Prosthetic Limbs and the Future of Personal Injury Cases

In a recent article from the New York Law Journal, author Jon D. Lichtenstein addresses an area of personal injury law that could see significant developments over the coming years. Prosthetic limbs are becoming more prevalent and more advanced than ever. As our technology advances, prosthetic limbs are capable of functioning more and more like natural human limbs. Lichtenstein’s article discusses a 60 Minutes interview with a Vietnam veteran who was able to use a prosthetic arm to grasp objects for the first time in many years. He also writes that future developments in prosthetic limbs are expected to provide real sensory feedback, so that the wearer will actually be able to feel objects held or touched by the prosthetic limb. This is a huge advancement for people who have suffered injuries resulting in the loss of a limb, especially for our country’s veterans who have lost limbs during their service to our country.


Potential Issues in Personal Injury Cases

However, this poses a new challenge in personal injury law. Is damage to a prosthetic limb considered a “personal injury” for purposes of recovery, or is it merely a piece of property for which the owner would be entitled the repair or replacement value? What if the damage to the prosthetic limb causes the owner to suffer economic injuries such as lost earnings or emotional injury such as lost enjoyment of life? Should they be considered more like implants inside the body that help people see, hear, or even pump blood?

Overall, as Lichtenstein discusses in his article, the law of personal injury was created to help make a person whole again after an injury. What a person might be entitled to recover in a personal injury lawsuit involving a prosthetic limb would be very different for every individual in their unique situation. Just like these cases, recovery in the case of injury to a natural body part is different for each individual because of the specific circumstances surrounding their injury. As with injury to prosthetics, injury to natural limbs can arise from the negligence of another (an unreasonable unsafe activity), the intent of another, or through strict liability (usually products liability cases). Regardless of the type of injury, you may be entitled to compensation and other remedies for your injury.


Let Our Attorneys Help You

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury at the hands of another, whether to a natural or prosthetic limb, the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer is crucial in navigating the complex personal injury laws in each state. Consult with the attorneys at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC today and get more information on your rights and the compensation to which you may be entitled. It can be difficult to know where to begin and how to proceed in these situations. Statutes of limitations may apply in each case, so it is imperative to seek counsel today if you have suffered from an injury. Call (212) 397-1000 to schedule your free consultation today.