Amputations are removals of body extremities such as limbs, fingers, toes, or hands. These may occur because of severe accident trauma, or they may be performed surgically out of necessity after a serious infection. A severe trauma can sever a body part, such that reattaching it is not practical. When gangrene occurs, it may be necessary to prevent the spread of infection by taking the infected limb. If an amputation was caused by somebody else's negligence, the injury lawyers at the Dean Law Firm can help people in Ocala and other Florida communities pursue the compensation that they need.Seeking Compensation through a Negligence Claim
Amputation caused by trauma can arise out of truck crashes, motorcycle accidents, construction or work site accidents, machinery accidents, animal attacks, or defective products. The loss of a limb can be devastating. Often, the victim of such an accident requires medical care for the site of the loss and must wear a prosthetic. In some cases, the missing limb results in significant "phantom pain," and the victim must go to physical therapy or vocational rehabilitation. All of these losses can take a financial and emotional toll.
In Florida, you can potentially receive monetary compensation for long-term, permanent injuries. These are events like amputation, in which someone's ability to use his or her body is harmed such that he or she will never heal. In awarding these damages, a jury will look at how the permanent injury affects the victim’s life as well as his or her enjoyment of life. A jury has wide discretion in determining these non-economic damages. Economic forms of damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, are generally more objective and precisely calculated.
Regardless of the factual circumstances that give rise to an amputation, a plaintiff usually will have to establish the defendant's negligence to recover compensation for medical care and all other losses. To show negligence, a plaintiff will have to prove the defendant's duty of care, a breach of duty, actual and proximate causation, and damages.
For example, if you are on a motorcycle and you get hit by a truck, resulting in the loss of your left arm and leg, you will have to show that the truck driver had a duty to operate his vehicle with reasonable care. You also would need to identify a careless action by the driver or the driver’s employer that fell short of this standard and show how the carelessness caused the accident. Finally, you would need to identify the full range of actual costs and losses that arose from it.
In many cases, a defendant will allege that a victim was comparatively negligent. In the motorcycle accident example, the truck driver may claim that the victim failed to signal, that the victim was lane splitting, or that the victim drove for an unreasonably long time in his blind spot. The jury would evaluate the total damages from the amputation and assign the victim and the truck driver a percentage of responsibility each. The injured individual then could potentially recover damages that were proportionate to the truck driver’s percentage of fault.Protect Your Rights after an Accident by Consulting an Ocala Lawyer
At the Dean Law Firm, our Ocala attorneys help people who have been hurt in vehicle accidents and other types of preventable events. It is not uncommon for insurers to offer a lowball settlement in hopes of getting rid of a case as quickly as possible. If you have suffered devastating harm like an amputation, you should consult an attorney before talking to an insurer for the other party, or taking a settlement. Call us at 352-387-8700 or contact us via our online form. We represent accident victims in Crystal River, The Villages, and other communities in Marion, Sumter, Lake, Citrus, and Levy Counties.