Few people face a procedure as traumatic and invasive as amputees. Amputations, while sometimes necessary, can be extremely distressing for both the amputee and their family. The surgery itself is risky and many who experience it face various complications afterwards. In addition, the mental effects of losing a limb can be incredibly distressing. Many amputees suffer with anxiety and depression due to the surgery and the new social stigma they are forced to face due to their disability.

Amputees also face a mountain of medical bills before, during, and after surgery. Often these medical costs will sap a family of their savings and ultimately cause them to go into debt. Unfortunately, the expenses related to amputations don’t stop once the procedure is finished. Many amputees are required to continue their medical treatment, attend physical therapy sessions, and install handicap attachments so they can live an independent lifestyle.

If you or someone you love has experienced an amputation complication or lost a limb due to negligence, you may be entitled to compensation in the form of a settlement or monetary award. To learn more, speak to a qualified Washington personal injury lawyer from PNW Trial Lawyers.

Amputation Claim Attorney in Bellingham, WA

The emotional and physical difficulties amputees face can feel endless. Whether the amputation occurred because of medical malpractice or a traumatic accident, if the injury was caused by another person’s negligent actions then you could be entitled to compensation. Don’t allow the at-fault party to not be held responsible. Contact PNW Trial Lawyers to learn your legal options and get answers to your burning questions.

Schedule your first consultation with PNW Trial Lawyers by calling our offices at (360) 483-5201. PNW Trial Lawyers has offices in Bellingham and accepts clients throughout the greater Whatcom County, Skagit County, and Snohomish County area including Everett, Mount Vernon, and Anacortes.

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Common Reasons for Amputations

An amputation procedure may be necessary for a variety of reasons. It can be either a planned or emergency procedure depending on the circumstances of the injury/illness. In rare but real cases, some people undergo an amputation on accident due to poor surgery planning by hospital staff or management.

The following are some possible reasons why an amputation may occur.

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

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Possible Complications from Amputations

Since amputations are such a high-risk surgery, complications are common after the procedure. Some of these aftereffects are mental such as phantom limb syndrome, which is where a person feels a limb when it isn’t there. Others are physical such as joints becoming deformed over time. Listed below are some complications that could arise from an amputation.

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

Phantom limb syndrome occurs when an amputee experiences pain or another feeling in their missing limb even though it’s been clearly amputated. For years, experts believed these pains were purely psychological. Now, professionals have found new evidence that shows these sensations may stem from the spinal cord and brain malfunctioning.

Phantom limb syndrome can include a variety of sensations including:

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

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Damages for Amputation Victims

While most amputations are conducted in good faith, there are cases where an amputation complication or the procedure itself may occur due to medical malpractice. In addition, some amputees lost their limb(s) due to an accident or event caused by the negligence of another person. In these circumstances, amputation victims can seek out compensation for their damages by filing a claim against the at-fault party demanding a settlement or monetary award.

If the amputee lost their limb due to medical malpractice, it’s important to note plaintiffs only have three years to file a medical malpractice claim against the responsible party. Of course, this is within the context of the plaintiff discovering their injury caused by negligence very quickly after it occurs. Thankfully, the court allows plaintiffs to still file a medical malpractice lawsuit after this 3-year period within a 1-year period after learning about the medical harm.

In order to do this, the plaintiff must prove they could not have reasonably been expected to discover such a medical error that occurred during the original statute of limitations. This is referred to as the statute of repose under Washington State law. According to the statute of repose for medical malpractice, the lawsuit must be filed within 8 years of the negligent act.

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Additional Resources

Amputation Information | AOFAS – Visit the official website for the American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS).  Find more information for below-knee amputation surgery. Learn when to avoid amputation, signs that may indicate a need for amputation, and surgery details.

John Hopkins Medicine – Visit the official website for John Hopkins School of Medicine. Find more information regarding amputations, why you may need one, how to prepare for surgery, and long-term care for losing a limb.

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Bellingham Amputations Attorneys, WA | Whatcom County & Snohomish County

If you or someone you know has suffered an amputation or a complication from an amputation due to negligence, then contact PNW Trial Lawyers. Those who act carelessly and recklessly should be held civilly liable, and our team can help you do that. With years of experience, resources, skills, and an extensive network on our side—our team can help you through every step of your claim.

Schedule your first consultation with PNW Trial Lawyers today by calling our office at (360) 483-5201. PNW Trial Lawyers has a location in Bellingham and accepts clients in Skagit County, Whatcom County, and Snohomish County, Washington.

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