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Jonathan Rosenfeld

December 5, 2023

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Amputation injuries involving the loss of a limb or extremity present profound challenges and require substantial legal expertise to address the complexities of compensation and liability. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC specializes in representing clients who have suffered from amputation/dismemberment injuries, ensuring they receive total compensation for their losses. Our firm is dedicated to advocating for our clients’ rights and navigating the legal process professionally and thoroughly.

Amputation Injuries: Traumatic Origins and Lasting Impacts

Amputation, a profoundly severe medical condition, constitutes a drastic alteration in a person’s life. Such an injury may occur abruptly, often due to a vehicular accident or a medical condition. The Amputee Coalition [1] reports that in the United States alone, approximately two million people are coping with the loss of a limb.

Such a catastrophic injury, specifically amputation, exerts a significant and enduring impact, profoundly affecting both the individual and their family members. The ramifications of this injury extend far beyond the physical loss, impacting the psychological and emotional well-being of all involved.

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Understanding Traumatic Amputations: Causes and Consequences

Traumatic amputations refer to the forced separation of a body part, often necessitating surgical intervention. This procedure is typically undertaken to address a life-threatening injury or disease. The loss of a limb, whether through accident or medical necessity, is not only a physically painful event but carries profound psychological and emotional consequences.

Traumatic amputations often result from severe injuries such as blunt or penetrating trauma, leading to the loss of a limb or extremity. These injuries can dramatically reduce or completely halt blood flow to the affected area, further complicating the situation.

Such limb losses can be either partial or complete and may occur due to various reasons, including:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Surgical necessities
  • Illnesses

Regardless of the cause, amputation leaves the victim with a permanent disability [2], fundamentally altering their physical capabilities and, by extension, their life.

Amputation/Dismemberment Injuries: Incidence and Impact

Traumatic amputations, commonly caused by external forces, result in severe damage to blood vessels, nerves, and bones, often in limbs. Annually, the U.S. sees about 1,800 such cases, mainly from accidents.

In Chicago, IL, many stem from vehicle collisions, work-related accidents, or military events. These amputations profoundly impact victims, families, and society.

Surgical Amputations

Surgical amputation involves surgically removing a limb, typically as an elective procedure aimed at enhancing a patient’s quality of life. Primary causes for such surgeries include:

  • Peripheral arterial disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Trauma

Lower extremity amputations encompass the removal of a person’s foot, ankle, lower leg, or thigh. Upper limb amputations include surgeries on the shoulder, arm, elbow, hand, wrist, or fingers.

Amputation Statistics

In 2017, the National Center for Health Statistics [3] recorded 2,842 amputations in the U.S., with 1,927 involving the lower extremity. Traumatic limb loss was the most prevalent, comprising 83% of these cases, followed by elective surgeries at 14%.

Trauma (like from a vehicle collision), cancer, and infection are leading amputation causes. Diabetes is a significant factor, responsible for about 60% of lower extremity amputations in the U.S.

Globally, Bone and Joint Surgery statistics indicate around 2 million limb amputations annually, with about 185,000 in the U.S. Two-thirds of major limb injuries, including lower limb amputation, are due to car accidents and medical malpractice.

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Causes of Loss of Limb Injuries

Amputation/dismemberment injuries arise from various causes, including:

  • Traumatic Amputation: Resulting from accidents or trauma.
  • Surgery-Involved Amputation: Performed as a last resort to save the limb.
  • Chronic Health Conditions: Such as diabetes, leading to amputation.
  • Frostbite: Cold-related injuries necessitating amputation.
  • Explosives: Like land mines causing severe limb injuries.
  • Medical Malpractice: Mistakes by medical professionals with grave outcomes.
  • Vascular Diseases: Peripheral artery disease (PAD) causes circulatory issues leading to amputation.

Types of Lower and Upper Limb Amputations Involve Four Primary Surgical Amputation Types

  • Trans-radial: Below the elbow
  • Transfemoral: Below the knee
  • Transtibial: Below the ankle
  • Hip Disarticulation: Entire leg at the hip

Partial amputations may involve fingers, toes, arms, legs, or soft tissue, while loss of upper limb amputations occur above the elbow or knee.

Patients often endure phantom limb pain at the site of the amputation, feeling sensations from the removed body part. This can be debilitating and is accompanied by a risk of infection at amputation sites [4].

High Medical Costs for Amputee Treatment

The medical expenses for treating amputees are steep, largely due to the complex nature of the surgery and the extended rehabilitation process. This situation presents physical challenges and strains patients and their families emotionally and financially.

Prosthetic options, while varied, are costly and require frequent replacements. Additionally, assistive devices like wheelchairs may be necessary for the victim’s mobility.

The Average Medical Costs of Upper and Lower Limb Amputations

The medical expenses associated with amputations are considerable. In 2020, surgical amputation expenses averaged around $829,000, with variations depending on the procedure:

  • Upper Extremity Amputations: Involve removal of fingers, wrists, hands, forearms, elbows, upper arms, or shoulders.
  • Complete Amputation: Traumatic amputation occurs when body parts are completely severed, often due to negligence in vehicle accidents.

Future Medical Care Costs for Amputation/Dismemberment Injuries

The ongoing medical expenses for amputation/dismemberment injuries are substantial, and the prosthetic limb costs can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.

Lower limb amputations are a painful, life-altering procedure. Understanding your legal rights and options is crucial if you or a loved one has experienced such an amputation. Our attorneys can assist in securing the compensation you deserve.

Assisting an Amputation Victim Post-Accident

In the event of an accidental severing of a body part, immediate action is crucial. Keeping the severed part clean, dry, and pressure-free is vital.

