While all of the injuries that can occur during a motor vehicle accident, amputation is considered a severe injury because of the significant impact it has on the body and daily life. There are some damages you are entitled to recover from the other driver, the amount of which may depend on your age, whether you were working at the time, and other economic factors.
California’s Comparative Negligence
California is what’s known as a “pure comparative negligence” state. This means that when assessing compensation, the fault is what decides the amount received. You could claim against the other driver’s insurance even if you were partial to blame for the accident. You would get the total amount, minus the percentage that you were found to be at fault for. While this decreases your compensation, other states don’t necessarily allow someone to claim compensation if their percentage of fault is over a certain threshold. Some states do not permit you to claim anything if you are to blame for the accident in even a small way.
This means that no matter who was at fault, you can recover in your amputation injury case.
Compensation You Can Recover
Money for the following can be retrieved from an amputation injury case:
● Medical Expenses – this includes hospital bills, the cost of a prosthetic limb if needed, and medical appointments after the accident.
● Lost wages – the amount of income you missed when you were forced to be out of work because of the accident recovering from your injury.
● Lost Earning Capacity – Amputation injuries can have an enormous effect on the way you can work in the future. You may not be able to do the job you had before and would be able to receive compensation for the future wages you are missing as a result of the accident and your injury.
● Disfigurement – You can claim for the disfigurement of your injuries. Any scarring from the amputation as well as scarring from any of the injuries is something that you can receive compensation for.
● Pain and Suffering – There’s no exact rule for the amount you can recover for pain and suffering. This includes the emotional toll the injury has taken on you as well as the pain you had or have been suffering from your injuries. Usually, your attorney (or you, if you don’t have one), will calculate your total damages by a number between 1 and five based on the severity of your pain and suffering. If you feel that a four is sufficient, you would take the total damages and multiply them by 4. This would be the total amount you’re seeking, including pain and suffering.
● Emotional distress – This is for the psychological impact that you have suffered as a result of the accident. This includes:
○ Fear of driving
○ Sleep Loss
A psychologist that you would see for any of these would be able to document the symptoms. The amount of emotional distress you go through after the accident will directly affect your daily life, which is why you can claim this.
Disability – Depending on what part of your body needed to be amputated, you can collect disability damages, especially if your amputation keeps you from working.
Loss of Quality of Life – After a serious injury such as an amputation, you can’t do all of the things that you were able to do before. Sometimes, there are medical advancements that can improve the quality of life. Stronger prostheses are available, and the newest models have sensory feedback so that even with the loss of your hand, you can feel what you are touching and picking up. You can claim for the quality of life that you have lost, and possibly have some of the newer prosthetics covered, as you wouldn’t need them if it hadn’t been for the accident.
Other miscellaneous damages
Unfortunately, being in a car accident can have an enormous effect on someone when they suffer serious injuries such as an amputation. Luckily, you can recover a lot of damages for every step of the process that you have to go to. Finding an attorney who specializes in personal injury will ensure that you get the most recovery you can and that the process won’t drag on.