There are about two million Americans living with one of the three main types of amputation. In surgical amputation, a surgeon removes a limb because of a serious illness or condition, such as infection, cancer, tissue damage, or other factors. In traumatic amputation, an accident severs a limb or part of the limb. Congenital amputation, on the other hand, involves individuals born with a body part or limb missing.
Suffering any serious injury can be upsetting, but an amputation can be especially devastating, leading to permanent disability, potential loss of employment opportunities, and negative impact on relationships. Research has shown that traumatic amputation can cause anxiety, depression, isolation, and even a suicide risk, in part because the loss of a limb affects an individual’s sense of self.
A patient who has lost a limb will likely work with an interdisciplinary medical team to address the physical, mobility, occupational, and emotional impacts of the condition. If the amputation resulted from negligence of a third party or a defective product, however, patients sometimes will need to consult with a Houston amputation lawyer in order to pursue their rights.
A Houston amputation attorney is experienced in amputation cases and works with those who have lost a limb due to someone’s negligence or recklessness. Attorneys represent these clients as they pursue settlements or lawsuits for their injuries.
Workers on offshore oil rigs, ships, and harbors face additional challenges after an amputation. Longshore, offshore oil, and shipping jobs are high-risk occupations where the risk of serious injury such as amputation is high. Those who do lose a limb due to a work injury in these occupations should speak with a Houston offshore amputation injury attorney immediately.
If an injury is caused during a maritime incident, different laws may apply than if the same injury were to occur on land. A Houston offshore amputation injury lawyer will have experience with the Jones Act, the Death on the High Seas Act, and similar regulations. This experience allows a Texas maritime amputation injury attorney to pursue a claim for a client who has lost a limb due to capsizing, unsecured cargo, poor training, or the many other causes of maritime accidents.
It is imperative to find a results-driven attorney because the effects of an amputation are far-reaching. You may wish to resolve a claim as quickly as you can but consider that you may need to retrain for a new career, get rehabilitation or occupational rehabilitation to cope with changes in mobility, and may need to regularly replace prosthetics for the rest of your life.
Depending on your injury, you may need surgery, counseling, and even modifications to your home and car to effectively live with your condition. A good Texas amputation lawyer can help you seek compensation, so you have the financial resources to pay for quality care and support when you need it. When selecting an attorney, look for:
When speaking with amputation attorneys or a Houston offshore amputation injury lawyer, look for red flags, too. An attorney who takes on a large volume of cases and settles quickly without ever getting to court is not always a good sign. You don’t want an attorney who takes the first offer, without negotiating for a better settlement.
The time following an amputation is often difficult. As you adjust to a life-changing injury, you may need to make big decisions about your financial, personal, and professional life. Just as the medical bills increase, you may get visits from insurance companies and other parties who ask you questions or want you to sign complex paperwork.
While you may feel pressure to accept any offer and sign documents presented to you, speak with an amputation attorney first. An attorney can protect you from signing away your rights to pursue a claim. An attorney can take care of reviewing any paperwork you have been given, investigating the cause of the incident or injury, and filing a claim if that’s what you decide to do. The role of your attorney is to work on your behalf, taking care of the legal side of your injury and protecting your best interests.
An amputation is always a life-changing event, and you’ll want to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible following your amputation. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner your lawyer can start protecting important evidence in your case and protecting your ability to pursue a claim.
Even if you’re not sure you have a claim — because your amputation was the result of a medical condition, for example — it’s valuable to speak to an attorney. Your attorney may uncover your amputation was preventable and caused by a misdiagnosis, poor workplace processes, lack of safety protocols at your worksite, or other negligent acts. Working with an attorney from the start means you don’t leave money on the table at a time when you may need financial compensation to pay for medical costs and other expenses.
Once you hire an amputation attorney, your attorney will take steps to secure as much information about your injury as possible. This may involve interviewing you, getting copies of your medical records, and taking additional steps to get as much information about the injury as possible.
Your attorney may not file a lawsuit until you have reached maximum medical improvement. This is the point at which your condition is stabilized and no further recovery is likely. If you face complications such as infection during your recovery, your condition can become more serious and you may be eligible for a higher settlement amount. As you work with your medical team, you and your attorney will also get a clearer picture over time about your likely prognosis. An experienced attorney knows when to wait to ensure your case is not undervalued.
Once the claim is filed, the other parties in your claim will be notified and will get a chance to respond. The process of discovery will begin, during which each side will gather evidence and will be obligated to share it with other parties in the claim.
At any point during the claim, parties can agree to an out-of-court settlement. If no such agreement can be reached, the parties will likely end up presenting their cases before a jury in court.
Every amputation claim is different, and settlements can vary from tens of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars. The recovery will depend on many factors, including:
While some of the recovery amount will depend on quantifiable losses, such as medical bills, plaintiffs can also pursue compensation for pain and suffering. Those who have experienced amputation may feel what is known as “phantom” discomfort in the missing limb, emotional distress, and other forms of pain, but it can be harder to put a dollar amount on these experiences. An attorney can help determine a fair settlement for pain, relationship distress, and other suffering.
If you’ve experienced the partial or full loss of a limb, the attorneys at Johnson Garcia Law can help. Our legal team has years of experience working with plaintiffs who have lost fingers, arms, feet, legs, hands, or toes. You can also choose to work with an experienced Texas maritime amputation injury attorney at our law firm if your injury occurred offshore. We have successfully recovered over $100 million for our clients.
When you have experienced the loss of a limb, Johnson Garcia Law offers thoughtful and effective representation. To find out more or to determine whether you have a claim, schedule a consultation with our team today.