Chicago Amputation Injury Lawyer
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents people who have sustained the amputation of limbs in accidents. Our Cook County amputation attorneys successfully prosecuted cases for injured clients harmed by others' negligent actions.
Many victims are injured in motor vehicle crashes, work-related incidents, construction zone accidents, and medical malpractice.
We are here to answer any legal questions on this topic, including how to receive financial compensation if you were injured because of someone else's fault. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our Chicago personal injury lawyers for a free consultation regarding your legal rights.
Amputation Accident FAQs
What is Traumatic Amputation?
Traumatic amputations result from an accidental event that cuts off a body part, leaving it wholly severed and detached from the body. The amputation might be a lost limb or part of the limb, including a hand, fingers, feet, or toes.
Nearly all patients with amputations will experience numbness, itching, tingling, and pain sensation in the area where the limb once was. This phantom pain could last months or years.
How Long can an Amputated Body Part Survive?
Some severed body parts are more resilient than organs and other tissues. A detached finger or toe kept in a cold environment might be successfully reattached within the first six to twelve hours after it was severed.
Typically, the surgeon will reconnect the severed part's veins and arteries to restore blood flow to the reattached part. Next, the victim will undergo subsequent surgeries to reattach nerve bundles, muscle, bone, and skin in the weeks and months that follow.
What Should You do With an Amputated Body Part?
If you find the severed part, keep it in a sterilized environment, wrapping it in a clean, dry, sterilized gauze. Next, place the amputated part in a waterproof container or plastic bag and keep it cold over ice.
Transport the severed part with the victim of possible while not causing any more damage.
Why do Amputees Die?
Amputees with underlying health conditions like PAD (peripheral arterial disease), renal disease, or other heart conditions are at significant risk of death. The elderly population is also at increased risk of dying after their amputation due to underlying medical issues or exposure to infection at the surgical site.
Is Losing a Limb Painful?
According to amputees, phantom pain and itching are often uncomfortable side effects of losing a limb. The patient often experiences a burning sensation, itchiness, and shooting pain in the area where the limb was detached.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that about five hundred individuals lose a limb every day in the United States due to accidents, medical conditions, or surgical procedures.
What is a Common Reason for Losing a Limb?
Out of the nearly five hundred Americans who lose a limb every day are suffering a disease, traumatic injury, or congenital disability. Some patients undergo amputation due to vascular disease, cancer, or diabetes.
However, automobile and construction accidents are the leading causes of amputation where the victim suffered a catastrophic injury while driving a car, operating heavy equipment, or riding a motorcycle. In addition to diminish self-image and self-worth, amputees often radically alter their recreational activities, career, and lifestyle to accommodate the body and mobility changes.
The recovery process for an amputee can be extremely challenging. Successfully handling an amputation often requires a high patient level, the right attitude, and acceptance of the unpredictable changes in their life.
Why Removal of Limbs is Necessary After a Serious Accident
Surgeons will amputate a diseased or injured body part for distinct reasons. Medical conditions like diabetes or peripheral artery disease can trigger these circumstances. In some cases, the body part is removed due to trauma after an automobile accident.
Patients also suffer from frostbite, neuroma (nerve tissue thickening), cancerous tumors, or severe infection. Where treatments are not sufficient, doctors might elect for an amputation. In some incidents, removing the limb might be necessary if the injury victim is suffering from a life-threatening condition.
Dangerous health conditions might be caused by a defective product like a dangerous hip implant or neglect caused by nursing home abuse.
Amputating any body part could cause a life-altering change and might hurt the victim's future. The amputation might affect their career options, limit abilities, and require aid at home and work.
Accident victims often face the financial burden of ongoing surgical procedures, years of rehabilitation and therapy, and the need for a prosthetic limb. Adaptations prove necessary to the victim's vehicle or home to accommodate their restricted movement.
Alarming Amputation Injury Facts
Under the Amputee Coalition, the National Limb Loss Information Center statistics revealed that more than two million individuals in the United States had lost a limb. This number increases by nearly 185,000 amputations every year.
More than half of these individuals with amputations lost their limb due to vascular disease, including PAD (peripheral arterial disease) and diabetes. An additional forty-five percent lost a limb due to some traumatic event. Other statistics involving losing a limb include the following:
- African Americans are 400% more likely to experience an amputation than other ethnic groups.
- Approximately 50% of all amputees who lost a limb due to vascular disease have less than a five-year survival rate.
- More than 50% of all individuals who have diabetes who have experienced a lower extremity amputation will undergo an additional amputation of the other leg in the next three years.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney might be Necessary to Recover the Compensation You are Entitled to Following Catastrophic Accident
In addition to the physical and financial toll of the loss of a limb, victims also endure ongoing financial burdens after losing a leg, arm, hand, finger, foot, or toe. The patient's bills might be insurmountable, and lifetime expenses associated with their injury could place their family's future in jeopardy.
