A serious car accident may result in the need for amputation of the fingers, hands, arms, feet, toes, or legs due to trauma or infection. If your amputation was the result of another party's negligence, you are eligible for compensation for your accident-related expenses.
A personal injury settlement comprises both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to those which have a cost that can be verified by the court. Some of the specific economic damages you might seek reimbursement for after suffering a car accident amputation include:
- Emergency room treatment
- Surgery and follow-up care
- Physical therapy
- Applicable prescription medications
- Costs relating to cosmetic surgery or skin grafts, if your amputation resulted in disfiguring scarring
- Cost of your prosthetic limb, if you choose to use one
- Cost of a wheelchair, cane, walker, or other assistive devices
- Necessary mental health care to help you adjust to your life after amputation, including treatment for depression, anxiety, or PTSD related to your injury
- Anticipated future medical expenses, including regular maintenance and replacement of prosthetic limbs
- Necessary home health care assistance
- Cost of adapting your vehicle, so you can continue to drive or be transported to necessary appointments
- Modifications to your home to make your living quarters accessible
- Lost earnings during the time you were recovering from your injuries
- Loss of future earning potential if you're unable to work full time or working in a lower paying profession due to your amputation
Expenses that you've already incurred can be documented simply by providing appropriate receipts, billing statements, or invoices. Costs associated with your future needs are determined based on the testimony of relevant experts. For a case involving amputation, this may include a prosthetic expert, orthopedic surgeon, occupational therapist, employment consultant, and/or an architect who specializes in home modifications for the disabled.
Non-economic damages are intended to provide reimbursement for the subjective ways in which you've been affected by your injury. Generally known as pain and suffering compensation, this includes:
- Any physical pain you experience due to your injury, including phantom limb pain from the amputation
- The emotional trauma related to your injury and recovery
- The loss of activities you once enjoyed but can no longer do such as playing sports, freely traveling, or engaging in certain activities with your children
- The strain your injuries have placed on relationships with your loved ones
Non-economic damages are typically calculated based on your verifiable economic damages. The multiplier method uses a number between 1 and 5 to calculate pain and suffering, with higher numbers going to claims for amputation and other serious forms of injury.
Collecting Compensation If You’re Partially At Fault Following A Car Accident
Louisiana's comparative fault system allows partially at-fault drivers to still collect compensation for their injuries. However, being considered partially responsible for the accident will reduce your eligibility for compensation.
In a settlement where both parties are partially at fault, your compensation is reduced by your assigned percentage of fault. For example, if you were considered 30% at fault for the accident, you would only be able to collect 70% of the amount you would have received if the other driver was 100% at fault.
Although neglecting to buckle up makes you in violation of Louisiana's seat belt law, it does not make you an at-fault driver for the purpose of settling a personal injury claim.
Protecting Your Legal Rights Following A Car Accident
Since an amputation is a serious injury resulting in significant medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, the best way to safeguard your right to compensation is to hire an experienced personal attorney. Your attorney can help assess the value of your case, document your damages, line up relevant expert testimony, and negotiate with the insurer on your behalf.
Neblett, Beard & Arsenault has extensive experience helping Louisiana residents receive the compensation they're entitled to after suffering a car accident amputation. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.