Amputations, whether they’re caused by a traumatic event such as an accident or injury or by surgical removal, are devastating and life-altering experiences. Amputations can be caused by motor vehicle accidents, side effects from prescription medications, defective products, and more. In many cases, negligence may play a role in amputations and an amputation lawyer can help victims who may be eligible for amputation compensation or loss of limb compensation.
For many individuals and for their loved ones, an amputation can be emotionally, psychologically, physically, and financially devastating. The loss of a limb can strip an individual of their self-esteem, independence, livelihood, and quality of life. In the event that costly medical expenses are accrued, lengthy rehabilitation is needed, specialized counseling is called for, or expensive prosthetic limbs are required, the repercussions and costs of an amputation can be far-reaching and long-lasting.
According to the most recent numbers available through The Amputee Coalition, nearly 2 million Americans have experienced amputations or were born with “limb difference.” If you or someone close to you has lost an arm, leg, hand, finger, foot, or toe in an accident, or if a body part had to be amputated after an injury or reaction to a medication, you should seek a free case review or consultation with an experienced amputation lawyer.
What is Negligence?
When a person is accused of negligence, it means that they are believed to have behaved in a thoughtless or careless way that has caused harm or injury to another individual. Cornell Law’s Legal Information Institute defines negligence as follows: “A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act (e.g., a duty to help victims of one's previous conduct).”
Common Negligent Causes of Amputations
Traumatic Vehicular Amputation and Negligence
In some instances, amputations occur as a result of a car accident, when a limb has been severed or crushed. In an automotive or motorcycle accident, drivers, passengers, cyclists, or pedestrians can suffer amputations at the point of impact or can even be pulled under a vehicle, where their limbs may be crushed.
Negligence is often cited in amputation lawsuits caused by car accident cases. If a driver is not reasonably careful or drives recklessly and injures someone as a result, and that injury results in an amputation, then the driver may be held liable for damages. Some examples of negligent behavior behind the wheel include drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, disobeying traffic laws, and failure to yield to a right away.
Industrial Accidents and Workplace Amputations
Thousands of amputations occur in industrial settings throughout the country each year. Heavy machinery, falling objects, sophisticated power tools, poorly maintained equipment, improperly trained employees, and hazardous conditions may create an environment where accidental amputations are more common. Lack of supervision, noncompliance with safety regulations and laws, and carelessness that leads to an amputation that could have been avoided are all common examples of ways in which negligence may play a role.
In its publication, “Safeguarding Equipment and Protecting Employees from Amputation”, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) noted that “Amputations are among the most severe and disabling workplace injuries that often result in permanent disability. They are widespread and involve various activities and equipment. (The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2005 annual survey data indicated that there were 8,450 non-fatal amputation cases – involving days away from work – for all private industry. Approximately forty-four percent (44%) of all workplace amputations occurred in the manufacturing sector.”
Proving Negligence in Amputation Lawsuits
Working with a highly experienced attorney can help amputees and their loved ones receive the highest levels of loss of limb compensation. Although awards for damages and expenses may vary state-by-state, retaining a team of experienced and dedicated legal experts is key to establishing negligence and successfully arguing an amputation lawsuit.
The Law Offices of Foster and Houston have years of experience helping those who have been impacted by amputation as a result of negligence. If you or a loved one are suffering as a result of an amputation, contact us for a free case review.