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Cases Involving Amputation Injuries

An amputation requires the “removal of either a severely injured or deceased bodily segment”. Although amputations may happen because of medical conditions such as the implications presented by diabetes, in personal injury cases, the removal of a body part is usually the direct result of a trauma. This can happen in a car accident, or be caused by a machine. It can also be the result of an injury acting on an underlying condition (like an injury to an extremity in a diabetic).  Traumatic amputations can also occur while a victim is using of a defective product, or having been run over by a train or vehicle, or other similarly catastrophic event. The traumatic amputation of a victim’s body part, either partial or complete, can also create an immediate danger of death from the blood loss.

Tragic Injuries and the Loss of Extremities

In many injury situations, even those that involve car accidents, the general area of the victim’s body (for example,  amputation above or below the shoulder or above or below the foot) can dictate whether or not a prosthetic limb can be used. It will also determine how effective the prosthetic limb will be.

And even though there have been rapid medical and technological advances, and prosthetics limbs have greatly evolved to the point some claim they have near biologically functioning, the loss of a body part is tremendously traumatic and has lifelong implications.  In rare cases, a dismembered body part can be reattached to the victim (usually if the limb was properly preserved and a medical intervention has immediately occurred).  But even with this reattachment, a dismembered body part will probably not have its complete functioning as it was prior to the incident. In amputations, no prosthetic can represent a complete remedy to the victims.  Victims will face an abundance of difficulties, no matter what the ultimate treatment.

Other Traumas that Stem From the Amputation

An individual who has undergone an amputation due to the negligence of another person, company or thing will endure psychological effects. These lingering effects can carry on for years (probably a lifetime!) after the amputation.  Further, after a limb has been amputated, the victim will deal with continuing severe pains, even in the part now gone! A common phenomenon that occurs is the phantom limb syndrome. Here, victims feel throbbing aching and pain, and other unpleasant feelings in the dismembered limb, even though the body part is no longer attached.

Accidents that cause the amputation of a victim’s body part not only result in physical and psychological grievances. Victims experience limitations and restrictions that disallow them to enjoy their life and daily activities. These losses of quality of life can permanently prevent a victim from partaking in activities he or she enjoyed prior to the amputation of the body part.

Understanding Your Legal Rights

If you have undergone an amputation due to another individual or company’s negligence, or you know someone who has suffered such a tragic event, consider contacting a qualified personal injury attorney to consult and evaluate what happened as soon as possible.  We can develop the case, investigate and evaluate the fault involved, and we can do our best to make sure that victim(s) can receive the maximum monetary compensation from the negligent and careless motorist, company, or cause of the amputation. The attorneys at Heiting & Irwin are an experienced team who have successfully represented many amputation injuries that have transpired due to auto accidents, negligence of others (including that involving medical treatment) or defective products. The attorneys at Heiting & Irwin will vigorously pursue the case to ensure that an amputation victim gets maximum compensation injuries sustained, along with the other losses associated with the amputation.

The only past President of the State Bar of California ever elected from the Inland Empire, James Heiting handles civil litigation matters throughout California, recovering over $300 million for clients, dealing with wrongful death, serious injury, professional malpractice and transportation accidents. Also past President of Riverside’s County Bar, his firm has served the Inland Empire for over 30 years. View Attorney James Otto Heiting's Attorney Bio Here.

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