Who can I Sue for My Amputation Injury?
Experiencing a limb amputation can be extremely challenging from a physical and emotional perspective. Amputations cause excruciating grief, trauma, and pain. Amputation victims often need to endure months of physical therapy, rehabilitation, and surgical recovery. Those who endure amputations often need multiple reconstructive surgeries as well as expensive prosthetic devices. The first step in determining whether or not you are entitled to compensation is to determine who was at fault for your injuries.Contact Our Charlotte Amputation Injury Lawyers
If you have suffered an amputation injury, you may have a right to bring a personal injury lawsuit. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our legal team can evaluate your case and help you determine who was at fault for the traumatic injury that caused your amputation. Time is of the essence. The more time we have to investigate the facts in your case, the better. We offer all of our potential clients a free initial consultation. Contact our experienced personal injury lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.Holding an Employer Accountable for Amputation Injuries
Many traumatic accidents that result in amputation happen at the workplace. Some occupations, such as construction and manufacturing jobs, have a higher rate of amputation injuries than other occupations. The following types of jobs are dangerous and often have higher risk when it comes to serious injuries requiring or resulting in amputations:
- Construction equipment operators
- Jobs involving the operation of heavy machinery
- Truck drivers
- Employees working on ground maintenance
- Garbage collectors
- Sheet metal workers
- Sawmill workers
- Operators of mechanical power presses
- Air conditioning installers and maintenance workers
Employers must report any amputations to OSHA within 24 hours of the accident. When the injuries were fatal, they must report the accident within eight hours. In 2016, the Department of Labor stated that there were 2,640 workplace amputations reported. Every employer must report amputation injuries according to rules imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which are as follows:
- An amputation that resulted in the successful reattachment of a limb or appendage
- Full or partial amputations
- Fingertip amputations
- Fingertip amputations in which no bone became damaged or lost
- Controlled medical amputations that happened due to irreparable limb damage
When your employer's negligence, carelessness, or recklessness caused your amputation, you may be able to sue your employer for damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Employers have a legal duty to provide their employees with safe working environments. When they breach that duty, they expose themselves to liability. Specifically, they are required to provide their employees with the following types of safe working conditions:
- Provide every worker with proper training, instructions, and supervision
- Perform proper maintenance on all company vehicles and equipment
- Maintaining safe machinery and equipment
- Maintaining a safe work environment
- Providing safe systems at work
In many cases, medical professionals need to amputate a limb. Unfortunately, in some circumstances, medical professionals cause amputation injuries or make amputation injuries worse. For example, if a surgeon should have waited to conduct an amputation and did not, then that surgeon may be liable for the damages involved in your amputation.
Or, the medical professional may have failed to properly treat you during your post-operative care. You will need to prove that your healthcare provider or medical doctor failed to meet the standards of accepted methods of treatment for a patient with an identical or similar condition. You will need to prove that a patient-doctor relationship existed, that the doctor acted negligently, that the doctor caused your injuries, and that the doctor's breach caused you damages.Holding Negligent Drivers Accountable for Amputation Injuries
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of trauma-related amputations. Drivers owe other drivers a duty of reasonable care. When a negligent or reckless driver caused the accident that resulted in your amputation, they may be liable for your injuries. Insurance companies often offer lower settlement amounts so they can quickly close your case.
Hiring an experienced attorney will help you negotiate with the insurance company involved in your claim. Or, when filing an insurance claim is not an option or not a viable option, you may need to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. You will need to prove that the driver's negligent driving caused the accident that resulted in your amputation. Successful plaintiffs will be entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, and any other damages related to the amputation under North Carolina law. Contact our attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC to schedule your initial case consultation.