After surgery, infection poses a dangerous risk for your body. What seems like a simple procedure can lead to seemingly endless complications. Some people might walk away with only minor scarring, but you weren’t one of them. You had to have one or more body parts amputated because of an infection you acquired at the hospital. Recovering could mean you wait months before returning to work, if you’re lucky enough to return at all.
Adjusting to living with a lost limb or organ is hard enough on its own, but it’s worse when you know that the amputation was preventable. If the doctors and medical staff gave you better care, you wouldn’t have lost a limb. Knowing that your situation is the result of someone else’s carelessness adds an additional emotional burden.
All you want to do is to put your life back together, but you’re not sure where to start. We’re here to help. We know how difficult it is to try to navigate Pennsylvania’s legal system on your own — so we’ll do it for you. Let us handle your personal injury claim while you focus on doing what’s more important: getting your life back on track.
Without proper care, infections can cause your body tissue to die and illnesses to spread. Left unchecked, the infection can lead to sepsis and other potentially fatal conditions. To prevent this, a doctor might have no choice but to amputate the infected part of your body.
According to the Amputee Coalition, more than 2 million people live in the United States with limb loss, and there are more than 185,000 amputations performed each year.
However, more than 60 percent of these amputations are preventable. This means that 110,000 of the 185,000 amputations that occur every year don’t need to happen.
Filing a claim against a negligent doctor or hospital is not only your legal right but also the right thing to do. In Pennsylvania, the law is clear that hospitals have a responsibility to you, a duty of care. If they fail that duty, the best thing you can do is hold them accountable. Not only could this help get you what you need to put your own life together, but you may help save the lives, and limbs, of others. If a hospital knows that negligence has a price, the health system will be less likely to put its own profits above patient safety.
If you recently lost a limb due to a hospital infection, you might be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim.
Amputations aren’t just emotionally draining, as patients learn to live without an arm, leg, toe, or finger. They’re also expensive. According to the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, the average cost of a hospital amputation costs more that $70,000 for the surgery alone.
None of these costs account for the impact an amputation will have on your ability to make money. Losing a limb might mean you can no longer perform your old job. You might have to accept something new, a position that might pay less than your old job did. In some cases, your amputation is so severe that you’re unable to return to work at all. This is also a cost of medical malpractice, one that many don’t think about until after they lose a limb.
Imagine if the hospital staff was able to prevent your infection or stop it before it spread. But instead, they put other priorities above your safety. Now you’re left to live with the consequences.
At Console and Associates, we’ve seen firsthand what effects an amputation has on the lives of our clients. We’ve helped them get the compensation they need and the justice they deserve. If we can use our legal expertise to help you transition to your post-amputation life, we’re honored to do so.
New York Giants tight end Daniel Fells almost lost his leg due to a medical infection. In 2015, the NFL player went to the emergency room a week after receiving treatment for an ankle and toe injury. Doctors discovered a bacteria known as MRSA that was attacking his muscles and working toward his bone.
Fells acquired the infection through a cortisone injection. The bacteria replicate quickly and line the muscles, nerves, and blood vessels, taking apart the body. Had the infection traveled to his bone, Fells could have lost a leg.
Of the 75,000 cases of MRSA reported in 2012, 60,000 (80 percent) start in healthcare settings. Doctors said it was rare for someone without a pre-existing condition to have such a severe infection. While Fells did not need to have his leg amputated, he underwent at least 10 surgeries to recover from it and retired from the NFL. What started as a simple shot to treat ankle pain cost almost cost him his leg and ended his career.
Every claim is different. The circumstances that caused your amputation and the impact it has on your life is unique only to you. This makes assessing the value of your claim difficult without a consultation. If you lost a limb due to a hospital infection, call us today and speak with an attorney. After listening to what happened and reviewing your medical records, we’ll have a better understanding of what you deserve for your claim.
