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shreveport amputation lawyers

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AMPUTATION INJURY ATTORNEYS

Our Shreveport amputation Injury Attorney Can Help

Serious accidents—from motor vehicle crashes to oilfield accidents—can result in catastrophic injuries to those involved. One of the most debilitating and life-changing injuries that a Shreveport accident victim can have is losing a limb. Not only do amputation injuries entail the permanent loss of a limb and painful physical recovery with life-long deficits, but there is also a significant psychological impact.

When a person’s leg or arm is severed, the experience is often life-altering emotionally, physically, socially, and financially. It affects work, relationships, and day-to-day life. If you’ve been involved in an accident that necessitated an amputation, you’re likely reeling from how your life has been upended. In most instances, amputation victims continue to suffer lasting pain from phantom limb syndrome and nerve damage, as well as a lasting financial toll from medical bills and recovery costs. 

Suppose you or somebody close to you has sustained an amputation injury in an accident in Shreveport that wasn’t your fault. In that case, you may be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering costs, such as medical bills, lost wages, and mental anguish.

What is an Amputation?

Amputation is the removal or loss of a body part, such as a leg or arm. Losing a leg, arm, foot, hand, toe, or finger is a significant life-changing event. It affects various aspects of your life, from work and mobility to maintaining independence and interacting with others. Such an experience can be nerve-wracking even for the most stoic people. 

Depending on the location and severity of the amputation, incorporating a prosthetic into your recovery journey can make a world of difference. This adaptive approach aims to support you in reclaiming aspects of your life and enhancing your overall well-being. Remember, you’re not alone—resources and technologies are available to help you or your loved one navigate this journey with strength and resilience.

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TYPES OF AMPUTATIONS

Amputations generally fall into one of two categories:

Traumatic Amputation

These injuries account for around 45% of all amputations and usually happen in severe accidents. Traumatic amputations are abrupt, unforeseen, and can be violent. An appendage can be partially or completely torn away or cut off, or it can be so severely damaged from severe burns or crush injuries that it is rendered unsalvageable.

Surgical Amputation

While traumatic amputations occur unexpectedly and often because of someone else’s carelessness, surgical amputations occur out of medical necessity. If a body part is affected by disease, infection, or tissue destruction in a way that poses a threat to the victim’s life or makes repair impractical, a doctor may decide to opt for surgical amputation.

No matter the type of amputation you’ve undergone, the permanent loss of a body part can be a distressing experience. If your limb loss in Shreveport, LA, resulted from someone else’s negligence, it’s important to know you have legal options. Seeking the support of an experienced Shreveport amputation attorney can be a valuable step in easing the physical and financial challenges of an amputation.

Common Causes of Amputations

Various accident scenarios could lead to either traumatic amputation or severe damage to tissues, requiring medical professionals to perform a surgical amputation. The most common causes of these injury-related amputations include:

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Auto accidents (truck wrecks, car crashes, and motorcycle accidents) are the leading situations that necessitate traumatic amputations. Even if an appendage is not cut off at the accident scene, blunt force trauma and severe burns may require the irreparable body part to be removed.

Motorcyclists, bicyclists, and truck accident victims are especially at risk of limb loss trauma. Given how most accidents are a result of negligent behavior, such as distracted driving, speeding, or drunk driving, amputation victims have grounds to file a lawsuit to recoup damages for their injuries.

Pedestrian Accidents

Auto accidents typically result in severe and, at times, debilitating injuries. Sadly, pedestrians who get tangled in motor vehicle accidents usually suffer the worst blow. Pedestrians are particularly left open in traffic crashes, as motor vehicles can inflict severe injuries on vulnerable pedestrians. In most cases, pedestrian accidents can result in catastrophic accidents or even fatalities.

Workplace Accidents

Various job fields have a significant risk of amputation, including agriculture, industrial workplaces, gas and oil industries, and construction. Most construction jobs require the use of dangerous and heavy machines, which leaves workers at an increased risk of accidental amputation. Grinders, drill presses, conveyors, and mechanical power presses are among the machines that pose the highest risk of amputation injuries. Workplace accidents that result in amputations can occur due to unfavorable work conditions that owners or managers put off resolving despite numerous citations or complaints.

Medical Malpractice 

There are instances where physical trauma may be caused by clinical negligence, whether through surgical error, wrong medical treatment, an unacceptable delay, or misdiagnosis of a pre-existing health condition. Particular patient groups, such as people with diabetes, are at an increased risk of amputation and thus need special care. 

