Fresno Amputation Lawyer

man in wheelchair

Getting hurt in an accident is terrible. Suffering a permanent injury like a lost limb is even worse. In the blink of an eye, your life is changed forever. Losing a hand, an arm, a foot, a leg, etc., will require a drastic change in your life and may result in your inability to pursue specific life goals or return to your job. 

We learned of a tragic accident involving a North Bay teenager hit by a vehicle on I-80. The collision was so severe that the teen had to undergo eleven surgeries in two weeks, including an amputation of her leg.

Sadly, accidents like the one that occurred on I-80 are more common than you may imagine and can result in horrific injuries, including amputation. There are reportedly over three million Americans who have had a limb amputated in the U.S. today.

Types of Accidents and Incidents That May Result in an Amputation

An injury necessitating an amputation can occur in an array of circumstances, including:

  • Automobile wrecks
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Motorcycle crashes
  • Pedestrians getting hit by a vehicle.
  • A tractor-trailer colliding with a car or a pedestrian
  • Accidents at the workplace
  • Dog attacks
  • Medical malpractice
  • Adverse reactions to a prescription medication
  • Defective consumer products
Types of Amputation Injuries

Not all amputations are the same. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to have a partial amputation or a complete amputation. A partial amputation means that you may be able to retain some use of your damaged limb. Conversely, a complete amputation means you lose the limb in its entirety.

Medical Costs Associated with Amputations

For both partial amputations and complete amputations, quality and effective medical care are absolutely critical. There will likely be extensive rehabilitative treatment, including learning to function without the lost limb (e.g., walking again after losing a leg in a car accident). This may include the fitting of a prosthetic device. The prosthetic device can be utilized either for a cosmetic purpose or for a functional purpose like walking.

Possible Complications of Prosthetic Limbs

The advancements made in prostheses over the years are truly remarkable. However, this means the cost associated with a prosthesis can staggering. For example, the average price for a prosthetic limb can be as little as $8,000 but may wind up costing upwards of $70,000. That is the typical upfront cost. A prosthetic limb needs to be maintained and will eventually need to be replaced after a few years have passed.

And this does not even factor in potential complications associated with the amputation or use of a prosthetic, including:

  • Infection of the amputated area;
  • Long-term pain in the amputation area (also known as chronic neuroma);
  • Slow wound healing; and/or
  • Extreme discomfort and stiffness around the amputated area.

If you suffer one or more of these complications, additional medical procedures will be required, which will then increase the overall medical costs associated with your injuries.

The Emotional and Psychological Toll of an Amputation

In addition to the financial strain associated with an amputation, the victim also has severe emotional stress. It is pretty typical for a recent amputee to become depressed and turn to drugs, alcohol, or other substances for comfort; they may even contemplate suicide. An article published in the Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics highlighted that accident victims often struggle with bouts of severe depression, hopelessness, and suicidal tendencies after suffering a catastrophic injury. The article revealed that the rate of clinical depression reported in outpatient settings ranged from 21 percent to 35 percent.

Taking Action to Get the Financial Restitution You are Owed

Suppose you lost a limb in a preventable accident caused by the carelessness of another driver, a medical professional, or a corporate entity. In that case, you should speak to a Fresno amputation lawyer about whether it makes sense to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party. A personal injury claim allows you to pursue financial restitution for your harms and losses, including:

  • Reimbursement of your medical expenses stemming from the accident (including the costs associated with a prosthetic limb;
  • Reimbursement for the income lost as a result of your amputation;
  • Compensation for future wages that you could have earned had it not been for the accident; and
  • Compensation for your pain, suffering, and mental anguish.
Establishing Liability for an Accident Resulting in Amputation

To recover the financial restitution described above, you need to establish that the defendant (i.e., the other driver, the doctor, etc.) was liable for your injuries. This is why the specific facts associated with your accident influence the theory of liability that will be argued to pursue damages for you.

In car and motorcycle accident cases, the theory of liability is predicated on negligence. This means you need to establish that the other driver owed you a duty, they breached that duty, the breach proximately caused your harms and losses, and you have proof of actual injuries and economic damages incurred.

If you were hit by a commercial vehicle (e.g., a tractor-trailer), you would still seek damages under a negligence theory. Still, you could also hold the negligent driver's employer liable under a vicarious liability theory known as respondeat superior. Basically, this legal theory holds that an employer is responsible for the negligent conduct of an employee if that negligence was committed in the course of their employment with the employer.

If you lost a limb due to a defective consumer product, you could hold the manufacturer, distributor, or seller responsible for a strict liability legal theory. This would require evidence of a defect in the manufacture or design of the specific consumer product. For example, suppose your Fresno amputation lawyer argues a strict liability theory based on a design defect. In that case, there needs to be evidence that the consumer product did not perform as safely as an ordinary person would expect when the product was used for its intended purpose or if the serious safety risks associated with the product design outweigh the alleged benefits.

Contact a Fresno Amputation Attorney Today

When someone loses a limb in a preventable accident, the damages are usually extensive. Insurance companies routinely put up a fight when a claimant seeks a substantial amount of damages. Since 1982, we have represented personal injury cases and held responsible parties accountable. If you or someone you love has lost a limb in a preventable accident, we can help. Please call us at (559) 377-7676 for compassionate advice with no obligation. You can also contact us online here.

We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

See our client ratings on AvvoGoogle, and Yelp and our past cases on our Verdicts and Settlements page.

Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 9.29.21]

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Photo by Deposit Photos

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