Orange County Amputations & Loss of Limbs Attorneys

Losing a limb is a life-altering event that can present challenges to the amputee’s ability to work and can also often result in depression. According to Pro Medical East, there are some 2.1 million persons in the United States suffering from limb loss. The causes are almost equally divided between vascular disease such as diabetes at 54 percent and trauma, in other words, accidents, at 45 percent. 

Traumatic amputations are most often caused by motor vehicle accidents, followed by work-related accidents and accidents involving machinery. Losing a limb also can dramatically affect a person’s lifetime health care costs. People with limb loss face an average lifetime health care cost of $509,275, compared to $361,200 for those with no limb loss. 

If you or a loved one in Orange County, California, has suffered the loss of a limb because of what someone else did or didn’t do, or because of an accident at work, or as a result of machinery malfunction or poor design, contact us at the Law Office Offices of Steven Zwick. We will treat your loss and suffering with compassion and fight to obtain the just compensation due you.  

The Law Offices of Steven Zwick serve clients throughout Orange County, including Anaheim, Brea, Huntington Beach, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Orange, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Tustin and Westminster. 

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Common Causes of Amputation and Limb Loss

As mentioned above, the two biggest causes of limb loss — vascular disease and trauma — are fairly evenly divided. Trauma is the cause that can result in legal and other actions to recover from the losses and pain and suffering that result. In a vascular case, unless there is some sort of medical malpractice involved, the person suffering the limb loss will pretty much be on their own. 

Trauma leading to amputation can result from accidents, whether motor vehicle- or machinery-based, and also from burns. The U.S.  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declares workplace-based limb loss cases to be “widespread.”  

Amputations, according to OSHA, occur most often when workers operate unguarded or inadequately safeguarded mechanical power presses, power press brakes, powered and non-powered conveyors, printing presses, roll-forming and roll-bending machines, food slicers, meat grinders, meat-cutting band saws, drill presses, and milling machines as well as shears, grinders, and slitters. 

Possible Complications From Limb Loss 

The cost of a prosthetic device can range from $5,000 to $50,000 or more, depending on the limb and the complexity of the prosthetic. And that’s just the beginning of the economic costs. As noted above, an amputee’s lifetime healthcare costs will increase dramatically to cover medications, physical therapy, medical equipment, doctors’ visits, and more.  

Emotional loss is another aspect of an amputation. Some 30 percent of those suffering limb loss also suffer resulting depression. There can also be a huge toll on the person’s ability to make a living. Wage loss from the challenges resulting from the loss of a limb can be dramatic and life-altering. 

Recovering Financially From Your Amputation 

If your amputation and limb loss resulted from an accident caused by another (in a car accident, for example) then you certainly can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You can also file a personal injury lawsuit against the insurer, the driver, or both. 

If your amputation results from a workplace accident, then your first claim has to be against your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation law precludes suing your employer, but if your loss resulted from malfunctioning machinery, you may be able to sue the manufacturer, designer, or even supplier for a defect or lack of safety features or instructions. 

Note, however, that California follows the legal principle of pure comparative negligence. This means that in any accident, both (or all) parties can be assigned a percentage of the blame.  

Say you’re rear-ended in an auto accident and suffer injuries, but your brake lights fail to work. You could be assigned 20 percent (or more or less) of the fault. As a result, your settlement or award could be reduced by that percentage. Thus, your $100,000 claim might result in only $80,000 -- $100,000 minus 20 percent. 

What Can Be Recovered Financially? 

With the loss of a limb, you’re going to face lifelong emotional and financial costs, so you have to factor all that in when you’re seeking a settlement with an insurance company. Once you reach a settlement, you cannot go back and ask for more if complications develop later on. You really need to let an experienced personal injury attorney negotiate with the insurance company.  

Obviously, if a personal injury lawsuit is warranted, then an attorney will need to handle all of that for you. Therefore, the first person you should contact after a catastrophic accident is a personal injury attorney. There is simply too much at stake to try to handle everything yourself when it comes to holding others accountable. 

Amputation and Loss of Limbs Attorneys Serving Southern California

If you or a loved one has suffered the loss of a limb due to another’s negligence or because of a product defect or malfunctioning anywhere in Orange County, contact us immediately at the Law Offices of Steven Zwick. We will treat you with the utmost care and compassion while pursuing every legal avenue to obtain the compensation you deserve. 

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