But, not all medical errors are classified as medical malpractice. Negligent medical behaviors, such as preventing blood clots during surgery or cutting off the wrong appendage, can provide grounds for filing a medical malpractice claim. If you suspect that medical negligence led to your amputation, it may be beneficial to seek advice from a personal injury attorney. They can assist you in presenting and proving your case.

Accidents on Someone Else’s Property

If an individual sustains an injury on somebody else’s premises as a result of unsafe conditions, they may be warranted to file a premises liability suit. Slips and falls are the most frequent type of premises liability. If a property manager or owner fails to address unsafe situations on their premises, an accident may happen that results in a lost appendage.

Additional Causes of Amputations

Other causes of amputations include:

What Are The Common Amputation Complications?

Amputation is usually deemed a life-saving treatment for accident victims or persons with pre-existing health conditions. Nevertheless, similar to any surgery, amputation has some complications and risks, including:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Swelling
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Wounds
  • Infection
  • Phantom-limb pain
  • Emotional trauma

What Should You Do After Losing a Limb?

The first action you should take is to seek medical treatment after suffering a wrongful amputation injury. Covering your mounting medical expenses, assistive devices, recurring therapy, and prostheses can be expensive. And if your injuries leave you unable to work—particularly in manufacturing and industrial jobs, where chances of amputations are high—you may not know how your current and future treatments will be covered.

After your amputation complications have subsided, it is integral that you follow your physician’s recovery and therapy plan to speed up the healing process. The next thing you do is contact a seasoned wrongful amputation attorney to protect your rights. They will review every aspect of your case, ascertain the strength of your injury claim, fight for fair compensation for your damages, and hold the at-fault parties accountable.

Who Can Be Held Accountable for Your Amputation?

If the negligent actions of another party resulted in your amputation injury, you have legal grounds to pursue and recoup monetary compensation. Still, you will have to definitively prove in court how their negligence caused your amputation injury. The likely defendants in such injury claims could include:

  • Medical professionals
  • Construction companies
  • Property owners
  • Employers
  • Product manufacturers
  • Motor vehicle drivers 
  • Other negligent parties

Regardless of who the at-fault party is for your amputation injuries, a seasoned Shreveport personal injury attorney can get you the justice you deserve by either coming to a settlement agreement with the insurer or going to trial. They take over all communications with involved parties and aggressively fight to recoup compensation from responsible parties as you concentrate on recuperating. 

How Do I Prove That An Amputation Injury Was Caused by Negligence?

Like any personal injury case, the theory of negligence is a key factor in amputation claims. If you’re unable to definitively show how somebody else’s negligent actions directly caused your amputation injury, you won’t be able to recoup full compensation. To prove negligence, the following key elements must be determined:  

  • Duty of Care: You must show that the defendant owed you a duty of care. For example, a medical provider is mandated to provide their patients with the correct diagnosis and treatment. Motorists are obligated to adhere to traffic regulations and drive responsibly to ensure the safety of other road users.
  • Breached Duty of Care: You must prove that the defendant failed to provide the standard level of care that an otherwise reasonable person would when subjected to the same circumstances, resulting in the accident that caused your amputation injury. 
  • Causation: You must show that your amputation injury was directly caused by the negligent party breaching their standard duty of care.
  • Damages: You must prove that you suffered economic and non-economic damages due to the amputation injury.

Proving these elements of negligence is more complex than you may think, as you will need to have a lot of supporting evidence to definitively show how the other party acted negligently and caused your amputation injury. A skilled personal injury attorney can help you gather evidence and present it in the strongest way possible to hold the negligent party accountable. 

What Types of Evidence Support an Amputation Claim?

Establishing what occurred, who was at fault, and the severity of injuries is integral if you want to recoup reimbursement for your limb amputation. Evidence you could gather to support your loss of limb claim includes:

  • Medical Documents: Whether you’ve lost an appendage surgically or traumatically, there will be medical records detailing the extent of your injuries from the hospital that treated you. The doctor’s medical notes can be integral in proving your amputation compensation claim. Your medical bills will also help prove the extent of your economic damages. 
  • Visual Evidence: Visual evidence—ideally pictures and videos—of the accident scene can help capture the root cause that resulted in your amputation injury. Pictures of your injuries can also help strengthen your case and prove that the injuries occurred as you claim. 
  • Accident Reports: If you sustained the amputation injury in a public place, at work, or on a business premises, you should complete an incident report. If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, you can obtain a copy of the crash report to prove the accident’s date, time, location, and other crucial details.
  • Witness Details: When the defendant denies liability for your amputation injury, witnesses can be summoned to clarify what occurred. It is crucial to keep track of everyone present in the moments leading up to the incident.
  • CCTV Footage: Dashcam devices and security cameras capture most accidents these days. Real-time footage of how the accident happened can help prove liability. Act fast to secure a copy before the footage is erased. 

