South Carolina Amputation Injury Lawyer
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South Carolina Amputation Injury Attorney
Amputation is the loss or removal of a body part such as a finger, toe, hand, foot, arm or leg.
Amputations are usually life changing and can impact your ability to move, work, interact with friends, family, and loved ones, and generally lose some independence in your life. In addition, the continuing physical, mental, and emotional trauma can complicate recovery. We’re here to help you recover from a catastrophic injury – we aim to take the burden off you and fight for your compensation so you can pay your past and future medical bills and live comfortably.
We want to help you (or your loved one) recover to the fullest extent possible and to do that we want to guide you through some resources available be to help your recovery. See helpful resources below:
What are the most common causes of amputation injuries in South Carolina?
Car accidents likely are the highest cause of traumatic amputation injuries. Industrial and agricultural accidents and other related workplace amputation injuries are the next most frequent injuries. Catastrophic injuries including amputations of an arm, leg, hand, fingers, feet, toes, and ears or most often caused by the following:
- Traffic accidents, including cars, buses, trucks, bicycles, trains, or motorcycles
- Severe burns that result in an amputation
- Construction accidents
- Factory or warehouse accidents
- Medical malpractice that could result in an amputation
- Agricultural accidents, including lawn mower accidents
- Building and car door accidents
- Electrocution accidents
If you are dealing with a serious injury such as an amputation injury due to another person’s negligence, it is important to get legal advice from a South Carolina amputation injury attorney. Keibler Law Group has the experience to help you achieve the best result possible for your claim. Let’s discuss your options and develop a plan of action to help you secure your rightful compensation.
How common are amputation injuries in South Carolina?
The following statistics show many people in the United States are impacted by these injuries:
- Nearly 2,000,000 people in this country have lost a limb.
- Close to 25 percent of amputation accidents are caused by traumatic accidents.
- African-Americans are up to four times more likely to have an amputation than white Americans.
- There are approximately 61,000 partial hand amputation accidents each year, making it the most common traumatic amputation accident.
- It is estimated that 60% of amputations are preventable.
- Close to 80 percent of accidental amputation victims are male.
- Sixty percent of arm amputation victims are between the ages of 21 and 64.
If you are able, we recommend keeping a journal or daily log after an amputation injury. Journals help you remember what you may have felt at the time of the injury, help you recall details, feelings, your surroundings, and possible struggles you were facing. A journal can be in many forms – it can be handwritten, typed, spoken on your phone, video recorded. Journals can also help with mental health after an injury.
What are the different types of amputation injuries?
The following are the two main types of amputation injuries:
- Traumatic amputation: A traumatic amputation occurs when an accident or unanticipated event causes a person to lose a limb. For example, if a wedding band got caught in a machine at work and severed the ring finger, this is a traumatic amputation. Sometimes, if the medical team is able to work quickly, the limb may be reattached. If not, it is likely that the injured party will need to undergo surgery to treat the injury. Traumatic amputations are often caused by the following:
– Car accidents
– Truck accidents
– Machinery accidents
– Workplace injuries
– Getting trapped in a building or car
- Surgical amputations: If the blood supply to an injured limb is lost, the cells in the tissue within the limb will die. This is called necrosis. Once this happens, the tissue cannot be repaired and reconstruction is generally no longer an option. If the person’s injury does not heal and necrosis has set in, amputation may be the only option.
Serious injuries affecting the legs, feet, and toes may result in a lower-limb amputation, whereas upper-limb amputations affect the fingers, hands, and arms. The following are examples of each:
- Partial foot amputation
- Ankle disarticulation
- Below-the-knee amputation: Also known as a transtibial amputation
- Transfemoral amputation: This is the removal of the leg above the knee.
- Hip disarticulation: This is the removal of the leg up to the hip joint.
- Hemipelvectomy: This involves the removal of the entire leg, as well as part of the pelvis.
- Partial hand amputation: This involves the removal of fingertips, parts of the fingers, or the thumb.
- Metacarpal amputation: This is the removal of the entire hand up to the wrist.
- Wrist disarticulation: This involves the removal of the entire hand and wrist.
- Transradial amputation: This is the removal of the arm below the elbow joint.
- Elbow disarticulation: This is the removal of the forearm at the elbow.
- Above-the-elbow amputation: This is the removal of an arm above the elbow.
- Shoulder disarticulation: This involves the removal of the entire arm, including the shoulder blade and the collar bone.
How much is my amputation injury case worth in South Carolina?
Every case is different and, therefore, it depends. However, if you hire an experienced and creative attorney like Keibler Law Group, they can rely on top resources, experts, and technologies to convince a jury, the court, and opposing counsel to pay more.
No one can determine how much any case is worth without first analyzing the facts. However, there are certain factors you can use to make an approximate estimation of your claim.
First, you must look at the “economic” damages or those you can quantify. Then you can recover additional, “non-economic” damages for pain and suffering and other damages that are more difficult to quantify. Finally, depending on the particular circumstances, you may be able to recover punitive damages – or damages designed to punish the wrongdoer and deter future bad actors.
The main factor that will affect the value of your claim is the damages, or losses you incurred. The more damages involved in the case, the more your claim is worth because you can be compensated for all of them. Some of the most common forms of damages include
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Future therapy treatments
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earning capacity
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
Next, you must analyze liability or fault. Who is at fault and how much “fault” will a jury attribute to them? If the other party was 100% at fault, then you can recover 100% of your actual damages. However, South Carolina is a modified comparative fault state – in other words, if a jury determines you are 10% at fault, any award a jury gives you will be reduced by 10%. Keep in mind, your fault must be less than 51%. Additionally, if the at-fault party showed gross negligence or blatant disregard for the safety of others, the courts may award you punitive damages. In this instance, your case will be worth more.
