New York Amputation Lawyers

How Much is an Amputation Worth in New York?

Not all amputations are worth the same amount of money. Consider these examples of the different value of amputations:

  • An amputated finger is worth less than an amputated leg.
  • An amputated thumb is worth more than an amputated pinky finger.
  • An amputated finger on your dominant hand is worth more than on your non-dominant hand, and
  • An amputated thumb is worth more for someone who needs the thumb for work, or even a serious hobby, than for someone who doesn’t.

Why is an Amputation Worth More Than Other Injuries?

The amount of money you need if you have an amputation is substantially more than other types of injuries.

Not only are medical and rehabilitation costs higher but there are many more costs because of the amputation. Other costs besides medical treatment and drugs include future vocational rehabilitation or training for another job and assistance to perform daily chores.

Besides the normal pain and suffering, there is phantom pain, loss of enjoyment of the quality of life, psychological injury, and more (see below).

You will need a lot of money in the future when you have an amputation. You deserve to be compensated for that. Even if it’s an amputation of a finger or toe.

If you have other injuries in addition to an amputation, the value of your other injuries will be added to the value of the amputation, find out how much your injury can be worth.

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How Much is an Amputated Leg (Loss of a Leg) Worth?

Jury verdicts for the loss of one leg range from as much as $7 million to over $27 million and as high as $62 million for both legs.

What is an Amputated Finger (Loss of a Finger) Worth?

Jury verdicts for amputation of one finger range from $85,000 to $2,000,000 in New York.

These lawyers obtained a $1.25 million settlement for a 32-year-old worker who had most of his dominant hand amputated except a portion of one finger and thumb in a workplace accident.

But we got a $1.20 million settlement for a nearly amputated thumb that was saved and not even a partially amputated finger (see below).

These are a few of the many factors that affect the verdict value of an amputated finger

  • Which finger
  • Dominant or non-dominant hand
  • Whether the finger is needed for work
  • Age of the plaintiff
  • County where the case will go to trial

How Much is a Partial Amputated Finger Worth?

Even a nearly amputated finger is worth a lot of money. This thumb was fractured and nearly amputated, in a New York construction accident, but was re-attached and saved. We settled this case for $1,200,000.

how much is this nearly amputated thumb worth?

How Much is a Fingertip Amputation Worth?

Even the loss of a fingertip is worth a lot of money. This photo shows the tip of our client’s pinky finger missing when it was torn off and amputated.

The tip of our client's pinky finger was torn off and amputated

A Queens, New York jury gave $467,700 to a 42-year-old man who lost the tip of his left index finger on his non-dominant hand in a construction accident while working as a mason. The tip of his index finger was crushed and ripped off. The plaintiff went to Flushing Hospital but quickly released because doctors were unable to reattach the tip of his finger. Medical treatment consisted of shaving off a portion of fractured bone and sewing a flap of skin over it. (Li Zhong Huang v. Cherry Avenue Corp Princeton Construction Co. d/b/a Matrix Construction Company et al, Supreme Court, Queens County, Index # 12201/05, December 05, 2008)

How Much is a Thumb Amputation Worth?

This photo shows an amputated thumb when it was crushed. An amputated thumb is the most important finger and more valuable than amputation of any other finger.

how much is this amputated thumb worth?

What is Loss of an Eye Worth?

There are many other types of amputation or loss of use of a body part and different degrees which in part determine the value of the injury. This is also true with the loss of eyesight or loss of an eye.

For instance, a person can lose sight in an eye or have an enucleated eye which is where the eye has been physically removed.

Loss of eyesight is very serious and worth 7 figures but the physical loss of an eye is worth even more.

Enucleated Eye

Enucleation of an eye or an enucleated eye is technically an amputation of an eye.

Enucleation of an eye was the injury in the first case I worked on at one of the largest New York City personal injury law firms.

The case involved a lack of security when a doorman in a New York City apartment building failed to stop a female who entered the building.

The woman was in a love triangle and went to see her boyfriend’s other girlfriend. She passed by the doorman, who didn’t stop her because he was busy, and she took the elevator up. This wasn’t an elevator accident case. She rang the doorbell and took off her high-heeled shoe. You know what comes next!

