Raleigh Amputation Injury Attorney
The loss of a limb can be a life-changing injury for many people. Researchers have discovered that the loss of a limb is often equated to the loss of a spouse, diminished perception of “wholeness,” and even death. Victims often experience severe emotional trauma and grief that can result in a poor quality of life.
If you’ve lost a limb, you likely realize that it will take time to adapt your life. If you lost a limb as a result of a workplace accident, you may be eligible for paid medical care and rehabilitation and disability payments based on your average weekly earnings. Workers’ compensation pays benefits for work-related injuries regardless of fault. If your amputation injury was caused by the negligence of someone other than your employer or co-worker, you may have a right to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. While you focus on your recovery, let the Raleigh amputation injury lawyers of Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., pursue the full compensation and justice provided by law.
Our North Carolina amputation injury attorneys will work to protect your rights and interests if you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury. When you choose Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., you’ll get a legal team that has the experience and legal knowledge to pursue your amputation injury claim, whether it’s a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit. We represent clients through North Carolina and focus on providing each client with personalized legal representation.
We utilize a state-of-the-art case management system to ensure that every client receives the personal attention that they deserve from us. We also take pride in serving all the members of our community and offer a bilingual staff fluent in both English and Spanish.
If you or a loved one has suffered an amputation injury, it is important to understand your legal options for pursuing compensation. Contact a compassionate N.C. amputation injury lawyer at (919) 661-3000.
What Is an Amputation Injury?
An amputation injury is defined as the complete or partial removal of an extremity, such as an arm, leg, finger, toe, hand or foot. Nearly two million Americans have experienced the loss of a limb, with the most common form of amputation being leg amputation. In some cases, it is possible for an extremity to be reattached and to regain some or all of the lost function—usually a severed toe or finger— if correctly preserved and quickly reattached.
A violent amputation from an accident can result in serious complications, such as profuse bleeding and shock, along with longer-term complications, such as infection and permanent nerve damage, in addition to emotional and psychological complications like phantom limb syndrome/pain, PTSD, and depression. Once an amputation injury site is repaired, an individual will need to undergo extensive physical and occupational rehabilitation, particularly if he or she chooses to use a prosthetic.
What Are Common Causes for Amputation?
An amputation may be medically indicated when a person suffers from an infection, vascular disease, or tumor, requiring amputation of an extremity to remove dead tissue that can pose a risk of infection to the rest of the body.
Although the removal of a limb may be a medical necessity, in some cases, an amputation results from medical malpractice, when a health care provider’s negligent treatment ultimately results in an amputation that could have been avoided.
Other amputations are caused due to injury or damage to a limb that cannot be repaired, or by some violent force that crushes or severs the extremity. Examples of these accidents include:
- Motor vehicle accidents, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, and pedestrian accidents
- Construction accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Factory accidents
- Defective products
- Fires and electrocutions leading to burn injuries
Many accidents involving the loss of a limb occur in industrial accidents, construction accidents and other workplace accidents. An employee who suffers a severed limb in an on-the-job accident may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits including a scheduled disability benefit based on the specific limb that is lost. You do not have to prove anyone was at fault to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina.
Side Effects of Amputation Injury
People who suffer amputation injuries often must deal with serious side effects such as:
- Pain in the remaining portion of the amputated limb
- Mobility and functioning issues, requiring the individual to undergo rehabilitation to learn to compensate for the lost limb and perform tasks of daily living (including eating, dressing, or bathing), or learn to use prosthetics
- Increased risk of infections, sores, and cysts at the amputation site
- Phantom limb syndrome, which includes the feeling that the amputated extremity is still present
- Psychological effects, including dealing with anxiety, body image issues, depression, or PTSD
Recovering from an amputation injury can take years, especially when it comes to physical pain management or dealing with emotional and psychological difficulties. You should consult with a knowledgeable Raleigh amputation injury attorney to inform yourself of your options for seeking compensation to cover your medical bills and replace your lost income.
How Are Amputation/Loss of Limb Injuries Treated?
Treatment for amputation injuries and the loss of a limb or limbs can be incredibly expensive. Treatment begins with an evaluation of the extent of damage to a limb. If required, a doctor may perform surgery to remove the extremity, with the goal being to leave as much healthy tissue as possible. The surgical team will seal off blood vessels and shape the remainder of the limb to be fitted with a prosthetic if the individual decides they wish to use one. An individual will need to remain hospitalized for several days up to several weeks to monitor for infection or other complications.
Once the patient is discharged, he or she will begin the process of physical therapy to learn how to cope with the loss of the extremity and how to use prosthetics to regain lost function.
Other ongoing treatment will involve wound care to monitor the healing of the amputation site, scar formation, lack of blood flow, and nerve degeneration. An individual may need medication to deal with pain at the amputation site (particularly if the individual is learning to use a prosthesis), as well as to deal with phantom limb pain.
An individual may require future surgeries to help treat friction injuries or abscesses caused by prostheses use, arthritis, and nerve and tissue problems.
Life after an Amputation Injury
Most people who suffer an amputation injury must deal with various physical, emotional, and social issues that can take years to manage effectively. In addition to medical treatment and physical therapy, an individual who has suffered an amputation injury may need occupational therapy, vocational therapy, and counseling. In many cases, a person who has lost a limb will undergo the various stages of grief that one can experience upon losing a loved one – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Some of the common issues that individuals who have undergone amputation include:
- Feeling anxiety, frustration, and guilt for asking for assistance
- Learning to use prostheses
- Learning to perform basic tasks, such as walking, cooking, eating, bathing, or dressing
- Learning to use a wheelchair
- Learning new methods of transportation, such as a modified car
- Adapting the home and workplace to accommodate limited mobility, including adding ramps, lowered counters, or handrails
- Dealing with changes to one’s economic situation caused by changes in employment or professional status
- Adapting to shifted responsibilities in the home
- Learning to deal with uncomfortable social situations
- Addressing body image issues, depression, or other emotional trauma
The road to recovery following an amputation injury can be long, but people who suffer an amputation do recover and resume productive and fulfilling lives.
Amputation Compensation Costs/Statistics
The costs of treating and rehabilitating from an amputation injury can be as much as $100,000 in the first two years alone, while lifetime treatment costs can exceed $500,000. Prosthetics can add tens of thousands of dollars to this total.
In addition to the medical costs of an amputation injury, an individual may face lost wages due to time missed from work during recovery and rehabilitation. Many amputations can leave people unable to return to their old jobs, adversely affecting their earning potential.
If you or a loved one has suffered an amputation injury due to someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or other faults, you deserve to be compensated for your injury and your damages, including the costs of medical treatment, lost wages and earning capacity, lost quality of life, and pain and suffering.
You may be entitled to file a personal injury suit against an individual or company that acted negligently and caused your injury. If you suffered an amputation in a work-related accident, you may be entitled to paid medical care and disability benefits based on a payment schedule set forth in the North Carolina workers’ compensation statute. However, you may also be able to receive a lump sum benefit based on your disability payments.
Contact a Raleigh Amputation Injury Lawyer Today
Making a physical and emotional recovery from an amputation injury is a difficult process that requires all your attention, energy, and time. Let an experienced amputation injury lawyer help you navigate the recovery process and help you pursue just monetary compensation for your injury.
Contact our Raleigh personal injury attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., today to schedule a free injury consultation to discuss the details of your case and to learn about your legal options. You can reach us by phone at (919) 661-3000 or by filling out the contact form on our website.