Los Angeles Amputation Attorneys
About two-million amputation victims live in the United States, and about 185,000 additional victims will require amputations every year. Some may occur due to illnesses, but a large number of amputations stem from sudden and devastating accidents. Although saving a life may require an amputation, it will also alter that life permanently.
We Handle Catastrophic Amputation Cases
At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we handle only the most complex and challenging cases involving personal injury and death. Our lawyers dedicate themselves to protecting the rights of clients who have suffered devastating losses of bodily and life functions. We have an intimate understanding of the difficulties associated with these cases because those are the only cases we take. We have the experience and track record to help clients who were catastrophically injured obtain the compensation and justice they deserve.
Millions of Dollars Recovered for Clients With Amputations
We have fought for substantial settlements and awards for amputees. Some of the results we have achieved for clients with amputations include:
- $25 million settlement – An underground energized electrical line caused a drilling construction worker to suffer multiple limb amputations, brain damage, and extensive third-degree burns.
- $22 million verdict – A woman was hit by a car during a wrongful police chase, causing the amputation of part of one leg while the other leg was crushed
- $21 million award – Hidden power lines resulted in the full amputation of one arm, partial amputation of the other arm and one leg, as well as electric shock and burns.
- $7 million settlement – A truck accident led to the amputation of a man’s left arm, in addition to a serious brain injury
- $3.7 million verdict – A man lost his leg in a motorcycle accident that also tragically killed his son.
- $2.6 million verdict – A bus ran over a man’s left arm, requiring amputation.
In addition to the above amputation cases, our lawyers have obtained seven- and eight-figure settlements and verdicts for other severely injured clients. Our firm is widely recognized for its successful representation of clients facing tragic circumstances.
Trust Our Firm Above the Rest
When a person loses a limb in an accident and faces a lifetime of enormous expenses and physical and emotional challenges, an experienced attorney can make a world of difference for the future quality of his or her life. At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we take pride in our ability to protect the rights of just such clients:
- We are not shy about seeking seven- or eight-figure awards for permanently injured clients, when appropriate.
- Our record of success provides us with the resources to devote to future cases. This gives us the capacity to conduct complicated investigations when called for.
- We are selective about the cases we take, which provides our attorneys with the time and resources they need to prepare the strongest cases for our clients.
- We have a network of authoritative experts ready to provide analysis and persuasive opinions in a wide variety of cases, when necessary.
- We have in-house, full-time investigators working for our firm who know how to evaluate evidence from even the most complicated and technical accidents. We are so dedicated to gathering and analyzing evidence that could help our clients that we maintain our own evidence warehouse.
- We are not intimidated by large corporations or insurers. Often, big companies will try to use their extensive resources to scare injured victims into settling cases too early or to accept compensation that won’t come close to covering the cost of their extensive injuries. We have the resources to withstand those sorts of intimidation campaigns.
- Our fellow attorneys refer their toughest cases to us because they recognize our ability to take on insurers, major corporations, and even the government, when called for.
- We are skilled litigators who do not hesitate to stand up for our clients’ rights in the courtroom, when necessary, as we have time and time again.
Our team has a track record of investing its resources into helping our clients achieve the best outcomes. Each case receives the full attention it requires. We pay particular attention to understanding the lives and struggles of our clients. The better we know our clients, the better we can fight to help them fully recover from their painful setbacks. This approach helps not only our attorneys, but our clients as well, throughout the process of seeking justice.
Common Causes of Traumatic Amputations
When an amputation occurs due to an accident (as opposed to a medical condition), it is referred to as a “traumatic amputation.” If a body suffers violent trauma—such as a sharp cut or strong tear—doctors can find reattaching or repairing the natural limb or extremity impossible. Traumatic amputations can involve the accidental severing of one or more limbs or other body parts, including the hands and feet.
Accidental amputations do not take place in controlled and sterile hospital environments and, therefore, many complications can occur, such as severe bleeding and infections. This is always an emergency medical event, and the amputation victim will require emergency trauma care as soon as possible.
Amputations can also result from other severe injuries, including:
Burns. As if severe burns are not catastrophic enough, some burn victims may require one or more amputations. Third-degree burns can destroy all layers of the skin and underlying tissue. If the body cannot restore circulation to the affected area, or if other irreversible damage occurs, that body part may require amputation.
The most common amputations for burn victims include arms and legs. Amputations most often result from electrical injuries and thermal burns. While burn specialists and surgeons may do whatever they can to prevent amputations, sometimes amputation is necessary to save the life of the patient.
Crush injuries. An accident can trap, squeeze, and crush body parts at high pressure. Some crush injury victims will develop a dangerous condition called compartment syndrome, which, if not treated, can destroy tissue and require amputation. In addition, if a crush injury damages the skin and exposes damaged tissue, a serious infection may develop that may lead to amputation.
Types of Amputations
Not all amputations are the same, and different types can result in different long-term effects. First, doctors classify traumatic amputations as partial or complete. In the case of a partial traumatic amputation, pieces of muscle or bone may still connect the limb to the body. A complete amputation totally separates the body part from the rest of the body.
