One of the most serious and, sadly, common catastrophic injuries is an amputation injury. Losing a limb can leave you with chronic pain for years, rob you of your hobbies and enjoyment of life, and make it difficult to work. Immediately after your accident, you may also face a very painful and long recovery process.
What are the Side Effects of an Amputation Injury?
An amputation can leave you with many lasting and serious side effects and consequences including:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Loss of dexterity and mobility
- Risk of infection
- Mental anguish
- Painful muscle contractures
- Chronic fatigue
- Social isolation
- Difficulty working
One of the most severe consequences of an amputation is a complication called phantom limb syndrome. This condition can cause feelings of sensation in the limb that has been removed as if it were still attached. This happens when the brain continues to receive messages from nerves that felt the missing limb.
Phantom limb syndrome can be debilitating and cause chronic and severe pain. Between 80-100% of patients with an amputation experience some phantom sensations, although it is not always painful.
What Causes Amputation Injuries?
Amputation injuries can be surgical or they can be traumatic and caused by an accident. These injuries may be caused by medical malpractice, traffic accidents, workplace accidents, and more.
The most common causes of traumatic or accidental amputations include:
- Traffic accidents. This includes motorcycle accidents, car accidents, truck accidents, and bicycle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Agricultural accidents such as lawnmower accidents
- Accidents involving firearms, fireworks, and explosives
- Electrocution accidents
Amputation may also be the result of medical malpractice. An amputation can result from failure to diagnose, failure to treat, or even a surgical error in which the wrong part of the body is amputated.
The average total lifetime cost for an amputation patient is $509,275, according to one study. Most of these costs are incurred after the first two years.
How Common Are Amputations?
There are about 2 million people in the United States living with the loss of a limb. About 54% of amputations were the result of vascular disease such as diabetes and peripheral artery disease but 45% of limb loss was caused by trauma in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, about 82% of amputations are due to vascular disease due to a rise in rates of diabetes and peripheral artery disease.
Every year, there are nearly 185,000 amputations performed across the United States. Nearly 70% of amputations caused by trauma involve the arms or upper limbs. Three out of every 4 upper-body amputations are caused by trauma as vascular disease is more likely to cause amputation of a lower-body limb.
There are about 30,000 traumatic amputations in the United States every year. About 25% of all Americans living with limb loss suffered a traumatic amputation. The most common traumatic amputations are partial hand amputations with the loss of at least one finger followed by the loss of an arm.
What Compensation Can I recover in an Amputation Injury Claim?
An amputation injury is catastrophic and leaves you with not only immediate but long-term medical expenses and psychological harm. The medical costs of an amputation alone are estimated at $500,000, on average, but this does not consider other damages you suffer. What about your pain and suffering, lost wages, and reduced earning capacity?
Texas law allows you to seek damages for both the economic and non-economic harm you suffer due to someone else’s negligence. Jason Stephens will help you build your claim that considers the full cost of your amputation injury.
Economic Damages in an Amputation Injury Claim
Economic damages are the verifiable or quantifiable costs related to your injury. Common economic damages you may recover after a traumatic amputation include:
- Surgery, including cosmetic surgery
- Prescription medication
- Medical devices and prosthetics
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Nursing care
- Car and home modifications
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity and disability
Jason Stephens will negotiate on your behalf to reach a settlement offer with the insurance company that fully covers not only current but future expenses you will face.
Non-Economic Damages After an Amputation Injury
Your amputation injury has left you with more than medical bills and lost wages. You have also suffered damages that are intangible and hard to assign a financial value. You are entitled to recover compensation for damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish such as depression, PTSD, grief, and anxiety
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
In Texas, there are no caps on the non-economic damages you can recover except in medical malpractice cases.
Non-economic costs may be higher than economic costs in a catastrophic injury. They are also frequently contested by insurance companies. Stephens Law Firm, PLLC will fight for the full compensation you deserve as you struggle to move forward with your life.
How Long Do I have to File an Amputation Injury Case in Texas?
You do not have an unlimited amount of time to seek the compensation you deserve from the at-fault party. In most cases, there is a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits in Fort Worth. This statute of limitations begins on the date of your accident.
If you do not file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, you lose your right to recover compensation with few exceptions.
Two years may sound like a lot of time, but it’s crucial that you do not delay in consulting with an experienced Fort Worth personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the easier it will be for evidence to disappear. Fast action is important to preserve valuable evidence proving liability and the extent of your damages.
Contact a Fort Worth Personal Injury Lawyer
Have you recently lost a limb in an accident in the Dallas/Fort Worth area? An amputation injury can devastate your quality of life and change your future.
You have been left with medical expenses, financial uncertainty, and the need to adapt to a completely different way of life. You may struggle to perform or even enjoy the activities you once loved and you may be unable to return to your job.
The last thing you should be worried about is fighting an insurance company that wants to downplay the extent of your injuries or shift liability away from their policyholder. Let Stephens Law Firm, PLLC fight the insurance company on your behalf to seek financial compensation that can give you the financial security you need as you move forward.
Jason Stephens has represented amputation victims in Fort Worth for more than 22 years. He has recovered substantial jury awards and settlements for his clients and will strive to do the same for you.