Some 185,000 people suffer amputations each year, and nearly two million people are currently living with the loss of a limb in the United States, according to the Amputee Coalition.
The main cause is vascular disease, such as diabetes and peripheral arterial disease, and also trauma such as auto and workplace accidents and, in rarer instances, cancer in which tumors are removed from bones and muscles.
In some cases, negligence is to blame for amputations, whether it be a careless driver, unsafe work conditions or substandard medical treatment such as a botched surgery or delayed or missed diagnoses.
If you or a loved one lost a limb due to suspected negligence, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Kline & Specter, with more than 40 attorneys, five of them highly skilled medical doctor/lawyers, has the experience and expertise to handle amputation lawsuits. Contact our firm for a free consultation.
In addition to possible medical error treating illnesses, many amputations occur as the result of car, truck and motorcycle accidents. Accidents with firearms and fireworks as well as burns, frostbite and electrical injuries also cause amputations. Almost 70% of amputations due to trauma involve the upper limbs.
Amputations cause not only severe pain and suffering but are also costly, with the average amputation requiring a stay of 14 days in a hospital, according to WebMD. Hospital costs alone in a single year total roughly $8 billion.
We've obtained significant verdicts involving amputations. Tom Kline litigated perhaps the most highly publicized case in Philadelphia history when he won a $51 million verdict for a small boy whose foot was severed in a SEPTA escalator. (See Hall v. SEPTA) Kline also won a $14 million verdict in Bucks County, Pa., against the Pennsbury School district for a teenage student who lost her leg when she was run over by a school bus. (See Zauflik)
Andy Stern won a verdict and subsequent $95.6 million arbitration award for a woman who had half her body amputated in a Center City Philadelphia building collapse. The award and recovery is the largest in a single plaintiff personal injury case in Pennsylvania history.
We've also obtained significant settlements, details of which are confidential:
- $20 million for a Reading man whose leg was amputated in a screw conveyor at a meat processing factory while he was cleaning the machine.
- $8 million for a woman who lost half her leg after she was struck by a car.
- $5.35 million with the designers and builders of a factory where a blind corner resulted in a worker being struck by a forklift, ultimately suffering amputation of his leg at the knee.
- $3.125 million for a passenger in a commercial van that was driven off the side of a highway and flipped, causing the passenger to lose four fingers and part of his palm in his dominant hand.
- A substantial settlement in a case involving the use of a diabetes drug that resulted in amputations to a patient’s lower extremities. The amount of the settlement is confidential but it was among the largest for this type of case.
- A seven-figure settlement for a man who suffered amputation of both legs as a result of delay in diagnosis and treatment of necrotizing fasciitis in a hospital in Monroe County.
- A seven-figure settlement for a middle-aged woman who sustained amputation of parts of her arms and legs as a result of a delay in diagnosis and treatment of sepsis and kidney infection in a hospital in Delaware County.