Losing a limb can be both physically and emotionally devastating, making it hard to complete your daily chores as you used to. If this loss is due to another party’s negligence, you should pursue compensation for the pain, medical bills, and any reconstructive measures that you will take so that you are able to continue with your life.
The Hesperia, California car accident lawyers at AttorneyJeff understand the legal issues surrounding the loss of limbs and how to seek compensation to improve the quality of your life. Contact us to review your case.
Why Doctors Recommend Car Accident Amputations
Doctors will try to save your limbs in the best way they can when you are brought to the hospital after an auto accident. However, if the limb cannot be treated or is injured beyond the range of possible corrective measures, you will end up having it amputated. It prevents sepsis, loss of blood, or infection in the rest of the body.
Upper and Lower Extremity Amputations
Upper extremity amputations
The upper extremity refers to body parts such as the wrist, arm, and hand. Upper limb amputations may happen close to the hand or above the elbow, depending on the extent of the injury. If the elbow joint has been severely crushed, the front part of the hand will be amputated.
On the other hand, if it is the hand or the fingers that have been crushed, you may retain a part of the forearm. Finally, if the entire hand has been damaged to the point that it cannot be reconstructed, it will be amputated at the shoulder joint. While these amputations are not as common as others, they are done after total limb loss.
Lower extremity amputations
The lower extremities are the legs. They include the thigh bone, the shin bone, and the feet. Lower extremity amputations may take place at any of these places. If the foot has been damaged, it can be amputated at the toes, the midfoot, or the entire foot.
On the other hand, below-knee amputations may remove part of the shin bone and the foot to retain the use of the knee joint. However, amputation over the knee will occur if the shin bone cannot be reconstructed.
What Factors Influence Settlement Values for Amputated Limbs?
Various factors affect the settlement values for amputated limbs. They include the following:
- Medical expenses: The amount the victim spent on medical bills and reconstructive surgery will be accounted for in the final payout. They will need to provide receipts as proof of treatment.
- Loss of future earnings: If the amputation temporarily or permanently prevents you from going back to the workplace, the defendant will be liable for the lost wages or a diminished earning capacity.
- Suffering, pain, and emotional stress: The amount awarded for these is subjective to your ability to argue your case in court or during negotiations. Most values are established from awards offered to similar amputation cases.
- Inability to enjoy life and recreational activities: If you have been leading an active life, you may ask for higher damages as the amputation curtails your ability to enjoy the activities you once participated in.
- Future costs of treatment: There could be other reconstructive surgeries and treatments that will likely occur after the case has been concluded. They should also be included in your claim.
- The cost of prosthetics: Prosthetics help you to regain some of the functionality of the lost limb. If a prosthetic has not yet been fitted by the time the case is heard or during negotiations, your doctor can estimate the costs of doing so.
Can Compensation Cover the Cost of Prosthetics?
Most insurance policies cover the cost of prosthetics to a certain degree. However, some may not cover the full cost. It is critical that you have a lawyer who understands how much the insurance coverage will likely cover in the bill in order to argue your need in court.
Many employer-sponsored and marketplace insurance plans cover the cost of prosthetics as they are regarded as essential health benefits. However, for the victim to be covered by Medicaid, the prosthetics provider must be registered with the insurance company.
In a court of law, your lawyer may argue that the cost of prosthetics is part of the medical bills and may help the victim return to work, thereby lowering the lost wages. In many cases, the jury would include this in the final settlement.
Contact AttorneyJeff for Amputation Claims
If you had an accident and had a limb or more amputated, you should consider pursuing claims against the party at fault. Given that the insurance company will look for ways to lower the settlement amounts, consider hiring a car accident lawyer in California to aid in your case. AttorneyJeff Injury Lawyers can help maximize the amount you would be paid for suffering an amputation. Contact us today, and let us work towards getting adequate compensation for the lost limbs.
Loss of Limb Injury FAQs
Is there a time limit for making amputation claims?
In California you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. It is recommended that you file one as soon as you have your hand amputated so that you have all the facts you require for your cash at your fingertips.
Does the extent of the insurance cover amputation claims?
Yes. The extent of the insurance coverage limits how much you can recover. The insurance provider will pay the maximum limit set by the policy and will not pay a penny more. However, your lawyer can help find other liable parties and avenues to maximize your recoveries.