An accidental amputation is a life-altering experience that deeply impacts the victim and their family. Losing a limb can have far-reaching physical and emotional consequences on a person’s life and the recovery process requires extensive medical treatment, financial resources, and social support. When an amputation results from an accident caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may be able to recover compensation for your injury and other losses through a personal injury claim.
The Alabama serious injury lawyers with Belt & Bruner, P.C understand how devastating limb amputation can be, which is why we will fight to obtain the maximum compensation possible for your losses. Let us put our experience, skills, and resources to work for you while you focus on rebuilding your life. Call us at 205-933-1500.
Common Causes of Accidental Amputations
Amputation, which is defined as the separation of a limb or appendage from the body, occurs in one of two ways–trauma or surgery. Accidental amputations (also referred to as traumatic amputations) are unexpected and one of the most frightening injuries a person can experience. Around 30,000 traumatic amputations occur every year in the U.S. and the majority of victims are between the ages of 15 and 40.
Apart from combat injuries, the most common causes of accidental amputations are:
- Motor vehicle accidents (especially motorcycle and truck crashes)
- Pedestrian accidents
- Workplace accidents involving industrial machinery
- Caught in-between or crush injuries
- Defective or dangerous products such as lawn mowers, electric saws, and other types of power equipment
- Agricultural accidents
- Unintentional injuries due to firearms
Types of Amputations
Amputations are classified as either partial (incomplete) or complete, both of which can be life-threatening due to uncontrolled bleeding. A partial amputation means that at least some of the soft-tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments) connection remains. With a complete amputation, the body part is entirely severed from the body.
Replantation, which is the surgical reattachment of a body part, may be possible depending on the severity of the injury and mechanism of amputation. The three primary mechanisms of amputation are sharp/guillotine, crush, and avulsion. Crush and avulsion amputations often result in more extensive damage to the soft tissues, nerves, arteries, and vascular tissues, making reattachment more difficult. A sharp or guillotine amputation usually has well-defined edges and minimal damage to surrounding structures, making reattachment more likely to be successful.
An accidental amputation can involve any body part and injury sites are broken down into upper or lower extremities/limbs. Upper extremities include the forearm, shoulder, wrist, fingers, and hands. Lower extremities are the pelvis, leg, foot, toes, and ankle. The vast majority, approximately 70 percent, of traumatic amputations are to the upper limbs.
Long-term Impact of Accidental Amputations
The treatment of traumatic or accident amputations involves both acute and long-term medical care. Acute medical care often involves surgery to stabilize the person and control bleeding. Severe pain and phantom limb syndrome are common experiences post-amputation. Amputations can also give rise to other musculoskeletal complications and skin issues.
Long-term care involves ongoing rehabilitation, limb wrapping, the use of prosthetic devices, and mental health services to address the emotional and psychological effects of losing a limb. Victims of accidental amputations can experience symptoms of anxiety, depression, or PTSD. Often times, the person’s home will need to be modified to accommodate them once they have been released from the hospital or rehab facility.
Contact Our Skilled Alabama Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one have experienced an accidental amputation due to the negligence of a third party, the Alabama injury lawyers at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. can help. We are committed to helping accident victims secure the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
We have more than 65 years of collective experience investigating nearly every type of accident, collecting valuable evidence, and successfully proving liability in personal injury cases. Contact us today at 205-933-1500 to receive a free consultation and discuss how we can help with your personal injury claim.