A number of injuries are considered to be “catastrophic”—specifically, those injuries that cause severe damage to the spinal cord or brain, or injuries that result in the permanent loss of function of part of the body. One injury that can cause some of the most permanent and devastating effects for a victim is an amputation.
Amputations are performed for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, amputations occur as part of necessary medical treatment for disease or infections. However, in many cases, people lose all or part of a limb or extremity because of a preventable accident caused by another party’s negligence.
Losing a body part is a traumatic experience that will completely change your life. At the Chicago law firm of Abels & Annes, we have witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by an amputation. We are committed to protecting the rights of persons who have suffered from an amputation as the result of another person’s negligence. If you want to learn more about how we can help you, please contact our office as soon as possible for a free consultation.Many Types of Accidents Can Cause Amputations
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that almost two million people in the U.S. have experienced amputations and about 500 people undergo an amputation every single day. Some of these amputations are caused by accidental injuries sustained because another person acted in a careless manner. The following are some examples of accidents that can lead to amputations:
- Traffic accidents - Many types of traffic accidents can cause victims to suffer an amputation. For example, motorcyclists may have a limb crushed in a collision to the point that it cannot be repaired. The same is true for bicyclists and pedestrians, who have very little protection from an impact and commonly suffer crushed or shattered bones. Collisions between large commercial trucks and cars can also result in amputations for serious injuries.
- Construction and workplace accidents - Construction sites, manufacturing plants, and similar workplaces all use a substantial amount of heavy machinery, power tools, and other equipment that can remove an extremity or limb in a single second. Use of band saws, compactors, forklifts, conveyor belts, and more can result in the severance of a body part or an injury so serious that it later requires a surgical amputation. In addition, people working jobs that require close proximity to blasting and explosions are at risk of requiring an amputation after shrapnel injuries.
- Burns - People can be severely burned by fires, scalds, toxic chemicals, electrocutions, and more. Third- and fourth-degree burns not only destroy all layers of the skin, but also much of the tissue underneath, including bone, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. If damage from a burn is too great, a body part may have to be amputated to prevent further complications.
- Dog bites - While many dog bites cause minor wounds, some dog attacks can result in amputations. A dog may bite off part of a victim’s finger, hand, leg, or another body part. A victim may not be able to have the part reattached or may require an amputation to prevent serious infections.
- Medical malpractice - You may believe that it is an urban legend that a patient goes in for a routine surgery and wakes up without a limb. Yet shockingly, sometimes, surgeons perform incorrect procedures on their patients. With hundreds of patients having medically-related amputations scheduled every day, the chances of an accidental surgical amputation are possibly higher than you may think.
Anyone who has suffered an amputation knows how life-changing it can be. First and foremost, amputees can experience an overwhelming amount of suffering from the moment of the injury and for years to come, due to “phantom limb” pain. Additionally, after an amputation, a person can require an extensive amount of ongoing medical care, as many complications can arise, including infection and other post-surgical issues. Amputations often require extended hospitalization and recovery periods.
Whether or not a person chooses to use a prosthesis is a personal choice. Still, either way, the medical equipment needed to accommodate an amputee’s impairments will be extensive and costly. Patients also require ongoing therapy and support to adjust to life with a permanent disability. Often, a person who has suffered an amputation may have to change jobs, stop working, or at least take an extended break from work, resulting in a significant amount of lost income.
It is important that you seek the highest quality of attorney to represent your rights to compensation for the many losses you may incur due to a traumatic amputation caused by another person’s negligence.Find Out How Our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You
The amputation of part of your body is a traumatic event, regardless of whether it occurs surgically or during the course of an accident. While there are many inspiring stories about how well amputees are able to adapt to their new physical condition, the loss of part of your body will inevitably have a significant impact on your everyday life.
The economic and noneconomic losses associated with an amputation caused by the negligence of another person entitles you to significant compensation. As a victim, it is critical to ensure that any settlement you consider compensates you for your future losses. This is because accepting a settlement offer will release the at-fault party from any further liability—meaning that you will no longer have the ability to seek further compensation. You should have an attorney review the facts of your case and generate an evidence-based estimate of your current and future medical expenses, lost income, loss of quality of life, and physical and emotional pain and suffering—as well as any other damages to which you may be entitled.
At Abels & Annes, we are committed to helping those who suffered from amputations because of the negligence of another party recover the full value of their claim. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Chicago amputation lawyers, call our office today at 312-924-7575 or send us an email through our online contact form.