Amputation Injury Lawyers in Gettysburg, PA
Advocacy when accidents or medical mistakes cause loss of limb
Speeding cars, heavy machinery malfunctions, explosions, and other types of accidents can literally rip an arm out of a shoulder socket or tear apart a leg. Sometimes, the only way to save a victim is to remove the injured body part. Untreated infections may also require amputation of an arm or leg. The consequences of limb loss are nearly always severe. Victims may need to be fitted with a prosthetic and, for some, the emotional trauma is often more severe than the physical trauma. Many Gettysburg amputation victims can never work again.
At KBG Injury Law, our Gettysburg personal injury lawyers have been fighting for South Central PA accident victims for 40 years. We handle the cases that change people’s lives forever. Our lawyers represent victims of amputation, head trauma, spinal cord damage, and other catastrophic injuries. We have an impressive record of settlements and verdicts, because we are skilled at investigating how accidents happen and who is responsible. We also have a network of doctors who understand your medical difficulties, what treatments are possible, and how your amputation injury affects your daily living.
How can we help?
- What is an amputation injury?
- How are amputation and limb loss injuries treated?
- How well do prosthetics work?
- What are the future healthcare needs of an amputation injury patient?
- Who is liable for my Gettysburg amputation accident?
- What damages am I entitled to for my amputation injuries?
- Is there an amputation injury attorney near me?
What is an amputation injury?
According to Johns Hopkins University, amputation is the loss or removal of an arm, leg, hand, foot, finger, or toe. Amputation injuries affect your “ability to move, work, interact with others and maintain your independence.” Complications include continual pain, including phantom limb pain and emotional trauma.
According to Moss Rehab Einstein Center in Philadelphia, there are different types and categories of amputation injuries. The type and level of amputation due to trauma such as car accidents are based on the location and severity of the injury. If disease is the cause, then doctors need to focus on circulation problems and the ability of the body to heal.
The main types of lower-limb amputations include the following (including partial or complete loss of the body part):
- Foot amputations. Toe amputations include “mid-tarsal amputations, Lisfranc amputation, Boyds amputation, and Symes amputation.”
- Below the knee amputations. This type of amputation includes damage from the knee to the ankle.
- Knee disarticulation amputations. This is an amputation at the knee joint level. This type of amputation “leaves the femur and patella untouched and does not cut through bone or muscle.”
- Above the knee amputations. This amputation includes amputation from the hip to the knee joint. This amputation is used if the lower leg and knee cannot be saved.
- Hip disarticulation amputations. This amputation level is at the hip joint. The entire thigh is removed. The “lower limb is removed through the hip joint itself.”
The main goal of upper-limb amputation is to preserve as much of the limb as possible. The main types of upper-limb amputations include the following (including partial or complete loss of the body part):
- Hand and partial-hand amputations. These procedures include amputation of a finger, thumb, or any part of the hand below the wrist. Hand amputation requires complex rehabilitation therapy.
- Wrist disarticulation amputations. Here, the hand and the wrist joint are both removed. “Generally, the patient is left with forearm muscles, which allows for the ability – following rehab - to rotate and maneuver a prosthetic hand.”
- Transradial (below elbow amputations). This type of amputation involves the forearm – from the elbow to the wrist.
- Transhumeral (above elbow amputations). This type of amputation, usually due to an injury, occurs in the upper arm – from the elbow to the shoulder.
- Shoulder disarticulation amputations. Here the arm is amputated – with the shoulder blade remaining. “The collarbone may or may not be removed. Arm amputation at the shoulder usually leaves the patient with some shoulder movement, leaving options for a prosthesis.”
- Forequarter amputations. The shoulder blade and collar bone are removed – which makes shoulder movement nearly impossible. A prosthesis may or may not be an option.
Treatment and rehab generally include healing the wound, building up strength, preparing the body part for a prosthetic, and learning to use and care for the prosthetic.
How are amputation and limb loss injuries treated?
Johns Hopkins University states:
Orthopaedic…surgeons work with a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, along with a range of nurses and surgical technologists, to perform a surgical amputation procedure. Together, they remove the diseased or damaged body part, and then work with the remaining bone and soft tissue to shape the stump. The surgical team may form the soft tissue at the end of the limb to help accommodate a prosthetic, or leave bone in place for subsequent osseointegration.
