If a negligent party has injured you in an accident and that injury has led to an amputation then the team at the Law Offices of Tony Merchant can help. Amputations are life-altering events and they come with many expenses, from hospital bills, to costs for prosthetics, to the care and expense it take to navigate a new normal.
The purpose of a personal injury law suit is to get you the money you need to do these things. You didn’t cause the accident, so you shouldn’t have to pay for it. Contact us now to get the help that you need.
Most amputation accidents occur during car, truck, or motorcycle accidents where a negligent driver hits the accident victim. These include accidents with pedestrians as well as bicycle accidents.
We also work with a fair number of construction and farm accidents where heavy machinery plays a role in the injury, or with defective product cases where a product which is purported to be safe
Amputation reduces your mobility. It can make everyday life tasks more complicated. Even with a prosthetic, every day tasks can become more challenging and frustrating, especially at first. If you worked a highly physical job, then amputation might well prevent you from working that same job ever again.
Amputees also surfer from phantom pain and fatigue, as well as muscle contractions and deep vein thrombosis.
In addition, the emotional impacts of an amputation can be absolutely devastating. Amputees often suffer from lifelong PTSD. It can take a long time to adapt to their new normal. Some amputees suffer from body image issues, limiting their ability to take part in some social activities.
In short, amputees go through a great deal of pain and suffering as a result of their accident, and this is by every definition of the word. If you are an amputee you deserve all the care and compensation we can win for you. There’s no overstating just how much has been taken away from you, all as the result of a single, negligent act.
Amputees may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits as well as Supplemental Security Benefits. Your settlement may impact these benefits, so it’s important to talk to your attorney about how it can be handled so as to preserve them.
The most common way is to use a special needs trust, or SNT. This allows you to put your settlement into a special trust fund that allows you to pay for certain predetermined needs while freeing you to receive funds from other programs.
You might think that suffering such a horrific injury might mean that the insurance companies that would be responsible for paying for your compensation would be conscious of your suffering and would do the right thing.
In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
Because an amputation case is usually big, expansive, and expensive these companies will often fight harder than ever to avoid responsibility for their actions. This means that you will need a personal injury expert if you don’t want to get bowled under.
You can expect these insurance companies to try to make the case that their driver or their corporation or whomever was responsible did not actually have a duty of care to you. They might claim the accident was unavoidable, or that you bore most of the responsibility for the accident.
In some cases, they can wriggle out of any liability for their insured’s actions. In others they may take full advantage of Arizona’s comparative negligence laws, vastly dropping your settlement value by claiming you were at least somewhat responsible for your own injuries.
They may be hard-nosed in negotiations and may even attempt to push the matter to trial. You will need an excellent litigator in addition to finding an excellent negotiator.
Every loss of limb personal injury case requires your attorney to prove the following elements.
First, that the person who caused your accident had a duty of care for you. In a car accident case this is usually easy enough: every driver has a duty of care to every other driver. In some other sorts of cases this might be a matter that comes into question.
Second, you have to prove the person who caused the accident failed in that duty somehow. In a car accident you might prove they failed to follow traffic laws or to operate their vehicle in a reasonable, prudent manner. If a defective product caused the amputation you might have to prove that they put out a product that they knew was unsafe, or skirted standard industry safety guidelines.
Third, you have to prove that the negligence led directly to a loss, to your amputation and to all the financial and personal consequences that caused. Even proving this much isn’t necessarily straightforward. There have been cases where the defense attorneys have done their best to make it seem as if those injuries were caused by some secondary or tertiary problem that their insured isn’t directly responsible for.
Thus your attorney will track down all the evidence that shows exactly what happened during your accident and how it is indeed the fault of the negligent party. To this end there may be physical evidence to present, experts to interview, or witnesses to deposition. All of this gets put together into a series of legal declarations that form the basis for negotiations. If necessary, all of these pieces of evidence are introduced at trial.
92% of the time the plaintiff and the defendant come to some sort of an agreement at the settlement conference. This is based, in part, on what both sides think a jury might award to the plaintiff if it goes to trial. Usually a settlement can be reached about 18 months after a plaintiff reaches maximum medical improvement.
If the matter gets sent to trial it will be heard by a judge and a jury. Much like a criminal trial, evidence will be introduced, witnesses will be put on the stand, and each side will try to present their story of the case. The jury will decide the extent of the fault on both side, and how much money the plaintiff should be awarded.
In each case, the attorney gets paid on contingency.
Contingency means you don’t have to worry about coming up with a large retainer or an exorbitant hourly rate. Your attorney won’t get paid until the case has been brought to a successful conclusion. Then the attorney makes a percentage of the amount. The percentage is agreed upon in advance.
Going to an attorney does make good mathematical sense for amputees. When you work with an attorney you are 40% more likely to get paid at all. In addition, most clients walk away with as much as 10 times more than they would have gotten on their own, even after contingency fees and legal expenses are factored in.
Finally, you should consider hiring an attorney as early as possible. The more of a head start you can give your lawyer, the better. As time passes in these cases, evidence tends to disappear. Witnesses tend to drop out of contact. It becomes harder to prove that you are a victim of negligence. Most people benefit from bringing an attorney on board just as soon as they are medically capable of doing so.
Imagine working with an attorney who has won billions of dollars for clients just like you. Tony Merchant has over 3 decades of experience in his field. He’s been published in many prestigious law journals and has won numerous awards for his legal work. He’s a master both of personal injury cases and of class action cases.
To schedule a no-obligation case review, call (480) 581-8801 today. Our offices are located in Tuscon, but we serve clients throughout the state of Arizona. We are here to help.