In the absence of immediate medical care, wrap the severed part in sterile cloth and place it in a sealed bag or container. For optimal chances of reattachment, the severed part should be kept on ice but not in direct contact with the ice.

Amputee Challenges

Amputation/dismemberment injuries can lead to severe complications, including:

  • Blood clots
  • Infections
  • Pain at the amputation site

The psychological and physical toll is substantial, often resulting in emotional trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Amputations profoundly change lives. Injured victims endure a difficult recovery journey, often experiencing phantom limb pain and serious complications with prosthetic limbs, such as leakage from small blood vessels.

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Adjusting to Life as an Amputee

Losing a limb or body part significantly alters life, necessitating adaptation to new living methods.

Occupational therapy (OT) is commonly advised, assisting individuals in adapting to daily activities [5] and finding new ways to achieve day-to-day objectives.

If your amputation was due to someone else’s negligence, our injury lawyers can aid in seeking fair compensation for your losses. For a free consultation on your personal injury claim, contact us today.

Filing an Amputation Injury Lawsuit

When considering an amputation injury lawsuit, here are key steps:

  • Engaging an experienced traumatic injury lawyer is crucial for navigating the legal process.
  • Collect evidence supporting your loss of limb injury claim, including:• Medical records• Lost income documents• Photos• Eyewitness accounts of the alleged negligence

Your lawyer will file a complaint with evidence in hand, asserting the defendant’s liability for your injuries and damages, similar to medical malpractice cases.

Types of Damages in Amputation Injury Claims

In amputation injury claims, three primary types of damages may be available:

  • Pain and Suffering Damage: For physical pain, PTSD, and emotional distress the victim endured.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Compensates for the victim’s reduced ability to enjoy life as before.
  • Economic Damages: Cover financial losses like medical bills, lost wages, and related expenses.

Rosenfeld Case Study

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers successfully advocated for a motorcyclist in Southern Illinois who suffered a severe collision when an elderly driver turned left into his lane. The initial crash propelled the motorcyclist into the opposing lane, where he was hit by a second vehicle. This series of events led to significant leg injuries for our client, ultimately necessitating a below-the-knee amputation after multiple surgeries. Our legal team secured a settlement of $5,250,000, the maximum available under the insurance coverage.

Amputation Injury Frequently Asked Questions

Amputation/dismemberment injuries are among the most severe and life-altering injuries an individual can endure. They involve complex medical care and lengthy physical therapy and significantly change an individual’s lifestyle and abilities.

Our injury lawyers are deeply experienced in representing clients who have suffered from amputation/dismemberment due to various causes. This includes an otherwise preventable amputation through car accidents and incidents resulting from someone else’s negligence.

What Are Common Causes Of Amputation/Dismemberment Injuries In Chicago?

Amputation can occur from a multitude of sources. Traumatic events such as motor vehicle collisions or industrial accidents often result in serious injuries necessitating amputation. In other instances, vascular disease can lead to lower limb amputations if the blood flow is severely compromised, and otherwise preventable amputations may occur due to medical negligence.

What Should I Look For In A Chicago Amputation Lawyer?

When seeking a Chicago amputation lawyer, finding someone with a proven track record in amputation injury cases is crucial. A qualified attorney should have extensive experience in handling cases involving severe infections or amputations due to traumatic injuries or surgical negligence and be knowledgeable about the nuances of recovering compensation for such life-changing events.

How Do Lower Limb Amputations Affect A Victim’s Life?

An amputated lower limb can profoundly impact a victim’s quality of life, leading to permanent disability and often requiring ongoing physical therapy. The loss of mobility can result in muscle weakness and difficulties in performing everyday tasks. At the same time, the emotional toll can be just as devastating, necessitating comprehensive pain management and psychological support.

Can I Recover Compensation For An Amputation Injury In Chicago?

Victims of amputation can seek to recover financial compensation for their losses. This includes reimbursement for the following:

  • Medical care
  • Physical/occupational therapy
  • Lost wages
  • Other damages

A skilled amputation attorney can help to establish liability, often involving cases where the amputation occurred due to someone else’s negligence or a motor vehicle accident.

How Can A Lawyer Help If The Amputation Was Otherwise Preventable?

A Chicago catastrophic lawyer could be crucial if an amputation were otherwise preventable. They can help prove medical negligence or malpractice if a serious infection or vascular disease is not appropriately treated, which can be complex and require a thorough understanding of medical and legal standards.

What Types Of Compensation Are Available For Amputation Injury Victims?

Compensation for amputation injury victims may include:

  • Economic damages: For medical treatment and physical/occupational therapy.
  • Non-economic damages For pain and suffering [6], permanent disability, and loss of enjoyment of life.

How Does Motor Vehicle Collision Lead To Amputation?

A motor vehicle collision can lead to amputation when the force of the crash causes severe damage to limbs, making it medically necessary to perform an amputation. This often involves severe injuries to the bone and vascular system [7], requiring immediate and extensive surgical amputations.

Hiring Chicago Amputation Injury Attorneys to Resolve Compensation Lawsuits

If you’ve suffered an amputation due to negligence, contact us at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation with skilled personal injury attorneys.

We’ll assess your case and advise on filing a lawsuit. After your consultation, pursue compensation for damages caused by the liable parties.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, experienced in securing justice for accident victims, can help you get compensation, including insurance negotiations.

Our personal injury lawyers work on contingency, charging fees only if we win your case.

Resources: [1] Amputee Coalition, [2] Johns Hopkins, [3] National Center for Health Statistics, [4] PubMed, [5] PubMed, [6] PubMed, [7] PubMed

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

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This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

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