If you have suffered an injury which has required an amputation, the first thing you should do is get a free consultation with an experienced amputation injury attorney. My name is Ed Smith and I am the top rated attorney in Sacramento, California with over 30 years of experience. I attained this title by genuinely caring about my clients and also obtaining for them the maximum amount of compensation they can get.
Areas we represent:
I am based in Sacramento. The majority of our amputation cases come in from the Sacramento – Stockton – Modesto area. I am licensed to practice in all areas of California.
About amputation injuries:
Amputation injuries are very life-changing events. The recovery process can be complicated; however, there are two sides to every coin. If you would like, I can also assist by helping you find the support that you will likely need.
On top of relearning everyday activities, the difficulty of amputation injuries is often compounded by medical bills, rehabilitation, purchasing prosthetic limbs, and being out of work temporarily or permanently.
How do amputation injuries occur?
They often occur in auto accidents although I have unfortunately seen them everywhere. The most common amputations resulting from someone’s negligence have included:
- Auto and pedestrian accidents involving a bus, car, truck, motorcycle, SUV, boat, van, or bicycle resulting in a traumatic injury which restricts blood flow to extremities
- Severe burns and other wounds
- Industrial, factory, and construction-related work accidents, or falling merchandise which may sever or crush limbs.
- Poor post-surgery care resulting in gangrene
- A doctor or medical team not following best practices or responding too slowly to rescue a limb
Damages recoverable from amputations
In the state of California, the law provides for “just” compensation for those who are entitled. Many cases may be settled out of court, however sometimes going to trial is necessary when the negligent party refuses to pay or disagrees with the amount we are seeking. We have heavily experienced trial attorneys. Medical bills, future medical bills such as prosthetics, loss of wages, loss of future income, disfigurement, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of quality of life, and other damages are factors in the damages recoverable from amputations.
Choosing the right amputation attorney:
Choosing the right lawyer for your amputation injury is extremely important and directly affects the outcome of your case and the settlement amounts received. There are many attorney attorneys in Sacramento representing amputees. Below is a video on choosing the right attorney. You may also be interested in seeing these other pages:
Here is more information on amputations:
- Aesthetic Devices for the Arm
- Ankle Amputations
- Below the Knee Amputations
- Foot Amputations
- Forearm Amputations and Wrist Disarticulations
- Introduction to Amputations
- Leg Prostheses
- Limb Salvage after a Traumatic Injury
- Management of Shoulder Amputations
- Phantom Limb Syndrome Can Lead to Chronic Pain
- Physical Therapy for Amputees
- Prosthetic Limb Control
- Surgical Care of Partial Hand Amputations
- The Basics of Amputation Surgery
- Training with a Prosthetic Arm
- Transhumeral Amputations and Elbow Disarticulations
- Traumatic Ankle Fractures and Fracture/Subluxations
- Walking as an Amputee
- Additional Resources
Who can be held responsible under the law for an amputation?
Any company or individual whose negligence, in whole or part caused this injury. It could be the driver or owner of a car or truck, it could be a machinery manufacturer whose defective machinery caused the injury, it could be an injury on a construction site.
Even if you were partially responsible yourself, California is a comparative negligence state. If a jury finds you were 25 percent responsible and the other party was 75 percent responsible, you will recover 75 percent from the other negligent party. If the jury awards 10 Million for loss of your leg and finds you 25 percent negligent, the 10 million dollar award will be reduced to 7.5 Million.
Proving total or partial fault is difficult and often requires hiring biomechanics, engineers and other experts to prove to a jury where the fault lies.
What is the statute of limitations in California on amputation injuries?
Normally, the Statute of Limitations is 2 Years in California. However, the Statute is shorter in cases involving Medical Malpractice as well as in Cases involving Govt Entity Defendants.
The above is the general rule, but there are many exceptions. Please call me anytime for a free consultation.
What are the types of amputation injuries?
Some types are ankle disarticulation, below knee amputation, through-the-knee amputation, hip disarticulation, digital amputation, metacarpal amputation, below and above elbow amputation, elbow disarticulation, shoulder disarticulation.
