In a series of blog posts, we have discussed the dangers of car accidents not only to our property but to our personal safety as well. Car crashes can result in injuries such as concussions and whiplash, broken bones, traumatic brain injury, paralysis, and even death. Learn about it with a car accident amputation lawyer from Fort Walton Beach FL.
Apart from these injuries, we also discussed your possible claims for damages if you were the victim of a car accident and you suffered from the abovementioned injuries. One possible injury that is not often spoken of is amputation due to car accident. In this post, we will discuss the following:
- What is amputation?
- The effects of amputation on a person and
- The possible damages you may claim for amputation.
What is an Amputation?
An amputation is defined as "the loss or removal of a body part such as a finger, toe, hand, foot, arm, or leg." Amputation can be classified into two categories: traumatic, such as when one is in a motor vehicle or industrial accident; or surgical, such as when the removal of a limb is made necessary by a disease such as cancer or diabetes. As this post relates to amputations as a result of car accidents, we will be discussing amputation from a traumatic point of view.
According to the Amputee Coalition, traumatic amputations make up about 45% of the total number of amputation cases. Traumatic amputation takes place when the limbs are put through crash or burn injuries so severe that there are no other medical procedures that could save them, and the only way to save the life of the injured is to cut off the affected limb. Here in the United States, a significant number of traumatic amputations are attributable to injuries sustained from car accidents.
What are the Effects of Amputation on a Person?
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident that resulted in an amputation, the loss of a person's limb is obviously the general result of such. However, there are many other effects of an amputation that the amputee may experience in the long term. This includes a toll on the amputee’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being.
Physically, some amputation patients might experience complications post-amputation, including:
- Heart problems, such as heart attack
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Slow wound healing or wound infection
- Pneumonia and
- Stump and "phantom limb" pain — Phantom limb pain is described as the pain an amputee experiences at the site of their amputation. Despite the name "phantom," it must be emphasized that it is a real pain experienced by the patient.
Some of the complications mentioned above are treated with further medical intervention such as surgery and other forms of therapy.
Emotionally and psychologically, amputees are reported to be subjected to feelings of grief and bereavement, often equated to the loss of a loved one. The following are the common emotions amputees go through:
- Grief and
- Feeling suicidal
What Damages Are You Entitled to As an Amputee?
If you, or any of your loved ones, were ever in a car crash that resulted in injuries so severe that amputation was the only way to preserve your life, you may be entitled to damages. The physical and emotional toll this kind of procedure takes on a patient is no small thing, and your lawyer can help you determine what damages you can claim.
As discussed before, damage from an accident can be classified into two categories, namely:
Economic Damages - Economic damages are defined as damages that are capable of pecuniary estimation, or the aspects of the car accident that you actually pay for. Economic damage includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Medical bills, equipment, or devices—The term "medical bills" includes medical bills for present treatments, as well as future treatments for injuries arising from car accidents. As amputation is a type of surgery performed on the patient, it will definitely cost you a significant amount of money, even if your procedure is covered by your insurance.
- Transportation costs from home to doctor’s appointments and/or therapy—Most amputation patients need post-surgery care such as therapy to help them adjust to their lives without limbs such as their arms or legs. This usually takes months or even years of therapy. Going back and forth to your doctor or therapist will cost you money, and this can be claimed against the party at fault for the accident that caused the loss of your limb.
- Future losses—Getting one or more of your limbs amputated means you will need to take time off from work in order to recover. You might even be prevented from going back to work at all as you no longer have the limbs you need in order to perform your tasks. Either of the situations will lead to a loss of income, while the second situation also leads to a loss of earning capacity. You may also include this in your claim for damages.
- Non-Economic Damages—Other than economic damages, you may also claim non-economic damages, which is defined as non-monetary loss that you incur when you get into a car accident. While it is not easily quantifiable in money, it is just as important as economic damage. Non-economic damage can be assessed under the following circumstances:
- Pain and suffering—This refers to the level of discomfort you or a loved one may experience after being in an accident. It can also refer to temporary or permanent (such as in the case of an amputation) restrictions on your normal activities.
- Emotional anguish—This refers to the emotional pain or trauma you may experience as a result of the accident and the loss of your limbs.
- Loss of enjoyment of activities—This refers to being unable to enjoy the things you used to as a result of your injury and loss of limb. To illustrate, some who previously loved to dance may no longer enjoy the said activity as the amputation of their foot or arm now prevents them from dancing.
Call a Car Accident Amputation Lawyer in Fort Walton Beach Florida Today
If you or any of your loved ones had to undergo amputation as a result of injuries from a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. We at the Browning Law Firm can help you determine that. Call us now for a free consultation.