In addition, partial amputation can refer to the removal of only some of an extremity. Specifically, victims can suffer partial arm or leg amputations. The specific names for locations of amputations of the limbs include:
- Trans-tibial amputation – Below-the-knee amputation
- Knee disarticulation – Amputation at the knee joint
- Trans-femoral amputation – Between the knee and the hip joints
- Hip disarticulation – Amputation at the hip joint
- Trans-radial amputation – Below-the-elbow amputation
- Elbow disarticulation – Amputation at the elbow joint
- Trans-humeral amputation – Between the elbow and shoulder joints
- Shoulder disarticulation – Amputation at the shoulder
Most traumatic amputations occur between the joints.
Our attorneys who handle amputation cases strive to understand each amputation type and its specific effects on a victim’s life. For example, the different locations of amputations may require different types of prosthetics or mobility devices, and may create different limitations and disabilities for victims.
The type and scope of an amputation and its resulting disability may also result in the amputee incurring expenses for which California law may allow them to seek compensation. At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we aim to learn as much as possible about our clients’ amputation injuries so that we can best assist them in recovering the full range of compensation the law permits.
Accidents That Lead to Amputations
Traumatic amputations often result from the negligence of another party. Our firm has handled amputation claims arising from the following types of accidents, among others:
Traffic accidents – Traffic accidents involve large metal machines and high-velocity impacts. Even when passengers are protected by seatbelts and airbags, and use other safety protections, collisions involving heavy vehicles can often sever or crush limbs. Fires can also erupt in traffic accidents—and a motorist who is strapped in a vehicle can suffer devastating burns that may lead to amputations.
A claim stemming from a traffic accident often necessitates a determination of which parties were liable for causing the crash. Examples of negligence in vehicle accidents may include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Aggressive driving and road rage
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Employing unqualified or untrained drivers
- Inadequately maintaining vehicles
- Selling defective vehicles
- Allowing or failure to adequately repair dangerous road hazards
- Failing to warn about road hazards
- Designing dangerous roadways
Traffic accidents come in many forms and can involve more than simply two cars. Crashes may also involve large commercial trucks, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Those with little protection in collisions—pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists—face a heightened risk of amputations and catastrophic injuries.
Workplace accidents – Reports indicate that about 3,000 workplace accidents resulted in amputations in a single year in the United States. Certain industries require the use of heavy machinery, razor-sharp tools, explosives, combustible liquids, and other dangerous equipment that can lead to amputations.
Amputations are more common in some industries, such as:
- Oil and gas extraction
Such accidents, however, can also take place in far less obviously dangerous environments. One of our clients was working as an avocado picker when he suffered severe electrical burns that required the amputation of his arms. We recovered $21 million for him.
Defective products – Badly made or designed products—large vehicles, heavy equipment, or even products that individuals often find in their homes—can also result in traumatic amputations. Consumers and workers rightfully expect safe products that work as intended, and when those products prove defective, tragedy can result. Some products that may cause catastrophic amputations include:
- Auto parts
- Exercise machines
- Assembly line components
- Home or commercial power tools
- Manufacturing equipment
- Kitchen appliances
Holding a manufacturer liable when a defective product leads to an amputation can prove complicated and demanding. Large corporations tend to defend against such claims aggressively. A law firm like ours, with the experience and resources to fight back, can make the difference between achieving a successful result, and buckling under the tactics of the big corporations.
Recovery for Amputation-Related Losses
It is no small task to quantify the lifelong losses an amputation can cause. Life after losing a limb is never the same. Victims must relearn how to perform even the most basic life skills. The medical industry in recent years has developed a better understanding of post-amputation care and management, which can help the overall outcome for amputation victims.
Prosthetic design and technology, for example, have significantly improved. However, appropriate care, assistance, and equipment is costly, and can never completely replace a natural limb or erase the trauma of losing one. Victims can benefit from an attorney who comprehends the pain and long-term challenges of a traumatic amputation and is prepared to fight to protect their rights.
Our legal team is familiar with the many immediate and ongoing losses amputation victims incur, and seeks to evaluate each case thoroughly to determine the appropriate level of compensation to seek on behalf of our clients. This may include the cost of:
- Emergency trauma care
- Surgical procedures
- Costs of treating other coinciding traumatic injuries
- Critical care management
- Home health assistance
- Early and ongoing rehabilitation
- Initial and replacement prosthetics
- Wheelchairs or other mobility devices
- Therapy for emotional trauma
- Ongoing medical treatments
- Lost income
- Lost future earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Permanent disfigurement
- Home and vehicle modifications
Often, when all of the above losses during the course of a victim’s lifetime are taken into account, damages can reach into the millions of dollars. Each case is different, however. There is never a guarantee of recovery. That is why victims can benefit from lawyers who take diligent care to consult experts, review records, learn about their clients’ lifestyles, and take into consideration any other relevant information to help them accurately and fully calculate fair and just damages for an amputation claim.
Contact Our California Amputation Injury Attorneys Today
The lawyers of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, have experience helping clients who have sustained life-altering injuries, such as amputations, or who have lost a family member in a tragic accident. We represent people in the Los Angeles area, throughout Southern California, and the rest of the state. We also provide our skills and resources to other attorneys regarding catastrophic injury cases. For more information, please contact us online or call (310) 576-1200. Consultations are free.