How Much is an Amputation Worth in New York?
The Amputation Lawyers in New York at HURT911® got a $1.2M settlement in a lawsuit for a nearly amputated and re-attached finger, which shows that just about any amputation is worth a lot of money.
Although not all amputations are worth the same amount of money for settlement in a personal injury lawsuit, almost all amputations are worth from over $1,000,000 to several million dollars.
Consider these examples of how settlement amounts and verdicts for an amputation can differ depending on various factors:
- 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 Settlement Worth More Than Other Injuries?
The amount of money you need if you have an amputation is substantially more than other types of injury.
Not only are medical and rehabilitation costs higher, but there are many more future costs because of amputation. Other costs besides medical treatment and drugs include future vocational rehabilitation or training for another job and assistance to perform daily chores.
Besides normal pain and suffering, there is phantom pain, residual limb pain, the potential for injury to other parts of your body in the future, 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 compensation for that. Even if it’s an amputation of a finger or toe.
The settlement value of your amputation is one part of the settlement value of your personal injury lawsuit. You will have other injuries in addition to amputation. The value of your other injuries will be added to the settlement value of the amputation. Find out how much your injury can be worth.
What is the Most Valuable Amputation Settlement For?
The most valuable amputation injury is a settlement for the amputation of a leg or arm. The loss of a limb is the type of injury that is the most life-changing. However, as you will see, even the settlement for the amputation of a finger can be worth over a million dollars.
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Because an amputation injury is so valuable, it is very important to know how to properly do a complete search for all insurance policies and assets of all defendants. See how we investigate to find insurance policies and assets.
How Much is a Leg Amputation Worth for Settlement?
Jury verdicts for the loss or amputation of one leg range from as much as $7 million to over $27 million and as high as $62 million for both legs.
The lawsuits in which our clients suffered the loss of a limb have mostly been from motorcycle accidents. In these cases, the loss of a limb was the loss of one leg.
A loss of a limb settlement is so valuable that even if you don’t have a good case, you can still get a lot of money. If your case isn’t so good and has to settle for only 50% of full value, your loss of a limb settlement could still be $4,000,000 to $5,000,000.
Even if the accident may have been your fault, your lawsuit could still settle for a lot of money because it may be possible to argue that the defendant was 5-10% at fault.
In one of our motorcycle accident cases, a woman lost her leg when her trike crashed into a tree. No other car was involved in this accident, and it really wasn’t a viable case, but unlike other personal injury lawyers in New York, we don’t just look for good cases.
Her loss of a leg was a big injury that would have been worth millions of dollars if it was a good case. It wasn’t, but we took her case because we believed we would get at least 5% of the full settlement value for her, and after four years, we settled her lawsuit for $400,000. While $400,000 sounds like very little for the loss of a leg, it was a great settlement because there really was no case, and several other personal injury lawyers in New York declined to represent her before she called 1-800-HURT-911®.
How Much Is an Amputation Worth if it Causes Other Injuries?
The potential for injury to other parts of your body in the future is certain with some types of amputations. While the value of a leg amputation is many millions of dollars, the additional injuries add more value than just those additional injuries because, in conjunction with the amputation, it causes even greater disability.
For instance, the loss of a leg will cause stress and strain on other body parts. Additional injuries can and likely will be caused.
Usually, an injury to one leg will cause knee and hip injuries to the opposite leg. A torn meniscus in the knee is worth more money when the other leg is amputated.
Our client mentioned above lost her leg when it was amputated below the knee. The time she spent on crutches caused a torn rotator cuff, requiring surgery for her shoulder. One day, she fell down the stairs, causing more injuries.
What is a Finger Amputation Worth?
Don’t think that a lost finger isn’t worth calling a lawyer. A visitor on our website who lost an index finger wrote in a chat:
Alanis (chat operator): Are you currently represented by a lawyer?
Visitor: No don’t know if I need one
Visitor: It’s a finger it f upped my life no guitar but still just a finger
(He previously mentioned that he can’t play guitar anymore.)
Jury verdicts for the amputation of one finger have been as much as $2,000,000 in New York.
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).
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 lawsuit will go to trial
How Much is a Partial Finger Amputation Worth to Settle?
Even a nearly amputated finger is worth a lot of money. This thumb was fractured and nearly amputated in a construction accident in New York but was re-attached and saved. We settled this lawsuit for $1,200,000.
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.
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 was quickly released because doctors were unable to reattach the tip of his finger. Medical treatment consisted of shaving off a portion of the 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 to Settle?
This photo shows an amputated thumb when it was crushed. An amputated thumb is the most important finger and is more valuable than the amputation of any other finger, although any amputated finger is worth a lot of money.
Crush Injuries to Fingers
Crush injuries to fingers are also worth a lot of money and can even be worth more than the amputation of a finger.
Crush injuries to fingers are also accompanied by finger amputations. It is not uncommon for a door to slam on someone’s hand and partially amputate the tip of a finger and crush other fingers.