There are different types of amputation surgeries, including standard amputation, osseointegration, and rotationplasty. The surgeons try to preserve as much tissue as possible. Doctors also work to ensure that the accident victim will be able to use a prosthesis. This work may include inserting a steel implant into the stump and shaping the stump. “When the initial bandaging comes off, the doctor may offer a compression device called a shrinker sock to prevent swelling in the stump as the blood vessels heal. This process helps prepare the stump for a prosthesis if using one is part of your plan.”
Most amputation victims suffer from phantom pain and phantom limb sensations. Surgeons may focus on the nerves during surgery to reduce the effects of phantom pain. A peripheral nerve block may also be used.
How well do prosthetics work?
How well a prosthesis works depends on the location of the amputation and the body part that is affected. For example, prosthetics are generally more successful for below-the-knee amputations than amputations above the knee.
According to Amputee Coalition, accident victims work with a prosthetist who designs the prosthetics for their unique medical condition. Generally, victims aren’t fitted for a prosthesis until their limb fully heals. While some victims may receive a prosthesis almost immediately, most are fitted for a prosthetic device several months after surgery – when the swelling goes down. In the interim, victims can learn how to use wheelchairs, stretch to avoid muscle contractures, and may also be taught how to use crutches and a walker.
It can take a year for a patient to fully adjust to a prosthetic. “Your body will need to relearn activities, gait, balance, and coordination.” It helps to have a strong support team. Some patients may need to be refitted for a new prosthesis. A prosthesis can last for a few months or a few years. During your lifetime, an amputee likely will need several prosthetic replacements.
What are the future healthcare needs of an amputation injury patient?
Gettysburg limb loss patients may work with a range of therapists post-injury, including:
- Physical therapists who help with muscle strength and movement.
- Occupational therapists who help with daily living tasks and assistive devices.
- Psychologists who help amputation victims with the anxiety, loss of self-esteem, and depression that often accompanies these injuries.
- Other types of healthcare workers, such as vocational therapists and rehabilitation nurses.
- Social workers.
Who is liable for my Gettysburg amputation accident?
At KBG Injury Law, we hold the people who cause amputations and other serious injuries responsible when their negligence or fault causes harm. Who we file claims against depends on the type of accident:
- Car, truck, and motorcycle Drivers, vehicle owners, shipping companies, and others.
- Medical malpractice. Hospitals, doctors, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers.
- Accidents due to defective products. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.
- Construction and workplace accidents such as forklift accidents or falls from scaffolds.
- Employers, architects, engineers, maintenance companies, and repair companies.
We also file claims against property owners if a slip and fall, an assault due to negligent security, or a dog bite causes an amputation.
We file personal injury claims when an amputation is due to negligence. Our Gettysburg amputation lawyers file product liability claims if a defective product such as a boiler explosion causes the amputation. Employees who suffer an amputation through work are entitled to file a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claim. If a loved one dies due to the loss of a body part, we file a wrongful death claim against the responsible defendants.
What damages am I entitled to for my amputation injuries?
Our respected Gettysburg amputation lawyers fight to obtain all the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We work with your physicians to determine the severity of your amputation, the treatment and care you will need, the ways your injuries changed your life, and your emotional difficulties.
We demand full compensation in all accident cases. An amputation is a “serious bodily injury,” which means that if your amputation is due to a car accident, you will not be limited by a limited tort option election and will be able to collect full compensation for your injuries. Full compensation may include:
- All your medical expenses for the rest of your life.
- The income you lose and will continue to lose because you can’t work.
- Your physical pain and emotional suffering.
- Scarring and disfigurement compensation.
- Loss of consortium.
- Other damages, such as property damages.
In workers’ compensation cases, amputation accident victims are generally entitled specific loss benefits and payment of their medical bills. They may qualify for temporary or permanent disability benefits, depending on the nature of their injuries.
Is there an amputation injury attorney near me?
Our office is located at 37 West Middle Street in Gettysburg, PA. We’re a few blocks off Route 30 and steps from the Adams County Court House. We have five offices in South Central Pennsylvania to serve you.
Get help for your amputation injury now
At KBG Injury Law, we understand how devastating it is to live without an arm, leg, or another body part. We guide you through each stage of the claims process. Although many personal injury cases do settle, we’re ready to argue your case before a jury when necessary. Our Gettysburg amputation lawyers are skilled at handling these very complex and challenging cases. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 717-848-3838 or use our contact form. Our law firm has offices in Gettysburg, York, Lancaster, Hanover, and Harrisburg. We represent clients throughout South Central Pennsylvania.