How Does an Amputation Affect a Personal Injury Claim in Virginia or Maryland?
In the most serious accidents, one of the consequences may be the loss of a limb – complete amputation. If you have been injured because someone else was negligent, and if you had to undergo an amputation, arrange immediately to speak with a Bethesda amputation attorney.
In many serious accidents, along with severe damage to an arm or leg, a victim has also suffered spinal cord damage or a traumatic brain injury. If you sustain a serious injury to an arm or leg, you must have emergency medical attention immediately.
How Common Are Amputations?
According to the D.C.-based Amputee Coalition, nearly two million people in the U.S. are living without one or more limbs, and the number rises annually by about 185,000. Almost half of all amputations in the U.S. – 45 percent – are required because of injuries sustained in accidents.
An amputation can change an accident victim’s life forever. If you are forced to undergo an amputation because someone else was negligent, what are your rights? Can you be compensated? How will an attorney help you? Keep reading, and you will learn the answers to these questions.
Equipment like trash compactors, food slicers, printing presses, and table saws can be particularly dangerous if used improperly. Never let your guard down or take anything for granted when you are using any type of machinery or industrial equipment.
How Are Workplace Injuries Handled?
When someone loses a limb as the result of an on-the-job accident, the victim will probably be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Most employers in Maryland and Virginia are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees.
Filing a workers’ comp claim should be easy, but you should have a workers’ compensation attorney’s help to ensure that you meet the deadlines and that no misunderstandings or mistakes on your end cause your benefit payments to be delayed.
Workers’ compensation will cover all of your medical expenses and partially replace your lost wages after an on-the-job accident, and you do not have to prove that your employer was at-fault. You only need to prove that you were injured in the “course and scope” of your job duties.
However, if a third party had any responsibility for your workplace accident, or if you are injured away from the job by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for all accident-related medical costs, lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and related damages.
When Someone Sustains a Catastrophic Limb Injury, Take These Steps
If you are a witness to an accident that removes someone’s finger, toe, arm, or leg, it is critically urgent to summon medical help immediately. Take these steps:
- Call 911. Tell the dispatcher if the victim is in shock or unconscious.
- Stop the bleeding. Apply direct pressure with any fabric at hand – a t-shirt or towel, for example.
- Have the victim lie down, and elevate the location of the bleeding.
- If possible, recover the separated body part, gently rinse it with water, place it in a waterproof container, and place the container on ice.
Who May Have Liability for a Catastrophic Limb Injury?
Liability for a catastrophic injury that results in the loss of a limb could be assigned to:
- an intoxicated, distracted, or negligent motorist who injures you
- a property owner who fails to fix a hazard on his or her premises, causing your injury
- a product manufacturer who markets a faulty or defective consumer product
- any other person or persons whose carelessness results in your catastrophic injury
However, compensation – whether you file for workers’ compensation or file a personal injury lawsuit, or both – is almost never automatic. To obtain the compensation you’ll require after losing a limb, you will need the advice and services of a Bethesda catastrophic injury lawyer.
How Do You Prevail With a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
How do you prove negligence if you file a personal injury lawsuit? If you are the injury victim (or “plaintiff”), in order to prevail with your personal injury claim, your injury attorney must offer evidence which demonstrates that the allegedly negligent driver (or “defendant”):
- owed you a duty of care
- breached that duty through negligence
- directly caused, through that negligence, the accident that resulted in your amputation
- should pay for your medical expenses, lost income, and related damages
How Are Lawsuits Involving Amputation Resolved?
Drivers, businesses, and property owners usually have liability insurance. If you are injured by negligence, require an amputation, and bring a personal injury claim, your attorney will negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company to obtain the best possible settlement on your behalf.
However, if no reasonable settlement offer is made in the private negotiations, your Bethesda amputation attorney will take your case to court, explain to a jury how you were injured, and ask jurors to find the negligent party liable and to order that party to pay your compensation.
How Will a Catastrophic Injury Attorney Help You?
Whether you are injured at the workplace or somewhere else, if you sustain a serious injury that requires amputation, contact a Virginia or Maryland catastrophic injury attorney as soon as possible after you have been injured and treated for your injury. Your attorney will:
- review the details of your accident and injury
- examine the evidence
- question the witnesses
- determine who is liable
- work aggressively and effectively to recover the compensation you need
Of course, no amount of money can truly compensate you for the loss of an arm or a leg, but a personal injury claim can help you with your considerable medical expenses as well as compensate you for your lost income and your projected future lost earning capacity.
When Should You Contact a Bethesda Amputation Attorney?
The statute of limitations – the deadline for filing a personal injury claim arising from an accident that results in amputation – is three years from the date of the injury in Maryland. In Virginia, it’s two years from the date of the injury.
However, you can’t wait two or three years and then try to act at the last minute. If you sustain a catastrophic injury, see a medical professional first, then seek the legal help you will need to recover your compensation, and make the call immediately to a Bethesda amputation attorney.
Most personal injury lawyers in Maryland and Virginia work on a contingent fee basis, which means that you pay nothing “upfront” and you pay no attorney’s fee until and unless you are compensated. Your first legal consultation is provided with no cost or obligation.