What to do if your car accident injury required amputation
Car accidents can be traumatic and devastating events that cause severe injuries to drivers as well as third parties, like passengers and pedestrians. These accidents also take a toll on victims and their families’ emotional and financial wellbeing.
Additionally, many accident victims suffer life-altering disabilities in the form of traumatic amputation and limb loss, which forces them to not only lose function of parts of their body but also entirely change their way of life.
According to the Amputee Coalition, there are about 2 million limb loss victims in the U.S. Sadly, 45 percent of these cases are a result of traumatic accidents, which include car, truck and motorcycle accidents.
If you’ve suffered a loss of limb or amputation after a car accident here in Montana, reach out to one of our expert lawyers to see if you qualify for compensation.
How car accidents cause traumatic amputations
There are 2 primary types of amputation and limb loss injuries that result from car accidents. The first is traumatic amputation, which occurs during the accident itself and involves the loss of a limb or an extremity, such as an arm, finger, toe, leg or ear. The other is a surgical amputation, often necessitated by injuries or damage to the limbs caused by the accident.
Generally, limb amputations are necessary when limbs are damaged beyond repair or when removing them is the only way doctors can save a patient’s life. Here are some of the common reasons for amputation:
- Poor circulation. In some cases, limbs or extremities are severely injured, causing artery contractions. This causes tissue death or infections because of insufficient nutrient and oxygen supply. When nothing can be done to save the tissues, amputation may be necessary to prevent further damage.
- Adverse limb damage. Sometimes, limbs and extremities are crushed, burned or pinned during a car accident. If damaged beyond repair, there is a need for an amputation.
- Infections. Amputation may be necessary to stop the spread of infection when bacteria enters the bloodstream due to an injury. It prevents the spread of the infection to a victim’s vital organs, thus preventing sepsis and possible death.
Traumatic amputation and limb loss statistics
While the emotional and physical wounds of a traumatic experience like a car accident don’t go away overnight, it can help to know you’re not alone.
- About 185,000 people go through amputation in the U.S. every year.
- Out of all traumatic amputations, 70 percent involve the lower limbs.
- At least 22 percent of lower limb loss victims are readmitted within the first 30 days due to complications.
- The majority of traumatic amputation victims are males aged between 15 and 40.
Possible treatment options and long-term medical costs
Injuries from car accidents are often catastrophic and inflict pain and suffering on the victim and their family. Amputations force them to adapt to a new way of life when performing daily routine tasks, such as walking, working and driving. The road to recovery is long and the treatment options and costs vary depending on the injury.
After amputation surgery, recovery typically involves sealing the wound using surgical staples and stitches, and draining fluids from the affected area. This treatment typically means regular check-ups, which makes treatment for amputation expensive. Doctors also wrap the wound in several layers of bandages to prevent infection.
In rare cases, the body part may be reattached, depending on the severity of the injury and provided the limb or extremity is well taken care of. Unfortunately, most traumatic amputation and limb loss victims suffer extreme nerve damage that renders reattachment impossible.
In such cases, treatment options are:
- Prosthetic limbs. These are artificial body parts that mimic the look, feel and shape of a limb. They can be fitted a few weeks or months after an amputation, depending on how fast you heal. Although they will significantly improve your quality of life, they are very expensive to acquire and require frequent upgrades and replacements.
- Physical and occupational therapy. Rehabilitation services are an essential part of limb loss recovery to help you adapt to your new reality. Physical therapy involves exercises that help you build the strength and endurance you need to cope with limb loss.
- Counseling. Adapting to life without a limb is not easy and may result in emotional distress. It can also involve negative body image afterward for some. Counseling can help you work through psychological and emotional trauma.
- Home modification. Amputations change the course of your life and may require you and your family to learn and adapt to a new way of life. These changes may include modifying your home with railings and ramps to make life easier.
Montana car accident amputation and loss of limb settlements
In Montana, compensation for damages varies depending on the nature of your amputation, how much it affects your ability to live a full life and your ability to earn a living.
A settlement should help you recover from financial losses associated with medical costs, rehabilitation, adaptive devices and lost wages. At the same time, you should be compensated for punitive damages and the pain and suffering endured.
Why hire Montana auto accident lawyers
Traumatic amputation is permanent, expensive and completely life-changing. You’ll want to seek the help of our experienced Montana accident attorneys at Murphy Law Firm to receive the compensation you deserve. We will help you determine the total cost of your injury and liability.