Experiencing an amputation may be one of the biggest physical and emotional challenges you could possibly face. The surgery itself is traumatic and the long-term mental effects of losing a limb can be incredibly distressing. This doesn’t even include the new hardships amputees must face such as issues with self-sufficiency, employment and relationships.

In addition, amputees normally face extensive medical bills after surgery. These costs can sap you and your family of their savings, causing you to go into debt. Once the surgery is over, the costs don’t stop there. You may be required to pay for medication, rehabilitation, physical therapy and handicap attachments to your home.

You may be entitled to compensation if your amputation was caused by negligence or due to medical malpractice. If you are interested in filing a claim for your amputation, it’s important you find trusted legal representation.

Personal Injury Attorney in Chicago, IL

As an amputee, you’re aware of the emotional and physical difficulties you faced during and after surgery. Whether the amputation occurred because of a traumatic accident or medical malpractice, if your injury was caused by another’s negligence it’s recommended you seek a personal injury attorney.

Susan E. Loggans & Associates is a group of skilled attorneys who are passionate about personal injury. We can investigate your case and negotiate on your behalf. Our lawyers want to utilize our legal experience to help you recover. Call (312) 201-8600 now to set up a free consultation today. 

Susan E. Loggans & Associates represents people throughout the greater Cook County area including Chicago, Evanston, Arlington Heights and Schaumburg. 

Overview of Amputations in Illinois  

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Common Causes for Amputation Surgery in Illinois

An amputation can either be planned or done with little notice depending on the circumstances. In a disastrous event, sometimes an amputation is the only option to save a person’s life. Other medical conditions such as diabetes or gangrene may lead to amputation surgery if it’s untreated for long enough.

The following are some possible reasons why an amputation is conducted.

  • Car accidents;
  • Truck accidents;
  • Medical malpractice;
  • Improper treatment;
  • Premise liability;
  • Birth injuries;
  • Dog bites;
  • Poor circulation because of peripheral arterial disease;
  • Severe injury beyond the body’s ability to heal;
  • Infections that cannot be treated with antibiotics;
  • Frostbite;
  • Cancerous tumor in the bone or muscle of a limb;
  • Thickening of nerve tissue also known as neuroma;
  • Diabetes;
  • Blood clots;
  • Gangrene; and
  • Congenital amputation 

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Complications from Amputation Surgeries in the U.S.

Amputation carries a greater risk of complication than most surgeries. Losing a limb can lead to a wide variety of after effects such as phantom limb syndrome. Each case is different depending on the circumstances of the surgery and your recovery. However, all amputation-related complications can interfere with your quality of life. 

Listed below are some complications that can arise from an amputation.

  • Joint deformity;
  • Tissue decomposing;
  • Heart complications;
  • Body dysmorphia;
  • Infection in the muscle, skin or bone;
  • Re-opening wounds;
  • Hematoma, which is a bruised area where blood collects; and
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT, which is blood clots occurring in a deep vein; 

Many amputees report feeling a phenomenon known as “phantom limb syndrome” or “phantom pain.” Phantom pain is when an amputee feels pain or can feel their missing limb even though it’s been clearly amputated. It was once believed that phantom pains were purely psychological. However, new evidence has emerged stating it’s caused by the spinal cord and brain malfunctioning.

Phantom limb syndrome isn’t always associated with solely pain. It can also include other physical phantom sensations including:

  • Warm or cold sensations;
  • Burning;
  • Stinging;
  • Itching;
  • Tingling;
  • Squeezing;
  • Throbbing; or
  • Tense or sore 

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I Want to File a Claim for my Amputation, But How?

The expenses associated with amputation surgery are tremendous. In addition, the complications can be life-threatening and lead to additional costs. That is why it’s highly recommended you file a claim if your amputation was caused by negligence. If the court grants your claim, then you will receive a monetary settlement. 

To file a claim, it’s recommended you have legal counsel. Personal injury can be stressful and confusing on your own. It’s highly advised you obtain legal representation before pursuing a claim. Your attorney will investigate your case to find evidence for your claim, negotiate to adjusters, and even litigate for you if needed.

You will first send out a demand package which outlines how the defendant is liable and a demand for a settlement. The defendant will be legally obligated to answer and if they reject the offer then the next step is to file a claim for a personal injury lawsuit. 

Prior to trial, both you and the defendant will collect evidence from one another. Each of you will have access to the other’s information so you will be able to evaluate the defendant’s case. This is often referred to as the discovery phase in personal injury law.

Your goal when collecting evidence is to prove the defendant’s negligence is what caused your injury. But what is negligence? Negligence is a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised in the same situation. It can include actions or the omission of actions when there is a duty to act.

For example, if a surgeon performs an amputation on the wrong patient because they stayed up late the night before, it would be seen as an act of negligence. This is because the doctor didn’t behave in a rational, appropriate, ordinary or usual manner when he chose to stay up late even though he had surgery in the morning.

In some cases, both parties will request a mediator to resolve the issue. Mediation is simply an informal proceeding where the two parties can finally come to a resolution that’s overseen by a mediator, who is usually a current or former judge. People choose mediation so they can avoid trial and save money on court costs. 

If mediation doesn’t work or the matter isn’t resolved via motion, then the only choice left is trial. The fate of your case will be decided by a jury, who will hear both sides before deliberating on the result. If you are able to sway the court, then you will be granted a monetary settlement. 

The settlement will be based on the damages you’ve endured because of your injury. Damages is a legal term referring to any losses you sustained because of your injury. This can include tangible losses such as medical bills or immaterial losses such as pain and suffering.

The following are some damages your settlement may cover. 

  • Medical bills;
  • Rehabilitation expenses;
  • Loss of earning capacity;
  • Lost wages;
  • Prosthetic costs;
  • Home renovation for handicap structures;
  • Physical therapy;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Loss of enjoyment for life;
  • Emotional distress; and
  • Inability to perform tasks for the family 

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Additional Resources 

National Limb Loss Resource Center – Visit the official website of the National Limb Loss Resource Center, a non-profit designed to provide comprehensive information and resources to amputees free of charge. Access their site to schedule an appointment with an information specialist or get answers for your frequently asked questions. 

Amputation Information - Visit the official website for the John Hopkins School of Medicine to find more information regarding amputations. Access the site to learn common reasons for having an amputation, how to prepare for surgery and long-term care after losing a limb. 

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Amputation Lawyers in Cook County, IL

If your amputation was caused by another’s negligence, then we highly advise you to contact Susan E. Loggans & Associates. Our personal injury attorneys have represented numerous people who were forced to have an amputation because of negligence. Let us be your aid by providing you with quality legal service. 

Contact us now at (312) 201-8600 and schedule a free consultation today. Susan E. Loggans & Associates represents people throughout the greater Chicago metropolitan area including Evanston, Arlington Heights, Schaumburg and Des Plaines. 

This article was last updated on May 31, 2019.