Hiring a personal injury attorney can benefit the injured victim if their injuries result from another's negligence. As the injured victim, you might be entitled to file a claim for extensive compensation to cover the costs of adjustments in your daily living.
Your lawyer can seek compensation to cover certain compensatory damages such as medical bills and past and future medical care. Some specific damages are related to limb loss accidents.
- Home and Vehicle Remodeling – Your injury might leave you in a wheelchair that will require remodeling to your home, office, or workplace. The construction might demand widened entryways and doors or lift and ramp installs.
You might need to lower your kitchen and bathroom counters. Some amputees even outfit their car, truck, or van to include hand and lift controls.
- Using Prosthetics – The cost of prosthetics is astronomical. Artificial legs or arms can exceed $50,000. Unfortunately, you will likely need to purchase additional prosthetics in the future.
In the weeks following your surgery, doctors will fit you with a temporary artificial prosthetic that might work well while the swelling subsides and the limb continues to heal. However, in the months following the car or motorcycle accident, you will likely need your existing temporary prosthetic to be replaced with a more permanent artificial limb.
Temporary prosthetics might last five years, based on average wear and tear. Sadly, most private insurance carriers will not provide financial coverage to reimburse buying prosthetic devices.
- Ongoing Therapy – Most patients who experience a catastrophic injury will undergo years of comprehensive rehabilitation and physical, psychological, and occupational therapy. Their therapy will likely include these actions.
- Exercise routines to strengthen and build muscle mass to make up for the missing limb. These routines will help increase endurance, add coordination, and ensure balance.
- Stretching exercises boost the victim's flexibility and prevent the development of contractures where connective tissue tightens and restricts joint motion.
- Pain management to increase the effectiveness of pain-relieving medications. The victim might undergo gentle electrical skin stimulation, skin desensitization, and biofeedback therapy to maximize their sense of touch.
- Movement therapy to master their ability to move about using assisted devices, walkers, and wheelchairs.
- Prosthesis training to help maximize the utility of the prosthetic device. Many victims undergo the agonizing challenge of learning how to use hand or foot prosthetic devices. They slowly relearn how to execute complex prosthetic movements consciously that used to be done effortlessly.
- Relearn how to drive in a vehicle that is now equipped with hand controls.
What is My Case Worth?
The evidence and facts surrounding your compensation claim are unique in your case. However, a Chicago personal injury lawyer working on your behalf can ensure you receive maximum monetary recovery because another's negligent actions caused your serious injuries.
It is best to speak with an experienced lawyer before filing a claim with an insurance company. Many insurance carriers use proven tactics and settlement policies that encourage the claims adjuster to settle cases, minimizing the payout in resolving claims quickly.
Typically, the claims adjuster will contact the victim in the days following the accident to build rapport and gain a level of trust before presenting a lowball offer to settle the case. Do not be fooled. Your personal injury attorney can build a claim for compensation built on practical strategies that ensure you get all the compensation available to resolve your suit.
Arm, Leg, and Finger Amputations
Our law firm has worked with clients who have suffered amputations of arms, legs, and fingers due to these circumstances.
Given these amputation injuries' severe nature, our Chicago-based accident attorneys carefully explore all possible roads for recovery. We keep our eye on securing our clients' most favorable outcomes and their families' future needs.
Special Considerations for Amputees in Illinois Civil Damage Cases
Our group of Chicago amputation injury lawyers understands the significance behind every client's cases in severe injury cases. Frequently, an injury of this type means a significant loss in earning capacity. Also, it demands accommodations in the home or car for the injured person to achieve some level of independence.
Having worked with amputees of diverse types of accidents, we are mindful of these unique needs. We work hard to figure these different aspects of damages into our client's case.
Our office has built relationships with experts in physical medicine, vocational counselors, and psychological professionals. We do this not just to help us present our case to a jury, but more importantly, because these people can truly help our clients.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Amputation Accidents Involving Personal Injury?
Amputations happen at a surprising and rising rate. Different government studies over the last few decades have noted their spread and effect. They touch upon every aspect of life: work, recreation, relationships, and family.
When people suffer severe injuries, it impacts not just their bodies but the whole American economy, medical system, and broader social environment. Therefore, it is critical to understand the most frequent reasons for amputations.
This list surveys common causes for limb amputations.
- A work accident, such as on a construction site
- Car Accident
- Recreational incident
What Types of Compensation Can I Recover From an Amputation Accident in Illinois?
Amputation victims can recover different kinds of compensatory damages under Illinois law. The type and amount depend on how the incident occurred and how it affected the plaintiff.
