What's a fair settlement for traumatic below knee amputation?

by Michael
(Princeton, NC)

I am writing this on behalf of my father, who was run over by a forklift at a major Home Improvement Retailer in June of 2010. He sustained a crush injury to the left foot that after hospitalization on and off for about a month required a below the knee amputation and prosthesis placement.

We have an attorney but would like to know what would be a fair settlement for this type of injury. Any info you could give would be appreciated.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "What's a fair settlement for traumatic below knee amputation?":


In a case of this magnitude there are multiple issues to be resolved. Factors to be included in your Dad’s case are innumerable. Factors to be reviewed include, but are not limited to:

- Bills, present and future

- Pain and Suffering

- Age of your Dad

- The impact the amputation and prosthesis will have on his ability to work at the capacity and profession in which he worked immediately prior to the injury

- Lost wages

- Psychological Effects

- Ability to drive a motor vehicle and possible need for a substitute driver or suitable transportation

There certainly are several more factors to be reviewed and incorporated into any settlement amount. Without a complete understanding of all the issues involved in the injury, including those from your Dad’s point of view and the defendant Home Improvement center, it's virtually impossible to estimate an appropriate amount for a settlement.

With your Dad’s consent you might want to sit down with his attorney. She should be able to answer many of your questions. That being said you should not be frustrated with her if she has been unable to answer the settlement amount question. From your perspective it seems readily apparent the Home Improvement Company should suffer complete liability, but you can rest assured they have something to say about the events and the extent of their liability.

In our years of practice and to the consternation of many clients we maintained a policy of not quoting possible future settlement amounts. We would not even afford our clients “ball park” figures. Doing either of those would have inevitably led to problems.

If an attorney prematurely gives his client an estimate and the eventual final settlement amount, even if by all professional standards is an excellent one, and the amount does not meet or exceed the amount previously quoted, the clients may feel the attorney failed them.

In the alternative if, during the clients' initial consultation with the attorney the attorney answered the question honestly by saying she could not quote even a ball park figure before immersing herself in the facts, the clients may decide to move on seeking an attorney who will satisfy their need to know how much money they will soon have to spend.

The best advice we can offer is to believe in your attorney. Communicate with her about any questions you might have. If she is unable or unwilling to give you a future settlement amount you should applaud her commitment to excellence and professionalism.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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