Many limb injuries require extensive reconstructive surgeries, multiple restorative procedures, and long-term rehabilitative care for patients to fully recover. Unfortunately, some limb injuries are too severe to save the limb and require amputation or medical removal. In extreme situations, some people lose limbs due to traumatic amputations or sudden, violent incidents that cause an immediate loss of one or more limbs.
Traumatic amputations are common in armed combat or as a result of explosions or crushing injuries, such as on construction sites. Any type of amputation entails a long recovery and significant psychological effects, and traumatic amputations typically lead to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder, phantom limb pain (a psychological sensation of pain signals from the missing limb/s), and many other issues. After suffering a traumatic amputation, it can be difficult for a victim to recover. If another person or party caused the amputation, it’s crucial to pursue legal action.
Understanding Negligence and Fault
To file a lawsuit for a traumatic amputation, the injured victim or a representative of the victim must file a complaint against whoever is responsible for the amputation. For example, if a dangerous workplace element caused a piece of machinery to malfunction and the machinery inflicts a traumatic amputation on an employee, the injured employee may then have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent employer or a product liability claim against a defective product manufacturer.
In personal injury law, plaintiffs must show the court that the defendant (the party being sued) was negligent and that negligence caused the victim’s damages. Most plaintiffs will have to prove that the defendant owed a duty to act with reasonable care to the plaintiff, that the defendant violated or breached this duty in some way, and that the breach of duty directly caused the plaintiff’s injury. In a product liability claim, the plaintiff must only prove that the product in question was defective and that the defect caused the injury.
Damages for Traumatic Amputation Lawsuits
If a person suffers a traumatic amputation due to a defective product or a negligent defendant, the compensation in either case will be similar. Injured plaintiffs can often secure several types of compensation, including:
- Medical expenses. The plaintiff can sue for all medical expenses resulting from the incident in question. This includes hospital bills, the cost of ambulance or other emergency vehicle transportation, prescription medication costs, prosthetic costs, and any other costs related to ongoing care. Many amputees must undergo physical therapy and various psychological treatments after an amputation to come to terms with their new reality. Injured plaintiffs can sue for compensation for these costs.
- Pain and suffering. This sounds like a difficult thing to quantify with a dollar figure, but a judge in a traumatic amputation case will assess the facts of the case and listen to testimony from witnesses to determine the level of physical pain and mental anguish that the plaintiff has experienced. Traumatic amputations are not only incredibly painful but also deeply psychologically scarring. A judge will consider the dramatic toll such an injury takes and award an appropriate amount.
- Lost income. If a plaintiff’s wound prevents him or her from returning to work, the plaintiff can sue for the wages he or she would have reasonably expected to earn had the amputation not occurred.
Anyone who has suffered a traumatic amputation in the Scottsdale area or anywhere else in the state of Arizona needs reliable legal representation from an accomplished attorney to succeed in a lawsuit. At Bode & Collins, we offer our clients the full range of experience and resources you’d expect from a larger firm with the compassion and intimacy of a small-town firm. Reach out to our team if you have any questions about traumatic amputation cases in Arizona or if you’d like to discuss your situation with one of our attorneys.