A skilled Shreveport amputation attorney can help you gather all the relevant evidence necessary to prove the defendant acted negligently and is liable for your amputation injury.

What Types of Compensation Are Available?

Amputation injury victims can recover various economic and non-economic damages, including:

  • Current and future medical costs
  • Physical therapy costs
  • Expenses linked to medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, and prosthetic limbs
  • Counseling costs for amputees who have PTSD, phantom limb pain, and other disorders
  • Lost earnings
  • Mental distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

In the event of a wrongful death, loved ones may also recoup other particular damages through a wrongful death suit. This includes funeral and burial expenses, loss of inheritance, loss of companionship, and more.

What Is the Time Limit for Filing an Amputation Compensation Claim?

The time limit to file an amputation compensation claim in Shreveport, Louisiana, is governed by the Louisiana statute of limitations. Louisiana State Legislature RS 23:1209 stipulates that all personal injury claims, including amputation, must be filed within one year following the accident date.

If you suffer an amputation at work, Louisiana law mandates you to file an incident report with your employer within 30 days. Insurance companies will be more receptive to workers’ compensation claims reported within this time window. Once you notify your employer, they should fill out a form referred to as a “First Report of Injury.” They will submit this form to their insurance provider, who will forward it to the Louisiana Workforce Commission. You can also get a duplicate of this form.

Why Do I Need an Amputation Attorney After an Amputation?

Amputations are classified as debilitating injuries, which can be complicated from a legal point of view. When an insurance company is presented with a compensation claim, they will pay out if it is apparent that their client was at fault for both the accident and your amputation. If negligence cannot be definitively proven, the insurance company can deny, devalue, or delay your claim. If you’ve sustained an amputation injury at the hands of a negligent party, you’ll want a Shreveport personal injury lawyer who understands Louisiana law to recover the maximum possible compensation.

Complex injury claims, such as amputation, involve large sums since the patient who has sustained the injury may need long-term medical care. Get a Shreveport amputation lawyer who is sympathetic to your situation and understands how drastically life-changing an amputation can be. While you focus on recuperation and adjusting to your new normal, your attorney will fight for your rights. 

They will compile all the relevant evidence pertaining to your claim, oversee negotiations with the insurance company, file documents within deadlines, and more. They will also review whether the settlement offer presented by the insurance company matches the amount of your suffering. Experienced attorneys are not afraid of negotiations breaking down and will fearlessly head to court to advocate on your behalf.

Contact Our Shreveport Amputation Lawyers Today for Sound Legal Representation

 

Amputation injuries are permanent and can devastate multiple areas of your life, resulting in mounting medical costs, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Suppose you or somebody close to you has suffered an amputation due to the negligence of another party in Shreveport. In that case, you may have legal recourse to pursue compensation from the responsible party. While no monetary award can replace the body part you’ve lost, filing a personal injury claim can help you recover reimbursement and move you forward.

At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, we’ll thoroughly review the details of your case to understand exactly what happened and explore your potential legal options. With a track record of assisting thousands of amputation victims in recovering millions in compensation, we are well-equipped to help you, too. Let us guide you through fighting back and protecting your future.

Our Shreveport personal injury attorneys are always on-call to provide you with legal counsel and make the claims process less stressful and easier to navigate. You can trust our qualified amputation attorneys to provide practical solutions that protect your rights and ensure you are fully compensated. To arrange a free initial consultation with one of our Shreveport amputation lawyers at Morris & Dewett, please call us at (318) 379-4496 to get a case evaluation or fill out our online form.

Sources:

  1. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/amputation#:~:text=Amputation%20is%20the%20loss%20or,others%20and%20maintain%20your%20independence.
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000006.htm
  3. https://crashreports.dps.la.gov/Search/SearchReportsRequest
  4. https://www.legis.la.gov/legis/Law.aspx?d=83443&p=y

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