Usually, the harms encountered in these incidents are either tangible or intangible in nature. For the former, the law refers to these as economic damages. This compensation reimburses victims for the out-of-pocket expenses of the amputation.
On the other hand, the law categorizes intangible injuries as non-economic damages. These repay victims for the decreased life quality the accident brought upon them. They each can be a substantial area of recovery.
Here are some examples of economic and non-economic sources of compensation.
- Lost income
- Hospital bills
- Lost normalcy
- Wrongful death
How Long do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Involving an Amputation in Illinois?
How long you have to file a personal injury case for amputation injuries depends on what kind of case you bring. If someone's unreasonable conduct harmed you, then you can file a negligence case.
In Illinois, you have two years from the time of the incident to file a negligence suit. See 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-202. If a defective product caused your accident, then you have two years as well.
However, a product liability case cannot be brought ten years after it was received or twelve years after it was first sold. See 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-213(d). Medical malpractice cases for amputations follow the same two-year rule. Illinois bars these lawsuits if they are brought more than four years from the event.
See 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-212. Reviewing this information, plaintiffs generally have two years to sue for traumatic amputation injuries. It is not a wide window. Take a few simple steps to kickstart the process.
- See a doctor
- Talk to a lawyer
- Jot down the facts
- Avoid the other negligent parties
How Much are Chicago Amputation Accident Cases Worth?
Lawsuits for traumatic loss of a limb return some of the highest jury verdict awards in civil litigation. Amputations can fundamentally shatter victims' lives. Never again are they the same. Amputations cause disfigurement, disability, pain, and grief-not to mention costs.
To value what a case will be worth, look at a few things.
- First, calculate the incident's economic effect: lost wages; medical costs; future rehab for your amputation, brain injury, brain injury, spinal cord injury, or other condition.
- Second, estimate the intangible effect of the injury: lost hobbies, strained relationships, reduced self-esteem, discomfort. Intangible damages can fetch two- or three-times economic damages.
- Third, analyze the defendant's actions. In some cases, plaintiffs might obtain punitive damages if this conduct is viewed as reckless or outrageous. Recovery for punitive damages often dwarfs all other categories.
This simple process will provide a broad range for the value of an amputation case. To get a better sense, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.
What Are Some Examples of Successful Amputation Injury Cases?
Million Dollar Lawsuit; Miramar Florida
The Miramar Homeowners Association miles north of the Florida Everglades will now pay millions in financial compensation to a woman who lost her leg after a snake bite. The woman's home in the Silver Shores community backs up to an undeveloped mitigation area that is a natural habitat for dozens of venomous snakes.
$700,000 Settlement; Palm Desert, California
A young boy suffered life-threatening injuries that required his leg to be amputated after being involved in a car accident outside his elementary school in 2013. The plaintiff agreed to a $700,000 auto accident settlement by the defendants, where most of the cash will be available to him when he turns 18 years old.
$17,900,000 Settlement; Brooklyn, New York
A 35-year-old Brooklyn mother underwent amputation surgery of her hands and feet, ending a three-year legal battle by accepting a $17.9 million settlement from the hospital and city. The incident occurred in September 2008 while she was in the emergency room in the Brooklyn Hospital Center.
The doctor released her from the ER after prescribing painkillers for her diagnosed kidney stone.
$550,000 Settlement; Macon, Georgia
A convicted murderer agreed to a $550,000 settlement from the state of Georgia after losing his left leg from negligent care by the prison doctor. The plaintiff with diabetes is serving a life sentence.
His attorney filed the inmate's lawsuit in federal court, claiming that the 25-year-old prison doctor was deliberately apathetic to his pain and suffering and violated his eighth amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution.
This amendment prohibits the government from imposing inhumane and cruel punishment.
$7,200,000 Settlement; Honolulu, Hawaii
A homeless man agreed to a $7.2 million settlement from the state of Hawaii after claiming the state correctional facility acted negligently and caused the loss of both of his legs to gangrene. The plaintiff also claimed that the facility failed to provide him proper medical treatment, which resulted in the loss of fingers on each hand.
Experienced Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys Specialized in Traumatic Injuries
The team at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understands that your injuries were not your fault but others' negligent actions. Our legal team has extensive experience representing people in loss of limb cases.
We have recovered millions on behalf of the victims and their family members. Our law firm obtains compensated on behalf of our clients to cover their medical expenses, household bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain, suffering, and emotional damage, and can help your family too.
Contact our personal injury law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All discussions with our law office remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
We accept all personal injury cases, wrongful death lawsuits, and preventable amputation injury claims through contingency fee arrangements. This legal contract postpones legal services payment until resolving your case through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.
Our amputation lawyers get results quickly because we understand you need money now. We proudly offer every client a "No Win/No-Fee" Guarantee.
Resources for amputees and civil damages: