Amputation injuries, when one severs a limb, can be one of the most serious injuries that a person can endure. Such an accident can change the course and goals of a person’s life. According to the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, the estimated healthcare costs associated with a single lower-limb amputation are more than $500,000 while higher levels of amputation injuries can be hundreds of thousands even more expensive.
There are countless obstacles to overcome after this type of injury, in a physical sense, a mental sense, and a financial sense. An amputee does not deserve to face the hardships that they are about to endure when the injury was caused by another person’s negligence and mistake. However, we are here to help ease these hardships for you and make sure that you keep your rights and get justice.
At Mike Agruss Law, we have helped thousands of clients to seek justice and compensation for personal injuries, and you won’t owe us a penny for our services unless we win your case. If you or a loved one has experienced an amputation injury, contact our office today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Chicago.
Causes of Amputation Accidents
Amputations can occur from countless amounts of sources. The accident itself can cause the amputation or the amputation may be required due to a complication arising from the accident. One of the largest causes of amputations take place in the workplace. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace accidents led to nearly 3,000 amputations in 2015. Also, 27 workers a day suffer amputation or hospitalization. Certain jobs, which we will mention below, are especially hazardous with regard to the risk of amputation.
These accidents all end with the same outcome of extreme pain and the severance of a limb such as an arm or leg. But they are also similar in that all of them could have been prevented if it were not for another person’s negligence. Some of the most common causes of amputation accidents include the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents – The impact of a motor vehicle accident can be so strong and severe that a person can suffer a traumatic amputation, where the injury occurs immediately following a traumatic event.
- Pedestrian accidents – A motor vehicle can strike a pedestrian and leave them severely injured, depending on the speed of the vehicle. One possible outcome may be an amputation injury.
- Construction accidents – Physical labor or working with machines are some of the most common causes for these accidents.
- Industrial equipment accidents – Certain equipment used in industrial settings can be so strong that one malfunction can lead to chaos and a traumatic injury.
- Burn injuries – Some burn injuries are so severe that it can lead to permanent motor damage which may require amputation. This is most often seen in only fourth degree burns.
- Defective products – When a certain product is made with a manufacturing or a design defect, the consequence could cause burns or injuries that would result in an amputation.
- Medical malpractice – After a procedure or surgery is done on a person, the doctor may have acted with negligence and rather than repairing the issue, they caused harm elsewhere, which may result in an amputation.
The workplace is one of the most common places that amputations occur, and this is due to a number of factors at play. Rather than at a desk job, they occur more often in industrial, manufacturing, construction, and factory settings. Any job that handles tools, mechanic tools, machines, power tools, and similar items puts the workers at risk of injury. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set out precautions and gives information regarding the types of equipment and accidents that result in amputations.
The dangerous parts of a machine include the area where it performs work and where there are moving parts. The most hazardous moving parts include moving parts that rotate, go back-and-forth or up-and-down, cut or saw objects, punch objects, and bend objects. If a person’s limbs or extremities got caught in any of these parts, the consequences could be dire.
Guards and devices to control the occurrence of these accidents are needed in workplaces with hazardous machines and equipment in order to prevent accidents that could cause injuries such as an amputation. You have rights as a worker, and your attorney can speak to you to make sure that you keep your rights and stay safe as a worker.
Who Is Liable?
In order to find the negligent party in an amputation injury claim, you should be able to prove the elements of negligence. First, you must prove that a duty of care existed between you and the defendant. Then, you must prove that that duty of care was breached; this should be clear from the injury and accident. You must also prove that their actions or inactions were the only, direct cause of your injuries. Lastly, you must be able to prove that you suffered real damages and injuries. A plaintiff must be able to adequately prove these four elements in order to attain a successful claim.
Depending on the type of accident that occurred, there are certain parties which would be considered liable for negligence. In a case of defective equipment or machines, you can file a product liability claim due to a design defect, manufacturing defect, or lack of safety features or warnings. This type of claim essentially states that the accident was the result of a manufacturer, vendor, or other actor in the chain of distribution’s negligence for releasing an unsafe product to the public.
In many cases, worker’s compensation is a remedy to recover some damages after an accident if it happened in the workplace. Otherwise, if an individual was the reason that the accident occurred, whether it be at work or through a car accident, you can file a claim against them to be compensated. You would have to prove the four elements of negligence for this claim. For a medical malpractice claim, you can sue the doctor or the hospital associated (if they are an employee) for damages.
Damages That Can Be Recovered
An amputation injury can cause numerous obstacles and pain in your life that you never anticipated. You should not have to bear the physical and financial pain that comes with someone else’s mistake. With the help of one of our experienced attorneys, we can help you get fairly compensated for your damages. Some damages that you can recover include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
If you or a loved one has experienced an amputation injury, contact our office today for a free consultation.