After the injured victim has been treated, and the injury claim has been settled, how does the plaintiff proceed? For those who have suffered an amputation injury, their lives are forever altered. Before we delve into how their lives are changed, we should first establish what qualifies as an amputation injury.
An amputation injury occurs when the victim loses a limb or digit. These injuries are sustained either as the direct result of a catastrophic accident or as a medical procedure to save the life of the injured car accident victim. High-speed collisions on freeways and intersections can cause enough trauma to either amputate a limb in the accident, or require surgical procedures to remove the injured extremity. As unprotected users of the road, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists often suffer loss of limb injuries when struck, even in low speed collisions. These accidents significantly affect the lives of those injured as well as those who the victim supports. To determine the long-term needs of the amputee, attorneys hire experts in life care, physical medicine, psychiatry and psychology to testify on behalf of the plaintiff. The specifics of how someone is effected are always determined on a case-by-case basis.
A young child with a foot amputation from walking across the street will never feel the grass under his or her foot. A carpenter may lose his or her job without the ability to manipulate materials the same way without his hand. Activities of Daily Living or ADL’s such as preparing dinner, driving to work, embracing loved ones are forever altered because of the amputation. For this reason, well-negotiated settlement values include financial compensation for various levels of care to assist the injured plaintiff. The settlement or jury verdict amount awarded to the plaintiff is paid by the responsible party, if sufficient insurance is carried by the defendant. Otherwise, it is on the plaintiff to file the claim against his or her own insurance carrier under an uninsured or underinsured insurance policy to recover.
In many ways, the road to recovery continues long beyond the jury verdict or settlement amount. Many amputation injury victims require physical as well as emotional therapy to overcome the loss. Learning to walk again with a prosthetic or rebuilding muscle tissue to strengthen auxiliary muscles is a long and arduous process. The emotional toll of the impact as well as coping with everyday difficulties can take a lifetime of therapy. With the high stakes of an amputation injury, it’s not wonder why people hire experienced lawyers to organize a team of experts to fight on your behalf.