A Medical Error Led to an Amputation. Is This Considered Medical Malpractice?


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According to the Amputee Coalition, there are approximately 185,000 amputations in the United States every year. In fact, 3.6 million people are expected to live with limb loss by 2050. In many cases, medical malpractice is to blame. When this happens, the medical professionals and hospital may be held liable. 

Why Might An Amputation Be Necessary?

Often, an amputation of a limb is required to save a person’s life. But in many, amputations result from preventable medical mistakes, including:

  • Failure to properly diagnose and promptly treat a condition.
  • Infection that spreads after surgery or due to an improperly treated wound.
  • Failure to treat blood clots or internal bleeding that causes poor circulation in the limbs.
  • Medication errors due to improper prescription or lack of careful monitoring.
  • Failure to treat trauma that results in internal swelling in a limb.

Are Potential Complications Worse For Some People Than Others?

Individuals with diabetes, preexisting infections, and heart disease are more inclined to experience complications due to amputations than other people. As a result, doctors must take into account each patient’s preexisting conditions during diagnosis and treatment. Regardless, if a preventable amputation occurs, it may be considered medical malpractice. 

What Are Some Ongoing Issues Related To Amputation?

Recovering from the loss of a limb is a traumatic, painful, and emotional process. The person’s ability to walk, drive, interact with family and friends, perform their work and activities of daily living is impacted. As a result, the Amputee Coalition states that 36 percent of people living with limb loss experience depression.

There are many reasons for this. For instance, an amputee may require medical equipment, such as a wheelchair or prosthetic, which can be challenging to adapt to and necessitates substantial lifestyle changes. In addition, the person may suffer from wound-healing issues and pain due to phantom limb sensation. Also, the amputee’s quality of life and livelihood are affected. For instance, if a person with limb loss cannot return to their job, they may need extensive training to start a new career. Plus, because of the significantly high costs of medical equipment and lifetime healthcare associated with limb loss, financial hardships are common.  

How Long Does A Person Have To Sue For Medical Malpractice In Pennsylvania?

Generally speaking, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice in the state of Pennsylvania is two years from the date that the plaintiff discovers their injuries or the date the plaintiff reasonably should have discovered their injuries. 

Does Pennsylvania Have Damage Caps On What Can Be Recovered In A Malpractice Lawsuit?

The state of Pennsylvania does not set damage caps on compensatory, or economic, and non-economic damages. They include wage loss, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. However, the punitive damage cap for medical malpractice recovery is two times the compensatory damages. Punitive damages are awarded in rare cases where the defendant’s conduct is especially egregious or malicious.

Get Help With Your Amputation Medical Malpractice Claim

The loss of a limb may be due to a medical professional’s negligence. If you believe this happened to you or a loved one, you should immediately talk with an experienced medical malpractice attorney at Ross Feller Casey.

Our experienced attorneys have an unparalleled record in winning record-setting recoveries in medical malpractice cases, including many multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements in amputation injury lawsuits. The success is due in part to our team of on-staff Ivy League-trained physicians, which makes the firm uniquely qualified to litigate complicated medical malpractice cases involving amputations.

Contact Ross Feller Casey today for a free case evaluation. All our cases, including amputation injury lawsuits, are handled on a contingency basis. That means there is no cost until we secure a verdict or settlement in your claim.

Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.