What Compensation Is Available for Amputation Victims?

What Compensation Is Available for Amputation Victims? Image

Losing a limb is a deeply traumatic experience that permanently alters a person’s life. Victims of amputations suffer unimaginable physical pain but also face emotional distress, financial hardships, and long-term adjustments to their daily lives. If the amputation resulted from someone else’s negligence or an accident, victims may be entitled to obtain significant compensation that can help them on the path to recovery.

Types of Amputation Injuries

An amputation is the surgical or traumatic removal of a limb or body part, such as an arm, leg, hand, foot, finger, or toe. Amputations can be caused by a wide variety of circumstances, including:

  • Workplace Accidents: Heavy machinery, industrial equipment, and construction zones present a risk of severe injuries, including amputations.
  • Medical Negligence: Improper surgical procedures, delayed treatment, or misdiagnosis can sometimes necessitate amputation.
  • Car Accidents: The violent forces involved in vehicle collisions can result in traumatic amputations or injuries that later require limb removal.
  • Defective Products: Dangerous products with design or manufacturing defects can cause injuries leading to amputation.

Compensation for Your Losses

If you have suffered an amputation due to someone else’s actions or negligence, you might be eligible for various kinds of compensation to address the extensive losses you have experienced. These damages may include:

Medical Expenses

Amputations often require immediate, expensive medical intervention followed by a lifetime of care.  Compensation covers:

  • Surgeries: This includes the initial amputation surgery, potential revision surgeries, and any procedures related to fitting a prosthetic device.
  • Hospital Stays: Lengthy hospitalizations for monitoring, infection treatment, and wound care.
  • Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy: Extensive, often ongoing therapy to learn how to function without the lost limb, adjust to prosthetics, and gain range of motion.
  • Prosthetics: The costs of the prosthetic devices themselves, plus ongoing maintenance, adjustments, and replacements throughout your life.

Lost Wages and Earning Capacity

If your injury prevents you from working for a period, you may receive reimbursement for your lost income. For example, if a construction worker loses a leg and needs six months to recover and get fitted for a prosthetic, their lost wages for that period could be covered.

Victims of amputation often have permanently altered abilities to perform certain jobs. If you can no longer work in your previous field or earn the same income, you may be awarded compensation based on the difference in potential lifetime earnings.

Pain and Suffering

This encompasses the real and significant impact on amputation victims:

  • Physical Pain: The immediate pain of the injury, subsequent surgeries, and the ongoing process of adapting to life with a missing limb.
  • Emotional Distress: Amputees often experience anxiety, depression, grief, and trauma related to the loss of their limb.
  • Reduced Quality of Life: Difficulties with daily living tasks, limitations on recreational activities, and social changes can reduce overall life enjoyment.
  • Disability Benefits: Depending on the severity of your amputation and its impact on your work, you might qualify for federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or state disability benefits. These programs offer monthly payments to assist with lost income.

Punitive Damages

In rare cases where the responsible party’s actions were particularly egregious, the court may award punitive damages. These act as a punishment and a deterrent to others from engaging in similarly reckless behaviour. For instance, if a drunk driver caused an accident leading to amputation, punitive damages might apply on top of other compensation.

How to Calculate Damages

Calculating the extent of damages after an amputation is a complex process with no single formula. Several factors go into determining the final compensation amount, including:

Severity and Location of the Amputation

The loss of a dominant hand vs. a non-dominant foot will have vastly different impacts on an individual’s life. Higher levels of amputation (like above the knee or elbow) generally result in more significant damages.

The Victim’s Age and Occupation

A young person with decades of working life ahead has the potential for more lost income than someone nearing retirement age. Occupations that heavily rely on physical abilities may experience a more significant impact on earning potential than those that are primarily office-based.

Medical Expenses

Documenting all medical costs is crucial. This includes immediate costs as well as anticipated future expenses like prosthetic replacements and ongoing physical therapy.

Degree of Pain and Suffering

While difficult to quantify, the level of pain and emotional distress is crucial. Medical records, mental health evaluations, and personal testimony can help establish these damages.

Impact on Daily Life and Activities

Compensation can address the challenges and costs of modifying a home, needing assistance with daily tasks, and the inability to enjoy previous hobbies or activities.

Contact the Burton Law Group for Experienced Representation

We understand the overwhelming challenges faced by amputation victims. If you or a loved one has suffered this devastating injury, we at Burton Law Group are here to fight for your rights. Our compassionate Oklahoma workers compensation attorneys have extensive experience with complex personal injury cases, including workers’ compensation claims in Oklahoma. We will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve so you can focus on healing and rebuilding your life.

Call us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how our Tulsa workers comp attorney can support you on your journey towards justice and financial recovery.