Losing a limb in a tragic accident will impact every aspect of your life, but under South Carolina law, you have the right to seek financial compensation for your losses when someone’s negligence is to blame for your accident.
A Columbia personal injury lawyer at Shealey Law Firm can help you understand the laws that govern your traumatic amputation case and will represent you with tenacity and compassion. Learn more about what your rights are after an amputation injury and what an attorney at our firm can do for you.
Types of Accidents Resulting in Amputation Injuries
A traumatic amputation occurs when an accident directly causes a person to lose a limb. By far, the most common cause of injuries resulting in traumatic amputation is motor vehicle accidents.
Auto accidents can include cars, buses, bicycles, pedestrians and trains. However, the most severe often involve commercial trucks and motorcycles. Other common causes of amputation injuries include agricultural accidents, such as mishaps with lawnmowers or other powerful equipment, and electrocution.
Types of Amputation Injuries
There are two broad categories of amputation injuries: traumatic and surgical amputations. With traumatic amputations from accidents, a medical team can sometimes save the limb through reattachment. On the other hand, surgical amputations are typically the result of necrosis due to the loss of blood supply to the limb.
The types of amputation can vary and impact the value of your claim. For example, a hemipelvectomy involves completely removing the entire leg and part of the pelvis. Similarly, shoulder disarticulation consists of removing the shoulder blade and the whole arm. Other common forms of amputation include:
- Partial foot amputation: This entails the removal of toes, which impacts the ability to balance and walk.
- Partial hand amputation: This removes parts of fingers, impacting gripping ability.
- Transtibial or transfemoral amputation: These are the removal of the leg below or above the knee, respectively.
- Transradial amputation or elbow disarticulation: These involve removing the arm at or above the elbow.
Amputation at the wrist or ankle is also common. Understanding the ramifications of these injuries is a crucial component of being a Columbia amputation lawyer. Each can impact a person’s treatment and work capabilities differently. For that reason, it can affect the total value of damages for your claim.
How a Columbia Amputation Lawyer Can Help
As you face the challenges of losing a limb, you should not have to build a personal injury claim and take on an insurance company alone. When you hire a legal representative to act in your place, they handle those challenges for you. Critical elements of an attorney’s job include:
- Independently investigating the accident in search of evidence supporting your claims of fault and damages
- Using the evidence to leverage damages on the insurance company to pay fair compensation for your losses
- Conducting all administrative duties related to the case, including completing and filing the paperwork for a claim or lawsuit
- Carrying out the discovery phase of the case, including making requests for admissions and documents, conducting depositions and drafting interrogatories for the defendant
- Preparing your case for trial if the insurance company does not settle
Most importantly, your attorney offers experience in identifying damages from similar cases and will ensure adequate reflection of your losses in your demands. They also provide compassion and understanding during an emotionally charged time. You can access a Columbia amputation lawyer on contingency, meaning you pay no upfront fees for their services, and they only recover payment if they secure a win for your case.
Damages Available for Amputation Accidents in South Carolina
South Carolina civil court refers to the financial, physical and emotional losses associated with a personal injury claim as economic and non-economic damages. To the extent that the law can, these make whole what the plaintiff lost due to the defendant’s actions. In fewer cases, the court may also require the defendant to pay punitive damages.
Your economic damages refer to the calculable monetary losses related directly to the accident and your injuries. Examples of these damages from most claims involving amputation include:
- The cost of current and ongoing medical care, including surgeries, medications, doctor visits, hospital bills, follow-up visits, outpatient physical and occupational therapies, and emergency services
- The value of current and future lost wages
- The loss of earning capacity caused by disability
- The cost of prosthetic devices, including maintenance and training
An experienced Columbia amputation lawyer will gather the documentation required to prove these losses.
Non-economic damages include the devastating mental and emotional losses associated with an amputation injury:
- The negative impact on your quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Loss of consortium if your injuries impact your intimate relationships
- The physical pain and suffering from your injuries and medical care
- The anxiety, post-traumatic stress and depression commonly associated with amputation accidents
These losses require monetary assignments to make them calculable. Your attorney will interview those close to you and often seek the opinions of healthcare professionals to determine their value.
You may receive an award for punitive damages depending on the nature of your accident. Rather than attempting to replace something lost, these punish the defendant for especially gross negligence or intention to harm.
For example, driving while heavily under the influence of alcohol, running a red light and causing an accident that results in severe injuries may constitute gross negligence. The court may decide to order punitive damages to deter the defendant from similar behavior in the future.
When To Contact a Columbia Amputation Lawyer
Fewer consequences of an accident are as severe or devastating as the loss of a limb. When someone else is responsible, the victims and their families can face anger and frustration along with physical, financial and emotional distress.
At Shealey Law Firm, we believe victims of negligence deserve trustworthy representation to ensure they receive fast and fair compensation so they do not further suffer the consequences of someone else’s actions. Contact Shealey Law Firm in South Carolina online to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Columbia amputation lawyer today.