Loss of Limb (Amputation) Injuries Caused by Preventable Accidents: Your Course of Action
Losing a limb in an accident is a traumatic and stressful event. In the blink of an eye, your life is turned upside down. You may be unable to walk or use an arm ever again.
This will require you to make fundamental changes to your daily routine and may even hinder your ability to continue in your chosen profession. This is why you should hire a skilled Las Vegas amputation injury attorney Zachary D. Clayton to pursue financial restitution for your harms and losses.
What Exactly is an Amputation?
An amputation (also known as a traumatic amputation) is a word used to describe the loss of a limb (a leg or an arm) or a digit (a finger or a toe).
The National Limb Loss Information Center estimates that there are 1.7 million Americans living with limb amputations and that every 1 in 200 people in our country has had an amputation. In some instances, an amputated limb or digit, which has been severed, can be reattached through surgery. But in the majority of cases, a prosthetic limb is used and will deliver a more positive outcome.
Traumatic amputation or loss of a body part is usually the result of an accident or some injury. Most often, the body parts that are amputated include:
Common Causes of Amputation Injuries
The most common causes of traumatic amputations are:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Accidents with farm machinery
- Factory accidents
- Power tool accidents
- Boating accidents
Treatment After Losing a Limb in a Las Vegas Accident
If the body part is only partially amputated, if it is well preserved after the injury, and if the stump from which it came has been carefully tended to, it may be possible to reattach the part.
Partial amputation usually means that some soft-tissue remnant remains after the part has been lost. If the personal injury is severe or the amputation is complete and the body part improperly cared for, reattachment is unlikely. On the other hand, if the part and the site from which it came are properly cared for, reattachment is possible, depending upon the severity of the injury.
Advances in medicine have enabled successful reattachment to occur more frequently. Reconnecting nerves going to and from the part, however, still remains a problem. The following have led to more successful reattachments recently:
- Improved understanding of how to manage amputation
- Early critical care improvements
- New techniques in surgery
- Rehabilitation soon after reattachment
- New designs for prostheses
According to Medline Plus, an online publication of the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health, it is usually better to fit the patient with a proper prosthesis than to reattach a nonfunctional limb.
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What To Do If You Suffer a Loss of a Limb (Amputation) in a Preventable Accident
If a body part is amputated, it is essential to contact a medical professional as soon as possible. Handling an amputation involves treating:
- Reattaching the amputated part if possible
Dealing properly with these emergency situations significantly affects the outcome. To treat bleeding, the most important first step following injury is to apply direct pressure. Raising the injured area also is important. This will often stop the bleeding.
Next, it is important to be aware of, prevent and deal with shock. Symptoms of shock include:
- Cold damp skin
- Dizziness or being light-headed
- Low blood pressure
- Pale skin
- Rapid heart rate
- Shortness of breath
Treating infection in the patient who has suffered loss of a limb involves removing infected tissue, giving antibiotics and keeping the open wound area clean.
When amputation is the result of an accident at work or in a car, the employer or other driver may be held responsible.
Consequences of losing a limb may be devastating. A skilled and savvy personal injury lawyer with a background in assisting victims of accidental amputations can help you recover some of the financial damages that are commonly endured after such a loss as well as pay for the pain and suffering that stems from this traumatic bodily injury.
Loss of Limb (Amputation) Injuries in Las Vegas Auto Accidents
Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In fact, studies show that over 37,000 people die in vehicle accidents each and every year. An additional 2.35 million people are either injured or disabled as a result of a car wreck. One of the most physically and emotionally troubling injuries, which victims may sustain during a vehicular collision, is an amputation.
A big reason car wrecks often lead to someone suffering a loss of a limb is the intense trauma inflicted on the human body during a crash. The impact of a vehicle colliding with another object can cause a crash victim’s hands, feet, toes, fingers or limbs to become so severely damaged that the finger or limb cannot be restored or reconstructed.
In some situations, a victim’s appendage may be severed by a sharp object or be crushed during the crash. In other instances, an appendage may be so damaged that it needs to be surgically amputated in order to save the victim’s life.
The National Limb Loss Information Center released the following statistics on amputations and car crashes:
- Upper-limb amputations (the arms) account for 68.6 percent of all traumatic amputations
- Males are at significantly higher risk for traumatic amputations than females
- The risk of a traumatic amputation increases with age for both males and females. The highest level of amputations occurs in individuals who are 85 or older
- Re-attachment may be an option for some victims, but the majority of individuals will attain better function and a better quality of life through the use of a prosthesis.
Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Attorney Zachary D. Clayton, Esq. If You Lost a Limb in a Preventable Accident
Enduring an amputation is both a physically and emotionally traumatic experience. At LV Personal Injury Lawyers, we assist our clients’ needs while protecting their legal rights. We handle all communications involving:
- Insurance companies
- Defense counsel
- Private investigators
Financial Restitution You Can Pursue After Losing a Limb in a Preventable Accident
If you suffered a lost limb in a preventable accident, such as a motor vehicle accident, you may have grounds to pursue financial restitution through a personal injury claim. The types of compensation you may be able to pursue include:
- Lost Income and Future Earnings: Victims who have suffered an amputation will likely need to take several weeks or months off work in order to recover from his or her injuries. If a victim is able to return to work at a later date, he or she may also have to take a pay cut because they are no longer able to perform the same role at work as they were able to do previously. In either scenario, you may be able to make a claim for lost wages. You may be entitled to compensation for the time missed from work to recover from your injuries (past lost earnings) as well as any anticipated missed work in the future (future lost earnings).