While it’s impossible to know what your claim is worth before speaking with an attorney, we can tell you we’ll look at when building a case. A medical malpractice claim for amputation consists of more than your medical bills. What the hospital did result in emotional and physical trauma that you have to live with for the rest of your life. If their negligence caused your amputation, they are responsible for all costs, not just the medical bills. When you talk to our lawyers, we look at several factors, including:
Our goal is to make sure you get the full amount of money possible based on your situation. We will review where the hospital was negligent and how these mistakes will affect your life.
Disclaimer: Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
In 2010, a Florida woman checked into Tampa General Hospital to remove a benign ovarian cyst. The patient had no pre-existing conditions and went into what she thought was routine surgery. During the procedure, however, the surgeon cut through her small intestine. When the surgery ended, he closed up her wound without addressing this cut.
During recovery, the patient’s blood pressure dropped, and she went into respiratory failure. The doctor’s negligence leads to a severe infection of flesh-eating bacteria. The woman suffered from abdominal pain, sepsis, and gangrene. To prevent the infection from killing her, the doctors had to remove both of her legs and arms below her knees and elbows.
Today, the patient experiences chronic abdominal pain and struggles to complete basic tasks like eating. What should have been a minor surgical procedure changed her life completely and ended her successful career with the Department of Defense? She no longer has the life she used to because her surgeon didn’t do his job. In 2018, a jury awarded her $109 million dollars.
In 2014, a Georgia inmate sued the medical director of his prison for inadequate care that leads to an amputation. The painful infection started because of a small laceration in the patient’s right leg after he slipped on the wet kitchen floor. It continued to spread when the patient went to the prison infirmary, and nurses stated the patient’s tissue became black and foul-smelling. By the time the patient arrived at Atlanta Medical Center, doctors had no choice but to amputate.
The patient lost his leg because he didn’t get access to the care he needed. As a prisoner, he was protected by the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. The state had an obligation to provide appropriate medical care to keep him healthy. The negligence of the prison medical director cost him a limb.
Five former prison medical workers testified on behalf of the patient, and the case settled for $550,000 before it went to trial. The prison medical director resigned as a result of the case.
These cases have significant differences, both in the amount awarded, the malpractice involved, and the judicial process. However, they have one thing in common: neither of the patients should have lost their limbs because of a minor medical problem. Medical experts could have prevented these amputations had they taken better care of their patients.
Filing a medical malpractice claim can seem intimidating, but you don’t have to be an expert in the legal process when you have our attorneys on your side. We will make the claims process as easy and hassle-free for you as possible, while we handle the work of fighting for the money you deserve. While we’ll work to get you compensation quickly, we’ll never leave money on the table by rushing your claim.
Here are some of the most common questions our clients ask about filing amputation claims. If you’re ready to move forward or have more questions, call us and let us address your concerns one-on-one, at no cost.
Don’t let your financial situation prevent you from seeking compensation. Our firm works with people from all walks of life and income levels. We make every client our No Fee Promise.
This means you will never have to pay unless you win your case. We don’t charge for calls, consultations, and meetings with our lawyers. We will never bill you hourly, so you don’t have to worry about reaching out to us.
The No Fee Promise allows us to focus on you, not on billing, and it means you won’t have to pay unless we settle the case in your favor. You can get the compensation you deserve, without worrying about racking up attorneys, fees.
The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time you have to file a claim. In the state of Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice (including amputation) is two years.
Malpractice claim statutes follow the Discovery Rule. This refers to the amount of time it takes patients to realize (within reason) that they are the victims of negligence and have a case. The two-year statute of limitations begins once the patient realizes negligence occurred. However, you want to contact us as soon as you suspect malpractice.
Getting the evidence required for a successful claim becomes harder as time passes. Memory gets fuzzy, documents get lost, and doctors transfer to new hospitals. Even if you’re not sure if your amputation came as a result of malpractice, call us. Our attorneys know what the law says about medical malpractice in PA. We’ll review your case, for free, and let you know if you have a claim.