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 the 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 (eye amputation)
Enucleation of an eye or an enucleated eye is technically an eye amputation.
Enucleation of an eye was the injury in the first lawsuit I worked on at one of the largest New York City personal injury law firms.
The lawsuit 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 lawsuit. She rang the doorbell and took off one of her high-heeled shoes. 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-and-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 Than Other Amputations?
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.
See how the lack of liability affected a loss of limb settlement when our client lost her leg, but there wasn’t a liable defendant to go after because it was a motorcycle accident with no other car or vehicle involved. We still got her $400,000 but settled for 5% of the value.
In New York, other factors, such as loss of wages or income, will add significant value to a settlement because the loss of a limb or any amputation is a permanent injury with lifelong effects on the ability to earn a living.
In New York, if the victim suffering a loss of limb or any other amputation has anyone dependent upon him or her for support, such as a spouse, children, or parents, the value of the loss of support will add substantial value to a settlement because it will be lifelong.
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 New York Amputation Lawyers Can Help You Obtain Compensation
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.
Phil Franckel is known as a top negotiator who teaches other personal injury lawyers how to negotiate and supervises the negotiations on every amputation case.
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 may need money immediately, and we can get you money quickly to help you get by until your lawsuit is settled.
If there isn’t enough insurance or if 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 that 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.
Construction accidents almost always have many millions of dollars in insurance available for compensation for the loss of a limb or other amputation.
Do I have to Pay Income Tax on My Amputation Settlement?
Money paid for pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages is not taxable.
Any part of your settlement that is paid for emotional and psychological injuries, confidentiality, and punitive damages are taxable. This can be avoided by a skillful personal injury lawyer when drafting the settlement release.
Properly drafting the release for an amputation settlement is even more important than other personal injury lawsuits because:
- Amputation settlements are usually for millions of dollars.
- Medical insurance liens may be asserted against the settlement.
- Amputations often occur at work which involve additional issues that must be considered.
- Amputations often prevent the injured person either from working or cause reduced earning potential.
You should consult your accountant about tax implications. If you do not have an accountant, now is a good time to get one. We can help you find an accountant who can help you with your amputation settlement and manage your money.
For more detailed information about the tax impact on personal injury settlements, see “Is a Personal Injury Settlement Taxable by the IRS?”
What Should I Do With the Money From a Settlement for an Amputation?
Because your amputation settlement will likely be a very large amount of tax-free money, you will need to do some planning to make sure your settlement grows over time, and you don’t lose it in less than a year.
We can help provide you with some advice, and you should consult your accountant. If you do not have an accountant, we can help you find an accountant.
Read about some suggestions about what you can do with the money from an amputation settlement.
Amputation After 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 a 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 healthcare cost for amputation). Thus, it is vital to get all the money you will need.
What Are the Economic Costs of an Amputation After an Accident?
How Much Does an Amputation Cost for Medical Bills?
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 healthcare cost for amputation is $509,275.
$509,275 in medical costs for an amputee is the national average and does not reflect the costs associated with amputation in New York. An amputee in New York can experience costs as much as 100% 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.
What the NIH Study Looked at to Determine How Much an Amputation Cost for Medical Treatment
- Initial hospitalization
- Inpatient rehabilitation
- Outpatient doctor visits
- Outpatient physical therapy
- Outpatient occupational therapy
- Purchase and maintenance of prosthetic devices
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 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 the damages caused by the accident. The vocational assessment includes an interview and testing in New York City, which lasts several hours.
Other Lifetime Costs of an Amputation
Additional costs of amputation that an amputee will face include home construction modifications, vehicle modifications, help at home, and more.
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.
Compensation for 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 the 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 ensure 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.
How Can I Get Millions of Dollars for an Amputation?
The value of an amputation settlement can easily be millions of dollars, but we have to find sources to pay that much money.
We have to find all possible defendants and insurance companies that are responsible. Many times, we find several defendants and insurance companies that were not obvious.
First, we will investigate to find every person and company that may have been at least partially responsible for causing your amputation injury. Those people and companies will be defendants.
Second, we will conduct an insurance search to find all insurance policies that could provide money for your amputation injury.
Third, if there isn’t enough insurance, we will do an exhaustive asset search of each defendant.
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)
- Residual limb pain or Chronic Neuroma (This is a pain in the remaining part of the limb or stump in the area of the amputation caused by nerve damage or nerve entrapment (pressure on the nerve). See What is Phantom pain and Residual limb pain or Chronic Neuroma.
- Poor wound healing
- 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.
A patient talks about his chronic neuroma pain due to a leg amputation, how he went to NY Presbyterian Hospital in New York and then was treated with Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR) by Dr. Zuhaib Ibrahim of The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction.
What Kinds of Accidents Cause an Amputation?
An unusual accident that caused a foot amputation was a motorcyclist who was doing wheelies behind a shopping center when his motorcycle skidded, causing his foot to be amputated. Fortunately, his foot was reattached. We discovered that his motorcycle skidded on grease from mop water thrown in the parking lot by a restaurant.
