It’s not common, but sometimes victims of car accidents are forced to amputate a limb leading to life-long disabilities.
Amputations that occur after a traumatic accident can result in either infection or even shock if not taken care of immediately. Both of these can be potentially life-threatening. Depending on the accident and other factors, it may be possible to reattach the severed limbs, however, in most cases, the victim will depend on a prosthetic limb to go about their day to day.
We often take our body parts for granted, not realizing how our lives would be affected if we ended up losing any of them someday. Some traumatic accidents can necessitate an amputation, which can have a significant effect on your life quality. If you or your loved one has undergone an amputation because of someone else’s negligence in an automobile accident, it’s important to look into all the legal options you have. The experienced California Amputation Lawyers at Krasney Law can help you with that. Our skilled attorneys will help you recover the right compensation for the amputation injuries, and ensure that you get justice.
So, if you’re thinking of filing litigation for a catastrophic injury, the following sections will explain some important aspects you should know about amputation injuries from auto accidents. Let’s get straight to it.
Car Accidents And Amputations In United States
According to Amputee Coalition, there are over 2 million people living with limb amputations. It is common for car accidents to cause more amputations than other reasons such as congenital reasons, vascular disease or cancer.
Car accidents can cause a variety of injuries to the victims body. The hands, toes, feet, fingers or the entire limb can be so severely damaged that reconstruction is not possible. In worst case scenarios, surgical amputation may be required to save the victim’s life.
According to available statistics provided by the Amputee Coalition:
- There are nearly 2 million people living with limb loss in the United States
- Among those living with limb loss, the main causes are vascular disease (54%) – including diabetes and peripheral arterial disease – trauma (45%) and cancer (less than 2%)
- Approximately 185,000 amputations occur in the United States each year
- In 2009, hospital costs associated with amputation totaled more than $8.3 billion
- African‐Americans are up to four times more likely to have an amputation than white Americans
- Nearly half of the individuals who have an amputation due to vascular disease will die within 5 years. This is higher than the five year mortality rates for breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer
Over the years, medical technology has improved providing amputees with better quality prosthesis and medical support available these days, car accident victims who suffer the loss of a limb can still have a high degree of function and can lead to a satisfying life. However, the suffering caused by such an injury can be inexplicable.
Can Auto Accidents Cause Traumatic Amputations?
According to the National Limb Loss Information Centre, the number of amputations that occur in the United States every year come up to around 185,000. And, one of the top reasons behind these amputations is usually traumatic auto accidents. Most cars are built to ensure the safety of the passengers, but in serious crashes, the metal body of the car can sometimes horribly cut or crush the body parts. In some of these cases, amputating the limb or body part becomes necessary to save the life of the person.
The fact is that amputations cannot be reversed or healed like broken bones and cuts. Once a person undergoes an amputation, they have to live with it their entire life. Anyone who undergoes a traumatic amputation might experience the following –
- Loss of mobility
- Inability to perform simple, everyday tasks
- Inability to work because of loss of an important limb or digit
- Residual pain in the remaining limb
- Anxiety, depression, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
The pain and suffering aside, the cost of medical treatment and rehabilitation for an amputation injury can be exorbitant. Sometimes, the victim needs to get their home renovated so that they can perform some basic tasks with minimal help and assistance. So, it is not uncommon for the cost of total damages in amputation injuries to reach quite high, sometimes in millions of dollars. You will be entitled to compensation if you suffer an amputation from any of the following accidents –
- Car crash
- Motorcycle crash
- Truck accident
- Bus accident
- Pedestrian accident
But getting the compensation full and fair can be difficult, and most likely you’d have to fight for it. If you hire our California Amputation Lawyers to fight your case, they will strive to ensure that you are compensated justly for your life-changing injury.
Recovery After Amputation: What does it entail?
The recovery process after an amputation is usually long and hard. Most people who’ve undergone an amputation prefer to stay in the hospital until they are able to perform some of the basic everyday activities. These can include using the bathroom, getting in and out of the seats and beds, etc. This can take from 3-7 days, sometimes involving a short stay at a rehabilitation center.
After an amputation, it’s essential to play an active role in your own rehabilitation. Here are certain things that should be kept in mind during the recovery period –
- Frequently change the position of hips and avoid sitting in a chair for a long periods.
- Refrain from placing the residual limb on a pillow when you are lying down unless your physician tells you to do so.
- Avoid placing a pillow under your stomach when you are lying down.
- Also avoid placing the pillow under your hips and knees, or between your thighs.
- Refrain from hanging your residual limb over the side of a bed.
After the initial recovery is completed, the next thing you’d have to do is start the process of adjusting the limb. This would involve wound care and massaging the limb for the initial 2 weeks. Performing some activities using the remaining muscles above the amputation is also fine. After the sutures are removed, the person would be recommended extensive exercises to increase the range of motion in their amputated limb. It is usually 6 weeks after that physical therapy is recommended.
So, it is amply evident that the process of recovery can be quite long, and the cost of these treatments can be difficult for anyone to bear. Thankfully there are some financial resources for Amputation patients (given in the next section). But taking legal action in such cases is also essential. Contact Krasney Law today to learn how.
Financial Resources for Amputation Patients
By now, it must be amply evident why the treatment for amputation patients costs so much. It is not only the hospital expenses but the follow-up care and the long-drawn process of physical therapy that has to be taken into account. Besides that, there is also the added cost of prosthetics, ramps, wheelchairs, and other equipment for assistance. It’s impossible for most people to bear such huge expenses on their own. There are some financial resources that help amputation patients in maintaining their independence. Here are some of these –
- Medicaid – Essential Health Benefits (EHB) including, rehabilitative services and prosthetics
- Medicare – Part B covers prosthetic devices
- Veterans Administration – Rehabilitation services and prosthetics for veterans with disabilities.
- TRICARE – prosthetic devices and supplies for uniformed services
Besides these, there are Non-Profit Organizations like Amputee Blade Runners, Limbs for Life Foundation, Challenged Athletes Foundation, and National Amputation Foundation. Some financial resources specifically for children are Shriners Hospital, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Administration for Children and Families.
Why Speak With An Attorney?
If you have been in a car accident that resulted in the loss of a limb due to someone’s negligence you may be entitled to compensation. You will still be able to lead a good life, however, the path to recovery is difficult and also expensive. You are likely to require long and extensive medical care, and it may take months or even longer for you to get used to the prosthesis. Even if your severed limb can be reattached, you may need multiple surgeries and prolonged rehabilitation. All this can prove extremely expensive.
Get in touch with an experienced car accident lawyer at Krasney Law. We have the knowledge and experience necessary to protect your legal rights. Call (909) 380-7200 for a FREE case evaluation.