Serious car accidents are inherently traumatic and often life-changing. This is especially true for car accidents that result in amputation. Limb loss is the kind of injury that alters your life forever. It’s not just about the initial pain and suffering. It means the victim and family must adapt to a whole new way of life. While individuals may still be able to complete the same tasks as before, crash-related injuries can impose major limitations.
Stephen M. Ozcomert, Atlanta accident attorney, is committed to fighting for maximum compensation for victims of car accident amputation. These outcome of your claim or lawsuit is going to impact the level of care, treatment and comfort you receive moving forward. We take this responsibility very seriously. With more than two decades of experience negotiating with insurers and litigating these cases in court, we fully understand the challenges and how to overcome them.
No matter what kind of amputation you have suffered, your life has been impacted. Showing the full scope of that impact is as essential to your case as establishing negligence.
Georgia is an at-fault state when it comes to auto accident liability. That means those who breached their duty of care to drive responsibly, manufacture a safe vehicle/ product or properly design/ maintain roads are accountable to cover your damages. Where the at-fault driver acted with willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression or an entire want of care (as we often see in drunk driving cases or those where driver was texting in violation of O.C.G.A. 40-6-241.2), we may be able to secure punitive damages over and above your actual losses, per O.C.G.A. 51-12-5.1. In the event the insurance coverage/ assets available in your case falls short (as is often the case in car accident amputation injuries), we will explore the possibility of uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage. This is coverage you/ resident household member secured that steps in to provide additional compensation when negligent parties don’t have enough to fully compensate for your injuries.
Even if you were partially to blame for the crash, Georgia’s comparative fault law, O.C.G.A. 51-12-33 entitles plaintiff to receive damages assuming he or she is not 50 percent or more responsible for the injury or damages claimed.What to Expect After Traumatic Amputation
Approximately 2 million people nationally are living with limb loss in the U.S., according to the non-profit Amputee Coalition. Among those living with limb loss, approximately 45 percent suffered the condition due to trauma (as opposed to vascular diseases). Most amputations caused by trauma can be attributed to car accidents. With approximately 185,000 amputations annually in the U.S., hospital costs alone cost $8.3 billion.
Following the initial trauma and shock, once patient’s residual limb has healed, patient will likely need:
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Desensitization/ sensory re-education
- Visits with psychologists and/ or social workers
After all this, he or she may also need to weigh the possibility of a prosthesis, wheelchair or crutches – or some combination of these. Some may use different assistive devices depending on their goals and the kind of life they wish to live. Wheelchairs and especially prosthetics can be extremely costly. They can range vastly in price, depending on the nature of the amputation and the type of device.
Some health insurance plans will cover all or part of the cost, but not all do. Many use what is called a K-level scale – rating from 0 to 4 – to predict the potential success you will have with a prosthesis. Insurers will use this rating to determine what they will be willing to cover for you. Whatever costs your health insurer covers, they may be entitled to subrogation rights on your recovery of damages from the tortfeasor(s) (technical term for the parties at-fault). This prevents “double recovery” or “undue enrichment.” The same goes if your injury occurred in a crash while you were on-the-job and collected workers’ compensation benefits.
Even once you have a prosthesis, you can expect that follow-up visits to your doctor will be a normal part of life. It may require ongoing adjustment and alignment. You may experience strain on other muscles and other health issues that require ongoing treatment and therapies. Eventually, you will likely need a replacement prosthetic, because these devices don’t last forever. Prosthetics can cost up to $50,000 each.
These are all considerations your car accident lawyer in Atlanta will have to factor in when asserting your damages in the claim.
If you have been injured in a Georgia car accident, contact Atlanta Car Accident Attorney Stephen M. Ozcomert at (404) 370-1000.