What are the long-term implications of amputations?
Retraining, therapy, medical bills, psychological effects are obvious implications. Other long-term effects, mainly from the use of prosthetics include muscle strain, arthritis, weight gain, rashes, infection, and swelling.
How Long after an amputation can I get a prosthesis?
Many residual limbs are healed enough in a few weeks after surgery to begin measurements and to fit off prosthetic limbs. Essentially this is when the wound is healed, and tissue swelling has subsided. Medical professionals may recommend exercises and rehabilitation to encourage healing.
How will I deal with this?
Preparing for a prosthetic limb may require working through feelings with a therapist, muscle exercises, working with an amputation team to make the process as stress-free as possible, and learning how to tone certain muscles to attain optimal residual limb strength.
Learning to use a prosthetic limb effectively does require time, effort, and perseverance. Re-learning routine activities and trying new activities is essential during recovery.
My daughter is 12 years old and recently had a below the knee amputation. She is in middle school and feels like a total outcast and that nobody can understand how she feels. Can you suggest a good source of support?
Yes. There is a wonderful organization that tries to match amputees by gender, Age, location and type of amputation. Having someone who has undergone the same difficulties can be tremendously helpful.
Call The Amputee Coalition at 888-267-5669 for further information.
What is a traumatic amputation?
A traumatic amputation is an amputation that occurs at the scene of an accident when the limb is partially severed. An example of a traumatic amputation is in an auto accident when removing the limb is necessary for survival. Finally, sometimes traumatic amputations happen when the accident completely severs a limb, for example, when a saw accidentally saws off a limb.
What other rare accidents lead to amputations?
Work-related accidents resulting in amputation also include presses, saws, chainsaws, meat grinders, food slicers, woodworking machinery.
Agricultural accidents resulting in amputation include heavy equipment, mowing equipment, farm equipment, etc.
Also: electrical shocks, guns, knives, explosives, fireworks, ruptured ropes and cables, crushed wedding rings, doors, car doors, diabetes, infections, etc.
Who is entitled to sue for an amputation or another catastrophic injury?
If someone else causes you to have an amputation because they are negligent or otherwise responsible for your injury, they can be sued for all damages you sustain as a result.
You have the right to recover in California even if you are partially at fault yourself in an accident. California is a comparative fault state. That means if you are 10 percent responsible for an accident, your damages may be reduced by 10 percent but you can still recover. Any amputation is considered a catastrophic injury. You can find out more about catastrophic personal injuries on my website here.
Anyone who is not seriously at fault themselves as long as they can prove that some other person or entity is more at fault and that their fault has caused this serious injury.
What compensation can I receive for a negligent amputation?
Calculating the damages recoverable in an amputation case can take the time and input of many experts. Past medical bills and any reasonable certain future medical bills are recoverable.
Typically, a nurse Lifecare planner assisted by an economist will be experts necessary to help calculate such damages. They will consult with medical specialists and pharmaceutical experts on the issues involved.
Additionally, a vocational rehabilitation expert will be needed to testify as to the loss of your future earnings capacity.
Pain and suffering damages need to be established by talking to and obtaining a testimony of friends, family, co-workers, and clergy that know you and are familiar with how this serious injury has affected your life.
Loss of consortium damages is another element that can be awarded to the spouse of a person suffering an amputation. Anytime there is an amputation, it is a catastrophic injury and affects the spouse of the injured party severely.
Insurance companies may make a hurried offer to settle once they know their clients are in the wrong and have caused an amputation. Normally, their offer is pennies on the dollar of what might be obtained if an attorney is involved and performs the calculations necessary above with the help of expert witnesses.
I have recently suffered a lower leg amputation and feel emotionally devastated. I have no-one who can understand what I am going through. Is there some book you would recommend to help me?
One book people often find helpful is Alive and Whole: Emotional Recovery after Amputation.
The above book was written by a nurse who has worked with amputees for years and who suffered the amputation of her own lower leg in an accident at age 19. You can find a Kindle Version for $2.99.