The woman inside the apartment opened the door, and bang! With a stroke of anger, her eye was pulled out of its socket on a high heel.

The case went to trial and the owner of the law firm, where I worked, was the trial lawyer. Although he was probably one of the top 5 personal injury trial lawyers in New York at the time, the jury found the building was only 10% at fault and the client received 10% of the verdict for her enucleated eye.

$4,125,000 was awarded by a jury in a case involving a mason. A 3 1/2 inch long nail struck the mason in the left eye, causing complete blindness in the eye and it was alleged that surgical enucleation of the eye would be necessary in the near future. The plaintiff also alleged that a preexisting and previously undiagnosed degenerative condition of the retina affecting the other eye posed the risk of blindness in the other eye. (Supreme Court,  New York County, Fresco vs. DNA Construction et al. 18 NY. J.V.R.A. 10:C6, 2001 WL 36503087 (N.Y.Sup.)

Why Are Some Amputations Worth More And Some Amputations Worth Less?

Lower jury verdicts often reflect liability problems such as when a jury finds that the defendant was not 100% responsible for causing the accident and/or injury.

Example of How the Settlement Value of an Amputation is Reduced Because the Defendant Was Not 100% Responsible for Causing the Accident

Our client was operating a motorcycle. He admitted to the police officer and to us that he ran a stop sign when he was hit by a car. Several other personal injury lawyers refused to take his case before he called us.

We argued that although our client was mostly at fault for causing the motorcycle accident, the driver of the car failed to see what she was required to see, which was the motorcyclist failing to stop at the stop sign. We got the car’s insurance company to agree to 10% liability on their driver.

We then proved that 10% of the value of the injury was more than the insurance policy and made them pay the entire insurance policy.

If the loss of a leg is worth $10,000,000 to settle and you were 90% at fault for causing the accident, you would be entitled to get 10% of that value or $1,00,000.

How We Can Help You

New York Personal Injury Lawyers Phil Franckel and Rob Plevy provide the personal service you and your family need at the time of a serious injury like an amputation.

We can even provide a personal medical manager and our Concierge Service. Take a look at our fee guarantees and the services we provide including our Concierge Service.

You will likely need money immediately and we can get you money quickly to help you get by until your case is settled.

If there isn’t enough insurance or where the defendant is an individual, we will perform an asset search and additional insurance search to make sure that we can get all the money available to provide for your future and your family’s future. We have had several cases where we found insurance which the insurance company did not disclose.

Where the defendant is a corporation, there often is sufficient insurance to pay for your pain and suffering, the cost of your ongoing care, support your family, and assist you in obtaining the tools you need to live as full a life as possible.

Amputation Due to an Accident

Amputation is the severing of a body part. An amputation can happen in an accident or from surgery when the limb or body part cannot be saved because of trauma.

If you suffer an amputation at the hospital, it’s not worth any less than if your amputation occurs at the accident scene.

Some amputations are left as is but some may require even further amputation increasing the settlement value.

Amputations are very serious and require substantial rehabilitation often with prosthesis also called a prosthetic or artificial limb. Lawsuits for these injuries are usually worth millions.

Financial considerations when settling a lawsuit include all past and future economic damages (below) and past and future pain and suffering (below).  Economic damages include all damages for which the cost can be calculated.  Pain and suffering are subjectively determined by a jury or agreed upon by both sides at settlement.

Modern medicine often allows reattachment and reconstruction when an amputation would have been required years ago.  The cost of reconstruction vs. amputation has been reported as similar (projected lifetime health-care cost for amputation).  Thus, it is vital to get all the money you will need.

Economic Costs Facing an Amputee after an Accident

Medical Costs of Amputation

Prostheses for an amputee of a lower extremity can range in price from $8,000 to $70,000 depending on whether a partial or complete amputation was sustained.

A prosthesis has a substantial cost for both the prosthesis and future replacements of the prosthesis. Prostheses must be replaced every few years. The cost of several future replacements must be considered when submitting damages to a jury at trial or when settling a lawsuit.