No. Some amputations are unavoidable, but more than 60 percent of the time, they are preventable. There are four key elements to a malpractice case for it to be successful:
With this information, we can create a strong case against the medical practitioners that caused your amputation.
Many of our clients don’t think they can bring a lawsuit against a hospital because they signed medical consent forms throughout the process. While you might have agreed to the initial treatment or the final amputation, you never agreed to medical malpractice. Consent forms do not mean that you agree to substandard care, and you can ask for compensation if that’s what the hospital provides.
Every amputation lawsuit is different, which means we cannot predict whether your claim will go to trial or settle out of court. What we can say is that we will take every step possible to make the filing process easy on you. We take on the bulk of the work. Our job is to understand the legal system and shoulder the burden for you.
In some cases, medical malpractice insurance companies choose to settle the claim voluntarily rather than face us in court. If the claim does go to trial, however, we’ll handle everything.
Don’t let the fear of the legal process hold you back from the compensation you deserve. Call Console and Associates today for a free consultation.
Our clients often ask about the types of treatment and post-surgical care their claims will cover. While the surgery itself is expensive, there’s a whole range of care and treatment requirements that come with limb loss. Below are a few examples of the types of treatment that we include in claims to help our clients return to normal life post-amputation.
The period immediately following the amputation is a delicate one for patients. There’s a high risk of amputation stump infection, and doctors are mainly focused on making sure the wound closes. Doctors might insert drainage tubes and keep sutures in the wound for 14 to 21 days. During this time, patients can’t return to work and might not be able to leave the hospital, depending on the severity of the case.
Post-amputation, most patients focus on restoring activities of daily living (ADLs) that give them the motor skills they had before surgery. Something as simple as eating or going to the bathroom can seem like an impossible task in the weeks following a procedure. Rehabilitation after limb amputation helps patients increase ADLs to resume a normal life.
This rehabilitation process also covers physical therapy, exercise, and strength training for the whole body. This improves strength and endurance as your body adjusts to the lost support from the amputation.
Chronic pain is commonly reported in people who suffer limb loss and medical malpractice. Furthermore, your limb loss could lead to other health complications that need additional doctors, visits, and surgery.
The lifetime healthcare cost for amputees is $509,275 — far more than the $361,200-lifetime cost of care for people who never experience limb loss. Many of these expenses accrue over several years long after the patient leaves the hospital after the initial amputation. How will you come up with the money for this additional care? For many amputees, pursuing a medical malpractice claim can mean the difference between affording the care you need and having to go without.
Artificial limbs (also known as prosthetics) are popular assistive devices, but they are also incredibly expensive. The cost of prosthetic limbs can vary from $5,000 to$50,000 – and they need replacement every three to five years. Even clean amputations that don’t require follow-up treatment can be a lifelong expense.
Other assistance devices might include wheelchairs, crutches, and other tools to make ADLs possible.
Many patients leave the hospital and discover they can no longer return to work at their existing jobs and may need to change their careers completely. Understanding what fields are available to each patient, and the training provided is an important part of recovery.
Additionally, Console and Associates will include lost wages in our claims to cover the period from when you left the hospital until you were able to start work again.
Amputation takes a mental as well as a physical toll on the body. Almost a third of people who experience limb loss suffer from depression and anxiety. You will likely need immediate therapy in the wake of your amputation that could continue for several years.
Amputation isn’t just a loss of limb; it’s a loss of lifestyle. We take all of these factors into consideration with your amputation lawsuit to make sure your claim covers all of your recovery needs.
Losing a limb changes your life dramatically. You’re looking at months of recovery time before you can return to work if you’re able to return at all. Things that you used to do without even thinking suddenly require all of your attention. You have lost your independence because you can’t do many of the things you used to do without help.
Nothing can make up for the limb you lost, but filing a malpractice claim can give you what you need to put your life back together. Your claim could also help keep others from experiencing the loss you did by holding negligent doctors accountable. Let us handle your Pennsylvania amputation lawsuit and help you get your life back on track.
Call for your free consultation today!