The loss of a limb is known as an amputation. Although it is not as common as some other car accident injuries, when it occurs, it causes lifelong disability.
Every year, approximately 185,000 amputations are performed in the US, according to the Amputee-Coalition. While nearly half of these amputations are due to vascular disease, the rest are mostly the result of trauma, such as car accidents.
When amputation results from a car accident, it can easily and quickly be complicated by profuse bleeding that can lead to infection or shock. Both of these can be potentially life-threatening. In some cases, it may be possible to reattach the severed limbs, however, in most cases, the victim will depend on a prosthetic limb.
Car accidents and amputations
In the US, there are nearly 1.7 million people living with limb amputations. Car accidents are a more common cause of traumatic amputations compared to other causes such as congenital reasons, vascular disease, or cancer.
A car accident can cause the victim’s hands, toes, feet, fingers, or entire limb to be so severely damaged that reconstruction is not possible. In some cases, surgical amputation may be required to save the victim’s life. According to available statistics:
- Arm amputations account for almost 68 percent of all trauma-related amputations
- Males are at a higher risk of trauma-related amputations compared to females
- The risk of traumatic amputations increases steadily with age and is highest for people age 85 or older.
As we said earlier, in some cases of traumatic amputation, the severed limb can be reattached, especially with proper and timely medical care. Modern replantation techniques show promising results. However, incomplete nerve regeneration still remains an important limiting factor. Most victims of traumatic amputations have to adapt to a prosthesis, which also can be quite challenging.
Thanks to a 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. Traumatic amputations cause both physical pain and immense emotional agony.
How Do Car Collisions Lead to Amputations?
Car-accident-induced amputations generally fall into two categories: Traumatic amputations and surgical amputations.
Traumatic amputations are the result of a direct impact on the limb, such as when the limb is crushed by a heavy object. In these cases, the limb is so badly damaged that it cannot be saved and must be removed to prevent further harm to the patient.
On the other hand, surgical amputations are typically performed when there is significant damage to the limb, but it is possible to be saved. In these cases, the surgeon will carefully remove any damaged tissue in an attempt to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible. In some cases, however, surgery may not be possible or may not be successful, and the limb will need to be removed.
Types of Car Accidents That Can Lead to Amputations
Even a low-speed collision can cause an amputation if the victim’s limb is caught in between two objects. However, some types of car accidents are more likely to result in amputations than others.
For example, car accidents that involve high speeds or multiple vehicles are more likely to cause severe injuries that might require amputation. In addition, car accidents that involve pedestrians or cyclists are also more likely to cause serious injuries that might necessitate amputation.
Ultimately, any type of car accident has the potential to lead to an amputation, so it’s important to drive carefully and always be aware of potential hazards on the road.
The Financial Burden of Amputation
Recovering from an amputation can be expensive and often require lengthy rehabilitation. Additionally, prosthetic limbs, the cost of rehabilitation services, and home modifications can set you back thousands of dollars.
These costs can put a severe financial strain on the victim and their family. The good news is filing a car injury claim can generally help you recover the compensation you need to cover your expenses.
Why speak with a St. Louis Amputation Injury Lawyer?
If you have suffered a loss of a limb in a car accident, you can recover and lead a good life, but the road to recovery can be long, convoluted, and 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.
If your car accident was a result of another person’s negligence, you may be able to recover all your expenses from the at-fault driver. Get in touch with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We have the knowledge and experience necessary to protect your legal rights.
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