Amputations are life-changing ordeals, and unfortunately, they’re on the rise. The number of people living with an amputation in the U.S. is forecast to double by 2050. And in Florida, the increase is set to be even more pronounced. We saw a 12.8% increase in the amputation rate from 1997 to 2012, outpacing the national average of 3.6%.
For the growing number of Florida residents suffering amputations, traumatic incidents are the leading cause. These include car accidents, workplace injuries and sports-related accidents, and they account for almost half of all amputations nationally. In many cases, such accidents involve a degree of negligence.
If you or a loved one has undergone an amputation following an accident, know that there might be substantial rights to compensation. By contacting an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer, you can explore legal avenues for compensation to cover a range of costs, including medical bills, pain and suffering, and disability. Let’s take a brief look at these rights.
Traumatic vs Surgical Amputations
Amputations are commonly classified into two broad categories based on their cause: traumatic and surgical.
- Traumatic amputations result from an injury or accident. They could be the direct result of an incident that severs a limb, such as an industrial or agricultural accident, vehicle crash, or military combat injury. Traumatic amputations can happen during the incident itself or shortly after, as a medical necessity when the damage to the limb is too extensive to be repaired.
- Surgical amputations, on the other hand, are operations performed by medical professionals to remove a limb or part of a limb that is no longer viable or poses a health risk to the patient. The reasons for surgical amputation can include vascular disease, diabetes, cancer, infection, and frostbite.
Negligence can potentially be a factor in both types of amputation, but it’s especially common in traumatic amputations. Where negligence is suspected, the sufferer may have substantial rights to compensation through a personal injury claim.
The Role of Negligence in Florida Traumatic Amputation Cases
If you or someone close to you has experienced an amputation due to an accident in Florida, you might be uncertain about whether there is a valid legal case for compensation. In Florida, proving negligence is a key factor in determining the rights to a personal injury claim.
Negligence arises when harm or damage is done by someone who fails to take the proper care that could reasonably be expected of them. It’s usually present to some degree in most accidents causing trauma: from the car crashes of central Miami to the boating accidents along the Florida Keys.
In Florida’s comparative negligence system, liability for an accident can be shared among multiple parties, including the victim. When it comes to entitlements to compensation, a victim found to be partially at fault for their injuries, will have their entitlement reduced by their percentage of fault. However, they can still seek compensation from other parties, who are also at fault, in proportion to each party’s share of the blame. For instance, if a victim is deemed to be 20% responsible for an accident, they can still recover 80% of their damages from the other responsible parties. The legal system in Florida allows for this apportionment of damages, ensuring that victims can receive some measure of recovery for their losses, even if they are partly to blame for the incident that led to their injuries.
As Florida is a “pure comparative negligence” state, the victim can recover damages even if they are found to be mostly at fault for their injuries. For example, if a victim is found to be 70% responsible for an accident, they would usually still be entitled to claim 30% of the damages caused by the other at-fault parties. In many states – including our neighboring Georgia and Alabama – this principle does not apply.
If you or someone close to you has experienced an amputation due to an accident, be sure to contact a Miami personal injury lawyer to determine whether you have legal grounds for compensation via a personal injury claim.
Our Miami Personal Injury Lawyer Will Represent You
Contact a Miami personal injury attorney at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein to ensure your rights to compensation are fully protected. Our team deals with all types of personal injury cases, including representing the victims of traumatic amputations.
Contact us today at 305-371-2692 for a free evaluation of your personal injury claim, or schedule an appointment online. From our office in Miami, we represent clients throughout Florida.