“For Amputees, An Attorney Who Knows Their Pain”
Daily Journal Publishes Front Page Feature on Conal Doyle
March 2, 2010 – Daily Journal
Litigating catastrophic limb loss cases requires technical expertise and the jury trial experience and resources to force the culpable parties to accept responsibility for their negligent conduct. The lawyers at Willoughby Doyle have both.
What sets us apart from other law firms?
The unique life experiences of our trial lawyers sets us apart from other firms that litigate limb loss cases. One of our founding partners, Conal Doyle, is a right leg amputee who has utilized an artificial limb for over thirty years. As a result, he understands the practical difficulties that an amputee struggles with on a daily basis on a level that his clients have yet to experience. His published article “Glimpsing the Future For an Amputee” is cited and relied on by other attorneys around the country.
How can the Firm’s expertise affect my recovery?
The plaintiff in a personal injury or medical malpractice case has the burden of proving damages. The lawyers at Willoughby Doyle develop damages arguments that their clients, experts, and opposing counsel rarely consider. To obtain full and fair compensation in a complex catastrophic case, we think “outside the box” to articulate legitimate well supported damages arguments that add value to our cases. There are two broad categories of compensatory damages: economic and non-economic damages.
• Non-Economic Damages: These damages are often referred to as “pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of the enjoyment of life.” We refer to them as “human losses” and have a unique understanding of how the loss of a limb can affect our client’s daily existence. We empathize with our clients’ struggles, but more importantly have the unique credibility to stand before a jury and articulate with passion the emotional and physical difficulties that our clients will experience every day for the rest of their lives. Arriving at a dollar figure for non-economic losses is one of the most difficult tasks that any jury faces. Unlike economic damages, which are finite, an award of non-economic damages is largely dependent on the presentation of a compelling argument that educates the jury about the daily struggles endured by every amputee.
• Economic Damages: The most significant elements of economic damages typically include past and future medical expenses and past and future wage loss. Articulating these damages in a limb loss case requires an in-depth knowledge of the most recent advances in the prosthetic industry. As new technology improves the lives of amputees, the increased costs of obtaining the latest advances in prosthetics make it cost prohibitive for many amputees to get the best technology available. For example, microprocessor knees, first introduced in 1999 by Ottobock, cost over $50,000. Any economic analysis of future medical expenses should consider how much the newest technology will cost over a lifetime, even if your first prosthetic was not “state of the art.” Although not justified for every amputee, more active amputees should have multiple prosthetics, for different types of athletic events, including running, cycling, skiing, and swimming. Willoughby Doyle’s unique knowledge of the prosthetic industry ensures that its clients receive the most comprehensive analysis of future medical expenses, which typically amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Tort Reform measures on both a state and national level, particularly in medical malpractice cases, are focused on limiting or capping non-economic damage awards. Consequently, it is becoming more and more important to retain attorneys that have the technical expertise to obtain full and fair economic damage awards. Please contact our attorneys to find out how we can help you obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries.
Will I have to delay my recovery or limit my activities during the course of my lawsuit?
Absolutely not. After years of defending personal injury and medical malpractice cases prior to founding Willoughby Doyle, we noticed that many plaintiff’s lawyers seemed to overestimate the “sympathy factor” for their clients, believing that a jury would award damages based on sympathy rather than the evidence. It has been our experience that although sympathy may play some role in a jury’s verdict, juries generally reward a plaintiff that takes personal responsibility for his or her life and seeks damages based on the evidence in the case. Instead of creating themes that are intended to primarily evoke sympathy, which are generally transparent, Willoughby Doyle creates trial themes that focus on personal responsibility and empowerment. As a result, we encourage our clients to move on with their lives and make every effort to recover after suffering a devastating injury.
Will the Firm direct me to resources to help me cope with my new disability?
Yes. The Firm has a wealth of contacts, resources, and information to help our clients assimilate back into mainstream life after suffering a catastrophic injury. The Firm’s lawyers are involved in sponsoring support groups and disabled athletes organizations and can help customize a plan to get involved in various activities that suit each individual client. Please see our links section as well as our list of amputee support groups.
Does the Firm handle cases in my hometown?
Yes. Willoughby Doyle is a national law firm. We represent clients in catastrophic injury cases across the country. Our lawyers are licensed to practice in California, New York, Florida, Ohio, and the District of Columbia. The attorneys of Willoughby Doyle will obtain admission in any state where our technical expertise and trial experience can make a difference subject to the rules of each jurisdiction.
Call : 310-385-0567