Losing a limb can forever change a person's life in an instant. More than 185,000 amputations occur in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Traumas—such as car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents—are the second-leading cause of amputations, accounting for an estimated 45 percent of limbs lost annually.
If you or someone you love suffered a devastating amputation injury in a California car crash caused by another person's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Here's what you should know if you're considering taking legal action.
Common Amputation Injuries Associated With Car Crashes
Serious car, truck, motorcycle, and other traffic accidents can cause a wide range of amputation injuries. However, some of the most commonly reported types of crash-related limb loss include:
- Partial foot amputations, such as the loss of toes or up to half of the foot
- Partial hand amputations, such as the loss of fingers or parts of the hand
- Above the knee leg amputations
- Below the knee leg amputations
- Amputation of the foot at the ankle
- Amputation of the entire arm at the shoulder
In some cases, limbs may be lost during the accident itself. Other times, crash victims end up needing an amputation at the hospital, either because the limb is too severely injured or develops a dangerous infection. In other instances, the damage to a limb is so severe, despite all medical efforts, the limb remains intact but unusable thereafter.
Living With an Amputation Injury
The costs associated with living with an amputation injury can be astronomical. Many amputees require ongoing medical treatment, prosthetics and other assistive devices, home modifications, and other considerations. According to some estimates, limb loss patients can expect to pay more than $500,000 in healthcare costs alone during their lifetime. California car crash victims who've suffered amputation injuries as the result of someone else's negligence may be entitled to compensation for all past, current, and future medical expenses related to the accident.
Additional Compensation for Car Accident Amputations
Medical expenses aren't the only damages crash victims who've lost limbs can seek. Under California law, personal injury victims who've suffered amputation injuries can also pursue compensation for wages lost while out of work recovering from the accident, as well as the loss of potential future income if the injury prevents them from returning to work, or if the injury impacts the earning capacity of the individual.
It's important to note that losses associated with a car accident which result in an amputation aren't just financial in nature. Limb loss can also cause substantial physical pain and suffering, extensive emotional distress and mental anxiety, and other negative outcomes, such as strained familial, professional, and social relationships. Fortunately, car accident victims can pursue compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. The ability to recover damages from an at-fault driver may be limited by available insurance and/or assets available to compensate for these types of losses.
Time Is of the Essence After a California Amputation Accident
After losing a limb in an accident, victims are often focused on recovering physically and acclimating to their new normal. However, if you—like many victims—hope to recover compensation for the injuries and losses you incurred, it's important not to wait too long before taking legal action. California statute of limitation laws give victims up to two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit when a governement entity is not involved. Once the two-year deadline expires, you've forfeited the right to pursue a legal remedy. If a government entity may hold some level of liability for the crash or injury, the time to file a government claim can expire in six months from the date of the collision. Government entities might become involved due to poor road maintenance or defective design, or the active negligence of a government employee. Consulting an experienced attorney early in the process prevents missing a possible defendant that can contribute financially to the injuries suffered.
Did You of Someone You Love Lose a Limb in a California Crash? We Can Help Fight for the Compensation Deserved
No one expects to be involved in a serious accident—or sustain a life-changing catastrophic injury. If you find yourself in this regrettable position, the esteemed personal injury attorneys with the Inland Empire Law Group can help you understand your legal rights and options, as well as pursue all potential avenues for compensation. The attorneys in our firm are dedicated to providing effective and aggressive representation for our clients, and assisting them in navigating the complex and confusing personal injury insurance claims or litigation process. We've helped numerous clients secure the settlements and financial awards they needed and deserved after being the victim of an accident. Let us put our experience and knowledge to work for you.
Do you have questions about a car accident amputation case? Contact us today at (909) 481-0100 to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation, or reach out to us through one of the forms on this website. We welcome your inquiries. There is no commitment for merely asking important questions to help you make the right decisions.