We sent an investigator who spent three days and nights to get a video of an employee illegally throwing out the mop water. A sample was obtained, which showed soap was in the water and the residue dried on the asphalt, making it slippery. Even though he was trespassing and doing wheelies, we successfully settled the case.
Accidents That Cause an Amputation
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Construction Accidents | See how we can speed up your construction accident settlement
- Workplace Accidents
- Forklift accidents
- Electrical Accidents
- Unsafe Products
- Power Tools
- Boating Accidents
- Amusement Park Rides
Injuries Which Can Cause an Amputation
When an amputation is not caused in the accident, it may still be needed if the injury is serious. In fact, an amputation may be needed even weeks after an accident. We had a client who decided to have her leg amputated weeks after her accident because her leg wasn’t healing well and causing considerable pain.
The following injuries can result in an amputation even weeks after an accident:
- Burn Injury (severe)
- Hot Water Burn Injury (severe)
- Burn Injury From Fire
- Electrical Burn Injury.
- Other Serious Injuries
How We Determine How Much an Amputation Is Worth
There are several steps outlined below that we use to determine what an amputation or loss of a limb is worth for settlement.
The New York Amputation Lawyers at 1-800-HURT-911® start by first assuming that the persons or corporations responsible are 100% responsible. If it becomes apparent, later in the case, that the defendant is less than 100% responsible, we can consider the percent of liability at that time.
Founding Partners Rob Plevy and Phil Franckel closely review all amputation cases to ensure they are settled for maximum value.
Our experience tells us the approximate range that the amputation could be worth, but to get the actual value, we will look at many factors. We also hire and pay for one or more expert witness companies to compute some of the values we need.
The expert witness companies we hire will provide us with a vocational assessment, a life care plan, and an economics assessment.
Experts We Use to Help Determine the Worth of an Amputation Injury
Depending on the particular personal injury case, we can use one, two, or all three of the experts below. We advance the cost of all case expenses, which includes the expert evaluations and reports, which typically cost approximately $10,000 for each expert. If the case goes to trial, the cost of case expenses can double.
Although the cost is not inexpensive, the work that is done by the experts is exhaustive time-consuming work that is well worthwhile because it can add millions of dollars to the settlement value and worth of an amputation case.
Vocational Assessment Shows Amputee’s Future Ability
A vocational assessment is an extensive written document produced by an expert witness who specializes in compiling vocational assessments. The report shows the amputee’s aptitudes, professional abilities, needs, and vocation potential.
Life Care Plan Shows Lifetime Needs and Costs of an Amputation
A life care plan is an extensive written document produced by an expert witness who specializes in writing life care plans.
The life care plan provides a detailed plan for current and future needs and costs throughout their lifetime. The needs and costs include medical, psychological, and rehabilitation for someone with a catastrophic injury. An amputation injury is a catastrophic injury for which we use a life care plan.
An economic assessment is a detailed study and report produced by economics experts. The report usually incorporates the opinions of vocational experts, doctors, and the life care plan.
The economic assessment report documents the loss of wages and benefits, including fringe benefits such as the cost of health insurance, employer-funded 401(k) plan contributions, pension benefits, annuities, automobile allowances, stock options, cost of continuing medical care, household and family services, the diminished ability of an injured person to perform household services, and the cost to replace these services.
Research Amputation Settlements and Verdicts
Once we have the information from our client’s medical doctors and the experts we hire, we can now research all of the past cases involving the same type of amputation. We will look at the following to determine what the amputation is worth for settlement:
- Reported settlement amounts
- Verdict amounts awarded at trial, and
- Amounts upheld by the Appellate Courts in New York for verdicts that were appealed.
Research Insurance Coverage and Assets
At no charge, we will investigate to find all insurance policies that can provide insurance coverage with enough money to compensate you for your amputation injury.
If there is not enough insurance for compensation if you have an amputation, we will, also at no charge, research the defendant’s assets to see what can be obtained from the defendant.
How Do I Know if I Should Accept a Settlement for My Amputation
Following are some of the points to consider when trying to decide if you want to accept a settlement offer for your amputation lawsuit:
- How badly will the amputation change your life from the way it was?
- How much money from lost income will you suffer?
- Know how much money you will need for rehabilitation, the cost of the prosthesis, and periodic replacement of the prosthesis to continue your life as best as you can.
- Whether the defendant is 100% at fault or some lesser percentage.
- How much insurance and assets are available to compensate you for your amputation?
Amputation Settlement Calculator
Once you have an idea of what an amputation settlement is worth for compensation, you can use the HURT911® Amputation Settlement Calculator to calculate the amount you will receive for the amputation after case expenses and legal fees.
Want to know how much is an amputation worth? Any amputation is a serious injury worth a lot of money, even the loss of a fingertip or a toe. If you had an amputation of a fingertip, an arm, or a leg, call the Amputation Compensation Lawyers in New York at the 1-800-HURT-911® Personal Injury Dream Team™. We want to represent you!
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Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™
Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
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.