amputation, victims may be approached by insurance companies looking to offer a quick settlement. Don’t underestimate the value of your claim, and always speak to a lawyer who will put your best interests first. Disfigurement and the loss of limb typically constitute a ‘serious bodily injury’ in California.
Plaintiffs may demand damages for:
- Surgery and hospitalization expenses
- Medical and treatment expenses
- Prosthesis costs
- Home care
- Psychological and physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of quality of life
If you or someone you love has suffered through an amputation resulting from a workplace accident, car crash or negligence, you need an experienced legal advocate on your side. The Salamati Law Firm will review your case for free and decide if legal action is warranted.
Amputation victims deserve maximum compensation
The average two-year health costs for amputation victims in California run between$86,244 to more than $100,000. Let our legal team maximize the value of your claim. Contact our office today to arrange a free case evaluation with Attorney Sean F. Salamati. Call 800-957-9898.
Resources for victims of amputation injuries:
- Amputee Coalition, California Fact Sheet http://www.amputee-coalition.org/resources/california/
- CDC, Limb Loss Awareness http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/features/limb-loss-awareness.html
- ISHN, Statistics on hand and arm losshttp://www.ishn.com/articles/97844-statistics-on-hand-and-arm-loss
- Web MD, Phantom Limb Pain http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/phantom-limb-pain