At The Green Law Firm, our team of seasoned Colorado Springs amputation injury lawyers understands the life-altering effects that amputation injuries can have on victims and their families. Our mission is to offer superior legal services with compassion and dedication, ensuring that your voice is heard and your rights are defended. If you or a loved one has suffered an amputation due to the negligence of another party, we will provide you with effective legal representation to seek the justice and compensation you deserve. With extensive experience in personal injury law, we are prepared to navigate the complexities of your case and fight tirelessly for the restitution you need to move forward. Call us today at 719-694-8515 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and discuss your case.
After a car accident or motorcycle accident, a victim may have sustained a crushing injury to an arm or a leg. While orthopedic surgeons can treat the majority of fractures and injuries, there are times when a fracture or injury to an extremity is so severe; the patient is forced to undergo an amputation of the injured extremity. This is life-altering and can create long-lasting consequences for the victim and his or her family.
Losing a limb is not easy. Even though medical technology has improved in recent years, amputees are still forced to re-learn many of their daily skills, such as walking, riding a bike, brushing their hair, and even opening a jar. Simple everyday tasks that we take for granted are increasingly more complicated for someone who has just lost an arm or a leg. Even worse, amputees can suffer phantom pain in their extremities and go through depression after the accident.
What are Amputation Injuries?
Amputation injuries refer to the loss of a limb or other body part, usually as a result of trauma, disease, or surgery. In many cases, these injuries are traumatic, meaning they are caused by a severe event like a car accident, industrial accident, or a military combat injury. Traumatic amputation often involves significant damage to surrounding tissues and structures, including bones, blood vessels, and nerves. Amputation can also occur as a surgical intervention to prevent the spread of disease, such as cancer, or to resolve complications from conditions like diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, and severe infections. Amputation injuries significantly impact a person’s quality of life, often requiring long-term physical rehabilitation, prosthetic fitting and training, and psychological support to cope with the changes and potential loss of independence.
Common Types of Amputation Injuries
Amputation injuries can vary widely, depending on the specific body part that’s been lost and the reason for the amputation. Here are some common types we see at The Green Law Firm P.C.:
- Leg Amputations: These can range from a partial foot amputation, where only some of the foot is removed, to a hip disarticulation, where the entire leg is removed up to the hip.
- Arm Amputations: Similarly, these can vary from partial hand amputations to shoulder disarticulation, which involves the removal of the entire arm up to the shoulder.
- Finger or Toe Amputations: Often due to traumatic accidents, these can involve one or more digits being removed.
- Hemicorporectomy: This is an extremely rare and drastic form of amputation, where the lower half of the body is removed. It’s usually performed as a last resort to control severe and life-threatening conditions.
- Transfemoral and Transtibial Amputations: These are the terms used to describe above-knee (transfemoral) and below-knee (transtibial) amputations.
- Transradial and Transhumeral Amputations: These refer to amputations performed above the elbow (transhumeral) and below the elbow (transradial).
Each type of amputation carries with it unique challenges and rehabilitation methods. Traumatic amputations, where the limb is lost in an accident, tend to be more complex and difficult to manage due to the additional injuries and trauma often sustained during the incident.
An estimated 1.9 million people are currently living with the consequences of amputation injuries. In addition, an additional 185,000 people will undergo an amputation this year alone.
Treatment Options for Amputation Injuries are Costly
In recent years, technological advancements have improved the quality of life for individuals living without a limb. Yet, this technology has a price – and it isn’t cheap. The John Hopkins Center for Injury and Research and Policy concluded that the cost of an amputation is well over a half million dollars throughout the patient’s lifetime. This does not include lost wages, loss of future earnings, and pain and suffering.
Prosthetics are expensive, especially custom-fitted and lightweight ones. In addition, most prosthetic devices need to be refitted every 3-5 years and this can range from $5,000 to $50,000 per device. In addition, each time you receive a new prosthetic, you must go through physical therapy and rehabilitation to learn to use your device safely.
Recoverable Damages and Caps in Colorado Amputation Injuries
Damages refer to the financial compensation you may be able to recover in a claim. These are typically divided into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.
- Economic Damages: These are concrete, out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury. They include medical bills, cost of future medical care (like prosthetics and their maintenance, and physical therapy), lost wages, loss of earning capacity if you’re unable to return to your previous job, and other injury-related expenses.
- Non-Economic Damages: These are less tangible and more subjective. They include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium (if the injury has affected a relationship with a spouse or partner), and other psychological impacts of the injury.
Colorado law imposes a cap (think of a cap as a limit) on non-economic damages you can recover in personal injury cases. The cap is generally $613,760, but it can be increased to $1,227,530 in cases where there is clear and convincing evidence to support a higher amount. This cap doesn’t apply to economic damages, which can be fully recovered based on the evidence of your losses.
Punitive damages (meant to punish the at-fault party) are not typically awarded in personal injury cases in Colorado unless it can be proven that the at-fault party’s actions were willful and wanton.
Statute of Limitations for Colorado Springs Amputation Injuries
In Colorado, the general statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including those involving amputation injuries, is two years. This means that you have two years from the date of the injury, or the date you became aware or should have become aware of the injury, to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
However, there are some exceptions that can either shorten or lengthen this period. For instance, if the injured party was a minor or mentally incompetent at the time of the accident, the two-year period might not begin until the minor turns 18 or the incompetent person becomes competent. It’s also important to note that claims against government entities have different timelines and processes.
Keep in mind that if you miss these deadlines, your case will likely be dismissed, and you’ll lose your chance to receive compensation for your injury.
When Someone Else’s Negligence Leads to Your Injury
When another person’s negligence has led to your injury and subsequent amputation, they can –and should—be held responsible. You and your family will need money to pay the mounting medical expenses, rehabilitation fees, and prosthetic devices. Also, you will need to be compensated for lost wages, loss of future earnings, and for modifying your home and/or car to accommodate your injury.
Contact our Colorado Springs Amputation Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has suffered an amputation injury due to another’s negligence, don’t face this challenging time alone. Our dedicated Colorado Springs amputation injury lawyers at The Green Law Firm are here to help. We understand the profound impact that these injuries can have on your life and are committed to pursuing the justice and compensation you deserve. With our extensive experience and compassionate approach, we are prepared to guide you through every step of the legal process. We will use our legal knowledge to fight for your rights while you focus on healing and recovery. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you move forward with your life.