According to a National Institutes of Health study, the projected lifetime health-care cost for amputation is $509,275.

Economic costs of amputation looked at in the study were the following:

  1. Initial hospitalization
  2. Rehospitalizations
  3. Inpatient rehabilitation
  4. Outpatient doctor visits
  5. Outpatient physical therapy
  6. Outpatient occupational therapy
  7. Purchase and maintenance of prosthetic devices

These costs are a national average and do not reflect the costs associated with amputation in New York.  An amputee in New York would likely experience costs approximately 20% higher.

Not mentioned in the study was the cost of drugs.  Medication alone can cost a lifetime total of as much as $500,000-$1 million.

We use an expert to prepare a complex document called a “life care plan” which documents what the future medical needs of an amputee are and how much it will cost over the entity’s lifetime. We also use an expert called an economist.

Lost Wages or Income & Vocational Training for an Amputee

Also not mentioned in the study was the cost of lost wages or income. Lost wages can be millions of dollars.  Although occupational therapy was looked at, the cost of retraining for a different job was not included.

Often overlooked is the fact that an amputee who was not working at the time of the injury occurred in an accident may still be able to obtain money for lost income and occupational training. Just because someone injured in an accident was not working at the time of the accident, doesn’t mean that person isn’t allowed to be unemployed forever.

Wages and income in New York are substantially higher than in other parts of the country and the cost of vocational training is also substantially higher.

We use an expert for a vocational assessment as well as an economist to document these damages caused by the accident. The vocational assessment includes an interview and testing in New York City which lasts several hours.

Other Lifetime Costs an Amputee Faces

Additional costs of amputation include home construction modifications, vehicle modifications, help at home, and more.

As with other costs, home reconstruction modifications for the disabled will be substantially higher in New York.

Pain and Suffering Value in Addition to Economic Costs

The above costs associated with an amputation are called economic damages and do not include pain and suffering.

Pain and suffering is a subjective amount determined either by a jury or by both sides at the time of settlement. Economic damages reviewed above are those damages that are not subjective but can be calculated by experts.

Pain and suffering is a generally known legal term that is often misunderstood to include the entire amount of money you are entitled to after an accident but it does not include economic damages. It includes an award for the physical pain and emotional stress and depression caused by an injury such as the loss of a limb or other body part, scarring, and shortening of life expectancy.

At the time of trial, a jury will award past and future economic costs but will also give an award for past and future pain and suffering.  A case may be settled anytime before trial but settlements are based upon what both sides think a jury will award at the time of trial.

What Is the Settlement Value of an Amputation?

The amount of money you could be entitled to receive as compensation for an amputation can vary drastically depending upon a large number of factors such as the percentage of negligence of the person who caused your injury; what was amputated; your age and many other factors.

We use three or more experts to document the economic costs associated with an amputation to make sure you get every dollar of the economic costs you need in addition to pain and suffering. Your pain and suffering award is for that and should not be used for your medical treatment and to replace your lost income.

Side Effects of Amputation

People suffering an amputation injury with a prosthesis experience many complications and side effects from medical treatments and prescription drugs including:

  • Phantom pain (when the brain continues to send signals to the amputated limb)
  • Chronic Neuroma (pain/ tenderness at amputation area)
  • Poor wound healing
  • Infection
  • Stiffness
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSD) or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic neurological pain condition with continuous, intense pain out of proportion to the severity of the injury, which gets worse rather than better over time. It can cause severe burning pain, pathological changes to bone and skin, excessive sweating, tissue swelling, and extreme sensitivity to touch.
  • Severe emotional problems and depression require psychological support to deal with the tragic loss of a limb.

Accidents Usually Causing an Amputation

An amputation injury usually results from one of the following traumatic accidents:

Injuries Which Can Cause an Amputation

When an amputation is not caused in the accident it may be needed if the injury is serious. The following injuries can result in a later amputation:

Any amputation is a serious injury, even the loss of a fingertip or a toe. If you had an amputation of a fingertip, an arm, or leg in New York, we want to represent you!

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Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

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