Do you need an amputation attorney?
Nearly two million Americans live with the loss of a limb. The causes are diverse from serious injury to catastrophic disease. While technology and medical advances have made quality of life much better for those who face amputation, there is still mental and physical trauma from the experience. People who face this process after suffering the negligence of another may be entitled to compensation in a personal injury action.
You may be in a position where you or a loved one sustained an amputation. Before you consider where to go for legal advice on the causes of that injury, here is an overview on amputation and its effects on legal claims.
Types of Amputation
Generally, amputation is the term used for the loss of a body part and sometimes a third party can be responsible. It is important to contact a knowledgeable amputation attorney to see if your loss is due to the negligence of someone else. The medical profession divides amputation into two categories: traumatic and surgical. Each category describes different scenarios where the separation from a body party occurs.
Traumatic amputation is when a specific event separates a limb from your body. Examples of these events include accidents, severe weather events, acts of war, and even terrorist attacks. Injured people are found with their body part severed from them. Emergency treatment includes stopping bleeding and reducing shock but also taking reasonable steps to preserve the missing body part.
Trauma can also give rise to partial amputation. This is when the limb is badly severed but there are still soft tissue connections remaining. Victims with this injury are handled carefully in order to increase the chances of reattachment. However, rescue workers are trained to never get a victim’s hopes up when it comes to partially or wholly severed limbs. While there are efforts to assist with reattachment, the focus remains on controlling bleeding, preventing shock, and reducing the chance of infection.
Surgical amputation occurs when the limb is removed in a surgery theater under doctor supervision. This procedure is recommended in cases of severe traumatic injury, vascular disease including peripheral arterial disease (PAD), severe infections, and diabetes complications.
Doctors recommend amputation in these matters because the disease prevents blood and oxygen from accessing the affected limb. The result is tissue death that eventually places people in danger and renders the limb useless. When this becomes the case, amputation is performed through a careful procedure under general anesthesia. After removing the limb, doctors then refer patients to physical therapy to manage mobility issues and train for the use of a prosthetic limb.
Common Causes of Amputation
Vascular disease, like PAD, is the most common cause of amputation. Of those living with limb loss, 54 percent of them suffered from vascular disease. The second most common cause is traumatic injury at 45 percent with cancer being a distance third place at two percent.
When vascular disease is detected early, doctors recommend lifestyle changes first in order to avoid amputation in the future. However, there are diseases like cancer that could make amputation inevitable in order to avoid the spread of the disease. Fortunately, with advances in medicine, cancer-related amputations are less common, which is why it enjoys that low percentage rate among overall amputations.
Trauma is often sudden and mentally jarring when it comes to amputation. Common trauma scenarios that could lead to amputation include:
- Car, bicycle, and motorcycle accidents
- Fires and burns
- Stabbing and other physical assaults
- Work-related accidents
- Farm or factory equipment failures
With accidents, the most common amputations involve the hands and fingers. Among Americans, 61,000 experienced the loss of one or more fingers. Upper limb amputations are more closely connected with accidents while lower limb loss occurs more frequently with vascular disease issues. In work-related accidents, the right arm is involved more frequently than the left.
How can an amputation lawyer help you?
It is rare when someone sustains injuries in an accident and it is truly no one’s fault. Work-related accidents are often traced to improper training or equipment maintenance. Vehicle accidents are also usually traced to negligence of a person or an entity which causes injury to another person.
Amputation leads to significant medical expenses. There is emergency treatment, surgery, and physical therapy. Patients may also need mental health counseling for any post-traumatic stress symptoms or grief associated with the limb loss. If the amputation affects work performance, expenses rise due to decreased earnings or the need to train for a new position. These economic damages are easily determined for personal injury claims.
There are also less objective damages that arise from pain and suffering. Facing these challenges can be mentally exhausting. Victims will face frustration until they master mobility and prosthetics. Life will not be the same again and that can cause severe distress that affects all parts of life. Referred to as non-economic damages, these are tagged on as a way to make up for the loss, and help you get a better start.
If you are injured and face amputation, you require the assistance of an attorney who values empathy. At Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, we look at each case individually to find the best way to support and present your claim. We seek to be informative and encouraging even during this tough time in your life. Call us today at (817) 841-9906 to schedule a consultation.