Once liability is established, you need to make sure the defendant has money to pay you. In South Carolina, automobile insurance minimums are $25,000, and, unfortunately, that is what most drivers choose. Therefore, if you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury from a car accident and the at-fault driver only carriers the state minimums and has no other assets, then the max compensation you can receive from that defendant is $25,000. Creative lawyers, however, may be able to locate other responsible parties.
If your catastrophic injury is from a truck accident or product liability case, then the money available to recover is likely much larger. An experience traumatic brain injury attorney can help.
What damages am I entitled to if I have lost a limb?
Damages awarded in a South Carolina amputation injury case can be substantial due to economic damages like past/future medical bills and therapy costs and noneconomic damages that can be recovered like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, permanent disability and loss of enjoyment of life.
In South Carolina catastrophic injury cases like amputation cases, it can be difficult for a defense attorney to limit damages. Therefore, they will likely attempt to place the blame on the plaintiff. If the defense attorney can show that the plaintiff was partially at fault for the injuries sustained, they may be able to limit the amount that their client owes the plaintiff.
If you or a loved one has suffered an amputation injury due to the negligence or intentional act of another, a catastrophic injury lawyer serving South Carolina can help recover damages, including:
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Future lost wages
- Medical expenses, including emergency hospital bills, doctor appointments, follow-up care, and prescription medications
- Amputation and reconstructive surgery
- Future medial expenses related to the injury
- Therapies including occupational, mental health, and physical therapy
- Inpatient rehabilitation therapy
- Outpatient physical and occupational therapy
- Prosthetic devices, mobility aids, and any training and maintenance that may be needed
- Disability benefits
- Lost wages and loss of future earning potential
- Loss of consortium
- Reduced quality of life
- Equipment necessary to accommodate the disability, including ramps, wheelchairs, and lifts
An experienced catastrophic injury attorney can help get the maximum amount you are owed to help you recover for your loss of limb. In order to make a successful claim, the legal team will need to review all medical records, photos/videos, police reports, and other documentation about the accident, and any other information that will help prove that the another party was negligent. We can help gather this information and it is important to call an experienced and thoughtful attorney quickly.
For example, we represented a motorcycle accident victim who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Unfortunately, he could not remember anything about the accident. However, his family contacted us quickly and we were able to send investigators to the scene. A church across the street from the accident had video footage of the accident that ultimately helped show the negligent party causing the accident. The video footage at the church only saved for one week – the family called us 6 days after the accident and we were able to track down the footage and help their case. A knowledgeable and committed catastrophic injury lawyer will help you navigate these areas and more to help get you the best results possible.
How can an amputation injury impact my mental health?
We understand and are compassionate the many injuries do not stop with just physical pain. We care about your mental health and we emphasis prioritizing your physical and mental well-being. We have resources and can help guide you to recovery. What kind of emotional and well-being issues can occur after an amputation? Below are a few as discussed by the American Psychiatric Association:
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Traumatic events – such as a car wreck resulting in an amputation – can lead to PTSD. Symptoms range from flashbacks to overall numbness. Other symptoms include anxiety, exaggerated startle reactions, nightmares, insomnia, and extreme avoidance of reminders of the trauma. People may experience dissociative symptoms from a traumatic amputation. This is when you forget where you are or forget important parts about the traumatic event.
- Acute stress disorder (ASD). ASD symptoms overlap with PTSD symptoms with the major difference being that time since the traumatic accident. ASD can occur in the first month while PTSD generally takes a few months. If ASD continues for longer than a few month, than PTSD assessment may be necessary.
- There are many types of depression disorders usually involving feelings of sadness and/or loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. Amputations can lead to depression.
- General anxiety disorder (GAD). GAD is chronic worrying or irritability in multiple areas of life. This can lead to restlessness, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and muscle tension. GAD can occur during any phase of recovery from limb loss.
- Grief is a strong, and at times, overwhelming emotion for people and a natural reaction to a loss including loss of limbs and all that goes along with it. Grief is experienced differently among people. Grief is often described in the five stages:
- Denial / isolation
- Acceptance and hope.
At Keibler Law Group, we understand and are compassionate with your injury and feelings. We want to ensure that you have our full attention and drive to achieve the best results you deserve.
Amputation Injury Settlements in South Carolina
Typically, amputation injury cases are resolved in settlement agreements. This is when the insurance company and/or wrongdoer or “tortfeasor” agrees to cover your costs and damages including past medical bills, future medical bills, lost wages, lost anticipated income, and pain and suffering. In return, you agree to not file a lawsuit against the wrongdoer or to dismiss an ongoing lawsuit.
You should not accept insurance company’s lowball offers. Insurers or wrongdoers may try to get you to accept less than you deserve. For amputation injuries it can be particularly difficult to calculate future damages and, therefore, hiring a knowledgeable South Carolina amputation injury lawyer can help get the best results available to you.
What is a Contingency Fee?
How do I pay for the lawyer?
We work on a contingency fee basis meaning the victims we represent pay nothing at all unless we win. Once you receive money from either a settlement or verdict, we receive a certain percentage of that settlement or verdict. If your lawsuit is unsuccessful, you will not owe us any attorney fees. This allows the plaintiff to reap the rewards without risk of having to pay for a loss.