The loss of a limb is a devastating and life-changing event. The victims of an amputation injury can live a long and full life. However, the damages caused by a negligent or reckless act can cause an amputee a lifetime of emotional, physical, and financial damages.
Many amputations result from illnesses or diseases. However, traumatic amputations occur at an alarming rate. Because no one expects to lose a limb or body part, they are unprepared for what happens next.
A Fort Walton Beach personal injury lawyer can guide you through each step of the claims process. The topics below cover things you should know about a personal injury claim for an amputation injury.
What Are Common Causes of Amputation Injuries in Fort Walton Beach, FL?
A traumatic amputation occurs when a person loses a body part because of an accident or injury. About 45% of amputations are caused by a traumatic injury.
Examples of traumatic events that can result in losing a limb or other body part include:
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Car accidents
- Electrocution accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Bicycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Accidents involving explosives, fireworks, or firearms
- Animal and dog attacks
Amputation injuries that result from infection, tissue destruction, or disease are called non-traumatic amputations.
Misdiagnosis and other medical errors could result in medical malpractice that leads to an amputation injury. Exposure to a toxic chemical resulting in a surgical amputation could qualify as a product liability claim. Nursing home neglect that results in infection requiring surgical amputation could be another cause of a non-traumatic amputation injury.
What Are the Effects of an Amputation Injury on an Accident Victim?
A catastrophic injury that results in amputation can have long-term effects on an amputee.
Serious side effects that a person who loses a limb might experience include:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Phantom limb pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Severe depression and mental anguish
- Social isolation
- Loss of mobility and dexterity
- Diminished quality of life
- Painful muscle contractions
- Continued risk of infection
- Difficulty working
- Loss of personal independence
The consequences of an amputation can be far-reaching. The exact effects depend on the person and type of amputation.
For example, losing a leg would be devastating for anyone. However, if an Olympic runner loses a leg, their entire life changes. Everything they worked for since they were a child is gone in an instant.
It does not mean that the person cannot live a fulfilling life, but it does mean their life is irreparably changed by the negligent actions of another person.
This fact is true for any amputee. Losing your arms means you can never hug your children or spouse again. Losing a foot could mean that you never get to hike again with your grandchild.
You can adjust your lifestyle and adopt different activities. However, the fact that you must do so can be emotionally devastating, especially when the amputation would not have occurred but for another party’s negligence, intentional torts, or wrongdoing.
What Compensation Can I Receive for an Amputation Injury?
When another party is responsible for your amputation injury, Florida tort laws hold that person financially liable for your damages. Because an amputation injury causes immediate and long-term harm, the damages include past, present, and future losses.
Economic damages for an amputation injury can include:
- The cost of past and future medical treatment and care
- In-home and long-term nursing care
- The cost of personal care and assistance with household chores
- Prosthetics and medical devices
- Loss of income and benefits
- Modifications to homes and vehicles
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Cosmetic surgery
- Future lost wages and a reduction in earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses and costs
The monetary damages for a catastrophic injury can total millions of dollars over a person’s lifetime. However, that money does not begin to compensate them for their pain and suffering.
Non-economic damages for an amputation injury can include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Mental anguish and trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and grief
- Permanent disabilities and impairments
- Diminished quality of life
In some cases, an amputee might be entitled to punitive damages. However, these damages do not compensate the amputee for losses. Instead, a jury awards punitive damages to punish the at-fault party for egregious conduct.
An experienced Fort Walton Beach amputation injury attorney will pursue all forms of compensation for your injury claim. No amount of money will undo the tragedy that has happened to you, but a fair settlement amount provides you with the funds you need as you move forward with your life.
How Do I Prove Fault in an Amputation Injury Claim?
Most amputation injury claims are based on negligence. The person who caused your injury owed you a duty of care. The person breached their duty of care, causing you to be injured and to sustain damages.
You have the burden of proving your claim by a preponderance of the evidence. Furthermore, if you are partially to blame for the cause of your injury, your compensation could be reduced under Florida’s modified comparative fault laws. Your right to compensation could be eliminated if you are mostly at fault.
Amputation injury claims are complex personal injury cases. The at-fault party and insurance company will likely aggressively fight to avoid liability for the claim.
Your legal team will handle all aspects of the case, including the investigation and gathering evidence to prove liability.
What Is the Deadline for Filing an Amputation Injury Claim in Florida?
The Florida statutes of limitations set deadlines for filing civil claims. For most personal injury claims, the deadline to file a negligence lawsuit is two years from the date of injury. This deadline includes most cases involving traffic accidents, construction accidents, defective products, premises liability, boating accidents, and medical malpractice.
There could be other exceptions to the statute of limitations for amputation injury claims. The best way to avoid missing a filing deadline is to seek legal advice from an experienced Fort Walton Beach amputation injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Fort Walton Beach Personal Injury Lawyers To Discuss Your Amputation Injury
An amputation injury can cause a lifetime of suffering and financial losses. Contact our law office to schedule a free case evaluation with our Fort Walton Beach personal injury attorneys at (850) 863-5297. Let Brannon & Brannon Personal Injury Attorneys fight to get you the compensation you need and deserve.