Amputations and Partial Amputations
Amputation of body part such as an arm or a leg causes unimaginable physical pain and emotional suffering, not to mention lengthy rehabilitation and costly medical attention. Most amputees also lose their jobs, either for good, or at least until they are rehabilitated. They therefore often suffer devastating losses in income.
And the pain often goes on and on. Approximately 70% of amputees have a "phantom limb", that is, they feel sensations in the missing limb, and those sensations are usually painful. It sometimes feels like the missing limb is distorted or in a painful position. Of course the amputee cannot move the "limb" or change its position, because it no longer exists.
Even partial amputations, such as the loss of part of a leg, arm, hand, finger, foot or toe, are serious injuries that will change a person's life forever. It takes time to learn how to live, and function, with a missing or partially missing limb.
Every year thousands of people undergo amputations in the United States. The causes include: diabetes, gangrene, cancer and infections, but also traumatic injuries from motor vehicle accidents and from accidents while operating factory machinery, farm equipment, chain saws, and similar equipment. Sometimes clothing gets draw into the "nip point" of machinery, dragging an arm or leg or hand or foot into the machine. Sometimes the designer of the machine did not design a properly placed "kill switch".
Most accidents causing an amputation happen at work. Workers are sometimes forced to operate or work near dangerous machinery. Accidents causing amputations can usually be avoided with proper workplace rules, proper instructions and warnings on machinery, safe design of machinery, and proper workplace supervision. Too often safety rules are ignored.
Upper-limb amputations account for most (about 70%) of all trauma-induced amputations. Males are at a higher risk than females. For both sexes, the risk of traumatic amputations increases with age.
If you have suffered an amputation injury at work, you usually can't sue your employer (because workers' compensation laws bars you from doing so), but often the accident was at least partially someone else's fault. It might have been a subcontractor, or the manufacturer of the machine, or an outside company that maintained or repaired the machine. If you have suffered an amputation because of an accident at work, you will need a competent workplace accident lawyer to investigate the potential claims to be brought against the responsible parties.
The Auburn, New York amputation attorneys of Michaels & Smolak have recovered millions of dollars for accident victims who have had to endure amputations and for other injuries. If you or a loved one have had to have a limb or part of a limb amputated because of an accident, CONTACT US for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer who can inform you of your legal rights and maximize your compensation.