“Fred put me in touch with one of the country’s best prosthetists. Long before we had a settlement, I had a new leg and that meant a lot.’’Client Testimonial
What is my leg amputation case worth?
Attorney Fred Pritzker represented a man whose leg was amputated after a bad motorcycle accident. After the accident, the man went through months of surgeries and cleaning out of the wound using an external fixator, but in the end, the leg had to be amputated.
The motorcycle had been recalled just days before the accident and before the man had been notified by the manufacturer. Fred filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer and won $3.5 million for his client.
This settlement amount paid for all of the surgeries, a state-of-the-art prosthetic leg (and future prosthetics), physical therapy, medical expenses, and other financial needs.
It should be pointed out that the manufacturer was liable for the amputation even though the leg was not amputated during the accident. The man’s knee was badly injured during the accident, with gaping open wounds. These wounds became severely infected. That is why he needed so many surgeries to clean out the wound. The infections were a result of the accident, and the eventual amputation was a result of the infections, and thus a result of the accident.
Not every case is worth $3.5 million, and some claims are worth more. Our attorneys look at several factors to determine how much a leg amputation case is worth:
- Medical Expenses: We look at your hospital bills, cost of a prosthetic leg, physical therapy, etc. We hire medical experts to estimate your future medical expenses, which are also recoverable. Recovery is different for every amputee.
- Lost Wages: We look at how much money you made in the months before your accident and how the amputation is going to affect your ability to continue to make money. Some of the factors we look at are 1) your job and income before the amputation, 2) how long you have been unable to work and how long before you are able to work again and 3) if you have to get a different job and how much that job pays.
- Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering includes amounts for physical pain, emotional distress, permanent disability, disfigurement, and loss of quality of life.
Do I have a lawsuit if my leg was amputated because of an infection?
Yes, but only if there is sufficient evidence that the infection was the result of an injury caused by the negligence or intentional act of a person or business. For example, a passenger on a motorcycle suffers a crushed leg in an accident caused by an intoxicated driver of an 18 wheeler. The knee becomes severely infected, requiring several surgeries, but in the end, the leg needs to be amputated above the knee. The injured passenger has the right to sue the truck driver, and depending on the facts of the case, there may also be lawsuits against a trucking company, the owner of the freight being hauled, and a bar or restaurant that served alcohol to the trucker (dram shop liability).
A Resource for Below-the-Knee Amputation
A Manual for Below-the-Knee (Trans-Tibial) Amputees: The objective of this manual is to make readily accessible to “below-knee” amputees, including persons who have had Syme’s amputation, the information generally provided to them orally by members of the treatment team – the medical doctor, the physical therapist, the prosthetist, and others. Also included is additional information for persons who have had an amputation through the ankle, or Syme’s amputation.
- “A bionic prosthesis has been developed that emulates the function of a biological ankle during level-ground walking, specifically providing the net positive work required for a range of walking velocities. . . . Using the bionic prosthesis resulted in metabolic energy costs, preferred walking velocities and biomechanical patterns that were not significantly different from people without an amputation.” Herr, Hugh M., and Alena M. Grabowski. “Bionic ankle–foot prosthesis normalizes walking gait for persons with leg amputation.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 279.1728 (2012): 457-464.
- “Object: To investigate walking ability and quality of life of osseointegrated leg prostheses compared with socket prostheses. . . . Subjects with OIP [osseointegration prosthesis] significantly increased their walking ability and prosthesis-related quality of life.” Van de Meent, Hendrik, Maria T. Hopman, and Jan Paul Frölke. “Walking ability and quality of life in subjects with transfemoral amputation: a comparison of osseointegration with socket prostheses.” Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation 94.11 (2013): 2174-2178.
- “Our objective was to evaluate whether regional nerve blocks yield significant mortality reduction in major lower-extremity amputations. . . . Our analysis did not reveal any mortality benefit of utilizing regional nerve block over GA or spinal blocks.” Lin, Roy, et al. “Effects of anesthesia versus regional nerve block on major leg amputation mortality rate.” Vascular 21.2 (2013): 83-86.
- “Postdischarge morbidity, mortality, and readmission are common after LEA [lower extremity amputation]. Closer follow-up of high-risk patients, optimization of medical comorbidities, and aggressive management of wound infection may play a role in decreasing readmission and postdischarge adverse events.” Curran, Thomas, et al. “Risk factors and indications for readmission after lower extremity amputation in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.” Journal of vascular surgery 60.5 (2014): 1315-1324.
- “Frailty is a strong predictor of decreased survival after above-knee amputation and does not correlate with age. Palliative care consults may be beneficial for frail patients considering above-knee amputation.” Walker, Karen, et al. “Frailty Index Predicts Survival After Above Knee Amputation.” Journal of Vascular Surgery 62.4 (2015): 1100.