- Medical Bills: An amputation is a serious medical issue, which requires a lot of current and ongoing care. When making a claim, one measure of your damages is your past and future medical expenses, which can include the treatment you received as a result of the crash and any and all future treatment you may require (such as surgery, rehabilitation, physical therapy, prescription medication, etc.). In some instances, victims may also be able to claim for cosmetic surgery, psychological help, and treatment for neurological symptoms such as “phantom limb pain” (i.e. when an accident victim experiences real pain, itching and irritation in his or her lost limb although the limb is no longer there).
- Prosthetics: Prosthetics or an assistive device is key in allowing a victim to function as normally as he or she once did, including with the help of prosthetics and artificial limbs.
Obtaining Medical Treatment without Health Insurance
For those that require amputation care, but lack the funds to pay for it, an experienced injury lawyer in Las Vegas can aid you in finding a therapist, doctor, or chiropractor. Such medical professionals are open to offering you treatment on the basis of a medical lien in Nevada. Your lawyer Zachary D. Clayton, Esq. will work closely with your therapists and doctors to ensure that the injuries you sustained are documented properly.
Defense attorneys and insurers will usually say that medical data isn’t enough to justify delaying your payment (or not paying you altogether). A Las Vegas lawyer who is accident savvy can take steps to stop that from happening.
Don’t Offer a Recorded Statement or Medical Records to an Insurance Company
Accident victims commonly receive phone calls from claims adjusters working with the insurance company of the negligent individual. Though they might come across as sympathetic and friendly, they have an agenda. These people will try to develop rapport to get you to open up to them. Be cautious of this.
Don’t forget – an insurance company isn’t your friend. They’ll contact you quite fast after the accident in an effort to send you a lowball settlement, or manipulate you into offering some sort of recorded statement prior to a meeting with your own lawyer.
Keeping in mind how stressful this time is, it is imperative that you are careful and composed when exchanging emails and phone calls with an insurance company’s claims adjuster. These people will try to get you to record a statement while you’re on the phone. You are not obligated to make one. Should you choose to request a statement, it will be used against you during your claim. When feasible, endeavor to talk to a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas before speaking with an insurance company.
From there, an insurance company will request medical authorization to see your health records. Don’t sign a single thing that an insurance company delivers to you without first speaking with an attorney. You’ll find the paperwork they send you to be quite vague and broad. Signing such a document basically gives them the right to comb through your whole medical history.
Don’t forget, as per the law in Nevada, you have no obligations to share your medical information. Actually, any health records released by you should only contain the information relevant to the injury sustained during the accident. If you provide the insurance company with blanket authorization, they will look for anything in your records that can help them devalue whatever your claim is.
Limited Amount of Time to Pursue Financial Restitution
After suffering an amputation injury in a preventable accident, you may be able to file a claim to pursue financial restitution (i.e. economic and/or non-economic damages) from the negligent party. However, it is important to realize that you do not have an unlimited amount of time to file such a claim.
In fact, you actually need to take action within a specific, strict time frame known as the “statute of limitations.” As the name implies, the time limits on personal injury claims are set forth by statutes enacted by the Nevada Legislature.
In Las Vegas personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is two years. This statutory period begins to run on the date of the accident that caused you or your loved one’s injury.
For example, if you were involved in a serious car crash on January 1, 2019, you will likely need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other motorist by January 1, 2021. There are some notable exceptions to the 2-year statute of limitations.
To learn more, schedule a time to sit down and discuss your legal options with an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney Zachary D. Clayton..
Why It Makes Sense to Retain the Services of an Experienced Las Vegas Amputation Injury Attorney
There is a myriad of benefits associated with retaining the services of a Las Vegas amputation injury lawyer. As indicated above, the law is complex. Even a fairly straight forward issue like the statute of limitations can become extremely complicated when you begin to delve into the various exceptions and fact-specific considerations. This is why you should hire a lawyer who is well-versed in Nevada personal injury law to help guide you through the process.
Having a qualified legal counsel on your side also ensures your accident is thoroughly investigated and evidence is collected to help build your claim. From reviewing medical evidence to interviewing witnesses to negotiating with insurance adjusters, a skilled and aggressive attorney with LV Personal Injury Lawyers will work tirelessly to pursue the financial restitution you deserve.
Contact LV Personal Injury Lawyers to Schedule a Free, Confidential Consultation
If you or a loved one had a limb amputated due to a serious accident, you owe it to yourself to take action so the negligent party can be held accountable. Contact the aggressive and knowledgeable Las Vegas personal injury attorneys with our firm today. We will never charge an hourly fee for our services and will take as much time as necessary to get the financial restitution you rightly deserve for your harms and losses.
To schedule a free, confidential case evaluation, contact LV Personal Injury Lawyers online or call our office today.