It’s not a pretty statistic to think about, but one of the potential results of a serious injury accident is the amputation of a body part. This might “only” be a finger (or part of a finger), but it can also be far more serious and disabling: a hand, a foot, or all or part of an arm or leg.
Believe it or not, somewhere between 75,000 and 100,000 Americans suffer some kind of trauma that leads to an amputation every year, on top of a similar or larger number due to medical problems such as diabetes and cancer. Roughly one American in 190 has had an amputation of some kind. When an amputation is caused by the actions of another, the victim should seek appropriate restitution.
Workers Compensation and “Grave Injuries”
If a worker is injured on the job, workers compensation might help defray the medical costs and other expenses and losses when an amputation is involved. Under New York state law, an amputation can also qualify as a “grave injury,” which allows the injured worker to sue outside the workers comp system (although there are exceptions to the exception, which is why you should always discuss your case with a knowledgeable injury attorney).
Car Accidents and the “Serious Injury” Threshold
Similar to the New York workers comp statute, the no-fault auto insurance law here imposes a restriction on what kind of injury must have happened before a victim can sue. The loss of a body part meets this “serious injury” criteria and doesn’t impose the same kind of strict limits seen with workers comp. The law recognizes “dismemberment” as reason enough to label an injury “serious” and allow a personal injury claim to proceed outside the no-fault system.
Personal Injury Considerations
Fortunately, for personal injury cases not in the workers comp or auto insurance systems, there aren’t as many conditions to meet or hoops to jump through. Every case is, of course, unique, but if an accident has led to an amputation, the victim may be able to win compensation by proving that the person who caused the loss was at fault.
More Than Trauma at Issue
It’s obvious that someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior can be the foundation for a civil suit when a serious injury results. But a victim might have a case even when the amputation is not due to a traumatic injury. Even a diabetes amputee might have a claim. Did someone misdiagnose, fail to treat, or neglect a person, leading to a worsening condition that could only be addressed by amputation? Doctors recognize six steps in the progression of problems that eventually lead to a diabetic amputation, and medical professionals agree that each step is preventable. An amputation, even in someone with advanced diabetes, is only necessary after a series of avoidable circumstances has been allowed to unfold.
New York City Amputation Lawyer
When you’ve suffered an amputation, the circumstances may allow you to recover damages from the persons responsible. The team at Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP has experience helping victims of amputations, whether they’re the result of a car accident, a construction accident, or any other cause. Give us a call today at 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) or contact us online through the form below to schedule a free appointment to discuss your case.