Losing a limb can be catastrophic and can generate costly medical bills that prevent you from working, and may fundamentally change the way you live your life. If you’ve suffered an amputation because of another person’s negligence, you may have the right to recover compensation. The experienced Orange County amputation injury lawyers at Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian can help you fight to get every cent you deserve.
Since 1990, our law firm has provided top-tier legal representation to amputees whose lives have changed as a result of Orange County accidents. We’re nationally-recognized trial attorneys with a proven ability to win big for clients like you. Our results speak for themselves, with more than $1 billion in settlements and jury awards recovered.
Benefit from a team with 75+ years of courtroom and litigation experience. Contact our Orange County, California law office in Newport Beach to arrange your free consultation today.
The Importance of Contacting an Attorney for an Amputation Case
An amputation is a life-altering injury. Whether you lost a limb or digit in an accident in Orange County, you may be facing a lifetime of related medical costs and lost wages due to your disability. While no amount of money will take back a serious injury like an amputation, securing fair and full financial compensation could help you and your family move forward with greater peace of mind.
The right attorney can help you pursue the case results that you deserve as an amputee by going up against an insurance corporation for you. Insurance companies are for-profit organizations that often attempt to protect their investors’ money by offering inadequate settlements to accident victims. Your lawyer will prevent an insurance company from taking advantage of you, which might otherwise be the case without legal representation.
What Is an Amputation Injury?
An amputation injury means that a body part has been severed or become detached from the body. The body part could be a limb, such as an arm or leg, or a digit, such as a finger or toe. Amputations can also refer to the hands, feet and other body parts.
Amputation injuries can be partial or complete. A partial amputation means that areas of the soft tissue remain attached to the body. Partial amputations may be reattached, if possible, or else the victim may require a surgical amputation to complete the detachment.
A complete amputation refers to the total loss of a severed part. It is sometimes possible for a surgeon to reattach a severed limb if it is treated quickly enough. In these cases, a victim may suffer limited loss of use in the affected body part. However, this is not always a viable option.
Regardless of whether an amputation is classified as partial or complete, the patient can suffer serious complications. Common examples are permanent nerve damage, intense pain, poor circulation, infection, sores, cysts, excessive bleeding and shock. The mental, emotional and psychological effects of an amputation injury can also be significant.
What Are the Leading Causes of Amputations?
There are roughly 185,000 amputations across the nation annually. About 2.7 million people in the United States live with the consequences of an amputated limb. Unfortunately, many of these amputations are the result of avoidable accidents and acts of negligence.
Some of the most common causes of amputations include:
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Defective products
- Fall accidents
- Sports injuries
Sometimes amputations are traumatic, meaning that a limb is severed suddenly in a traumatic accident. Other times, amputations are surgical, which can be necessary when a wound doesn’t heal correctly or if a limb is very severely damaged in an accident.
What Damages Can I Get If I’ve Suffered a Traumatic Amputation in Orange County, CA?
When you’ve lost a limb in an Orange County accident, you can generally seek compensation to cover your financial losses (economic damages) and the trauma and suffering you’ve endured (non-economic damages).
Our amputation injury attorneys in Orange County can help you seek money for:
- Medical devices
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical scarring
- Reduced quality of life
How much money can you expect to get for your amputation injury? It depends. Research suggests that the average lifetime medical cost of an amputation injury is $509,275. Of course, this doesn’t factor in a loss of income, out-of-pocket expenses, or the personal and subjective trauma an amputation injury can cause.
Ultimately, many different factors will impact what your amputation injury case is worth, including your age, changes in your earning capacity, the specific limb you’ve lost, comparative negligence, and the overall impact of the lost limb on your life.
At Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian, our Orange County personal injury attorneys will work hard to ensure that your settlement is an accurate representation of what your amputation injury claim is worth.
Who Can Be Held Liable for an Amputation Injury in Orange County?
Liability, or legal and financial responsibility, for an amputation injury in Orange County will depend on the circumstances surrounding the traumatic incident. The liable party will be the individual or entity that is proven to be at fault for causing the victim’s harm. The identity of this party can vary based on the individual circumstances surrounding the amputation. A personal injury lawyer from Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian can investigate your case to help you determine liability.
Potential defendants may include:
- A motor vehicle driver
- A property owner
- A dog or pet owner
- The manufacturer of a defective product
- A doctor or health care provider
- An employer
- The government
In the civil justice system, establishing liability requires a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means enough evidence to convince a judge or jury that the events more likely than not occurred the way the plaintiff is describing. The defendant’s responsibility for causing the amputation injury must be proven as more likely to be true than not true. This requires clear and convincing evidence, such as records, documents, photographs and witness testimony.
Proving Negligence in an Amputation Injury Claim
Negligence is the basis for most amputation injury lawsuits in California. Establishing a defendant’s liability generally requires proof of negligence, or the failure to act with reasonable and ordinary care. If someone else’s negligence caused your amputation injury in Orange County, that person or party may be financially responsible for your related costs and losses. A lawyer can help you prove the required elements of a negligence claim.
Negligence consists of four elements:
- Duty. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care or a responsibility to act in a way that a reasonably prudent person would have in the same or similar circumstances.
- Dereliction of duty. The defendant fell short of the duty of care that applied based on the relationship between the parties and the circumstances.
- Direct cause. The defendant’s breach of duty was the actual or proximate cause of the plaintiff’s amputation injury.
- Damages. The plaintiff suffered real losses because of the defendant’s actions or failure to act, such as physical harm or medical bills.
Keep in mind that the specific elements of your case could change depending on the type of lawsuit. Proving a medical malpractice case after an amputation caused by a medical mistake, for example, may require different elements compared to a motor vehicle accident claim. Work with an attorney to understand what is required for your specific case.
Will Your Case Have to Go to Court?
This question cannot be answered without consulting with an attorney. However, most personal injury claims do not require court trials. They are resolved via settlements, or agreements between an insurance company and an injured accident victim to resolve the legal dispute for a specific sum of money. However, there are some scenarios where an amputation injury claim may need to proceed to the litigation stage in California.
If an insurance company is not offering a settlement that the plaintiff’s attorney deems adequate for the extent of the losses suffered, the case may go to trial. The plaintiff’s attorney may attempt to pursue a larger verdict from a jury instead. If the claim gets rejected by an insurance company, filing a lawsuit and suing the defendant in court may also be the route chosen by the plaintiff. An attorney can help you understand your legal options and if you will need to go to court as a personal injury plaintiff.
You’ll Have a Limited Time to Pursue Compensation For Your Amputation Injury
Under California state law, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is just two years.
In most cases, the clock starts ticking on the date of the accident. This is the rule when a victim knows he or she is injured right away, as is typical in a case involving an amputation. In a case where the victim experiences hidden or delayed symptoms, the discovery rule can give that person two years from the date of reasonable discovery to file a claim.
There is also an exception in a case involving an injured minor. If the amputee is under the age of 18 at the time of the incident, he or she will generally have two years from the date of his or her 18th birthday to file a related claim under California law. However, most amputation injury claimants have just two years to fileThis gives you until the second anniversary of the date of your amputation to pursue compensation from responsible parties.
Contact an Amputation Injury Lawyer in Orange County
Don’t hesitate to reach out to Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian for immediate legal assistance. Our experienced Orange County amputation injury lawyers are ready to help you stand up, assert your legal rights, and demand the money you need and deserve.
Your first consultation is free, so reach out to our law office in Orange County, California at (949) 831-6611 to schedule yours today.