Amputation is the complete or partial removal of a limb to prevent further infection, including gangrene or malignancy in the body. An amputation may be needed if a person gets severely injured in a car accident.
The costs of amputation, including surgery and other medical bills, can be extremely high. In addition, there can be several types of long-term costs of amputation, making it extremely disruptive to the financial standing of the victim. If you or your loved ones have been involved in a car accident that resulted in amputation, you may be entitled to compensation for your economic and non-economic losses. Contact Mountain States Injury Law to learn more.
Car Accidents Can Cause Amputations
Car accidents can trigger vascular diseases, traumas, or infections. When these conditions occur, amputation might be the only way to prevent further medical complications. If limbs get damaged in a car accident, the entire blood flow of the area connecting the limb can be disrupted or blocked. This can result in the death of tissues and further internal infections. Laceration injuries or trauma that triggers profuse bleeding after a car accident can lead to amputation.
Surgeons can try to reattach or reconstruct the limb after a traumatic injury, but if the damage is too severe, surgical amputation might be the only option. Most people that suffer from amputation need to rely on a prosthetic limb or wheelchair to get back to regular life.
Different Types of Car Accident Amputations
There are two types of amputations that can result from a car accident: traumatic and surgical amputations. If a person is involved in a violent car accident, the collision can be so intense that it can sever a limb, causing a traumatic amputation. However, there are surgical procedures that can reattach the severed limb. This type of amputation in a car accident is less common compared to a surgical amputation.
Surgical amputation is required when the person involved in the car accident suffers from serious damage to the limbs, which need to be amputated to stop an infection from spreading to other parts of the body or if the limb is badly injured and cannot be saved. For example, a limb may need to be amputated if it is suffering from gangrene, which is the death of body tissue in the limb.
The following are the most common amputations that can occur after car accidents.
- Lower limb amputations (involving toes, feet, and legs): hip or ankle disarticulations, transfemoral amputations, partial foot or below-the-knee amputation, hemipelvectomy.
- Upper limb amputations (involving fingers, hands, and arms): partial hand or above the elbow amputation, metacarpal or trans-radial amputation, wrist, elbow, or shoulder disarticulation.
Costs and Recovery in Amputation Cases
After being in a violent car crash, the individual would have to potentially pay emergency hospital bills (including ambulance expenses), doctor’s appointments, prescription medications, follow-up appointments, physical therapy, and surgery.
Limb injury can result in ongoing hospitalization and a long recovery process. The individual might require physical therapy after the amputation to learn how to utilize their prosthetics. Some modifications might be required to the home or vehicle after the surgery, which would add to the overall costs.
The recovery period might be as long as a year, depending on the nature of the amputation and the time it takes the individual to get accustomed to their prosthetics. Amputation might require the victim to skip work and can result in a loss of wages. In severe cases, amputation reduces the quality of life for some people and makes them incapable of continuing their regular job.
Amputation can have a big impact on your life and your financial well-being, but you can pursue litigation with the help of an attorney and seek compensation for your losses.
Complications of Amputation Cases
Amputated limbs can lead to different types of complications, such as the following:
Phantom Limb Syndrome
The most common complication following an amputation is phantom limb syndrome. A phantom limb is a sensation in the amputee’s body that the amputated limb is still attached. A phantom limb can lead to discomfort and pain in the amputated area. Because the phantom limb is neuropathic pain, it can be caused when the brain rearranges sensory information. It is often treated by spinal cord stimulation, also known as SCS.
While surgical amputation is performed to prevent further malignancy in the body, it can sometimes trigger infections that invade and corrupt the healthier cells of the body. After the surgery, the individual might develop blisters in the area, leading to infection.
Mental and Physical Health
Amputation can be followed by emotional trauma because it is a life-altering development. Many amputees develop post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety following surgical or traumatic amputation. The individual may also suffer from emotional distress due to difficulty performing basic tasks. Mental health complications are common in car accident amputation cases.
Muscle weakness is the most common complication after a limb is amputated. After amputation, the muscles surrounding the amputated area may have to carry more pressure, which restricts their mobility.
Legal Options in Car Accident Amputations
While amputation can be distressing, medical bills and loss of income can take a toll on your financial condition. If the accident happened due to someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence, you could pursue a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation.
Being involved in a life-threatening car accident that led to amputation makes you entitled to compensation for all medical expenses, lost wages, prosthetic devices, pain and suffering, loss of earning potential, and modifications to your home or vehicle.
You can hire a lawyer to help you file a lawsuit or claim against the offending driver while you focus on your recovery process.
How Can Mountain States Injury Law Help You?
An experienced attorney from Mountain States Injury Law can help you calculate all amputation-related damages accurately and determine how much compensation you deserve. Your attorney can help you devise a strategy to win the case in court or settle with the other party to get maximum compensation.
If you file a claim against the offending driver, our attorney can guide you through the settlement procedure and handle all negotiations on your behalf.
If your case goes to trial, the attorney can build a strong case on available evidence to ensure you obtain fair compensation. Proving liability in car accident cases can be complicated, but the experienced attorneys from Mountain States Injury Law know how to protect the rights of our clients.