Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Studies show that over 37,000 people die in road crashes every year, and an additional 2.35 million people are either injured or disabled as a result of a collision. One of the most physically and emotionally troubling injuries, which victims may sustain during a vehicular collision, is an amputation.
What Is an Amputation?
An amputation (also known as a traumatic amputation) is a word used to describe the loss of a limb (a leg or an arm) or a digit (a finger or a toe).
The National Limb Loss Information Center estimates that there are 1.7 million Americans living with limb amputations and that every 1 in 200 people in our country has had an amputation. In some instances, an amputated limb or digit, which has been severed, can be reattached through surgery. But in the majority of cases, a prosthetic limb is used and will deliver a more positive outcome.
Amputations and Car Crashes
Car crashes are a leading cause of trauma-related amputations in the United States. During a crash, the impact of a vehicle colliding with another object can cause a crash victim’s hands, feet, toes, fingers or limbs to become so severely damaged that the finger or limb cannot be restored or reconstructed. In some situations, a victim’s appendage may be severed by a sharp object or be crushed during the crash. In other instances, an appendage may be so damaged that it needs to be surgically amputated in order to save the victim’s life.
The National Limb Loss Information Center has recently released the following statistics on amputations and car crashes:
- Upper-limb amputations (the arms) account for 68.6% of all traumatic amputations
- Males are at a significant higher risk for traumatic amputations than females
- The risk of a traumatic amputation increases with age for both males and females. The highest level of amputations occurs in individuals who are 85 or older
Re-attachment may be an option for some victims, but the majority of individuals will attain better function and a better quality of life through the use of a prosthesis.
Why Seek Legal Assistance After an Amputation?
Enduring an amputation is both a physically and emotionally traumatic experience. It is a time when you need expert medical care, but also guidance to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries, and are provided with the counseling and care you need in order to heal and rehabilitate yourself.
At the law offices of Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen, we assist our clients’ needs while protecting their rights. We handle all communications involving:
- Insurance companies
- Defense counsel
- Private investigators
What Damages Can I Claim After an Amputation?
If the wrongdoing of someone else has resulted in your amputation, then you may be able to make a personal injury claim.
Lost Earnings: Victims who have suffered an amputation will likely need to take several weeks or months off work in order to recover from his or her injuries. If a victim is able to return to work at a later date, he or she may also have to take a pay cut because they are no longer able to perform the same role at work as they were able to do previously.
In either scenario, you may be able to make a claim for lost wages. You may be entitled to compensation for the time missed from work to recover from your injuries (past lost earnings) as well as any anticipated missed work in the future (future lost earnings).
Medical Bills: An amputation is a serious medical issue, which requires a lot of current and ongoing care. When making a claim, one measure of your damages are your past and future medical expenses, which can include the treatment you received as a result of the crash and any and all future treatment you may require (such as surgery, rehabilitation, physical therapy, prescription medication, etc.)
In some instances, victims may also be able to claim for cosmetic surgery, psychological help, and treatment for neurological symptoms such as “phantom limb pain” (a victim experiences real pain, itching, and irritation in his or her lost limb although the limb is no longer there).
Prosthetics: Prosthetics or an assistive device is key in allowing a victim to function as normally as he or she once did, including with the help of prosthetics and artificial limbs.
If you have been involved in a car crash, which resulted in an amputation, you may be able to make a personal injury claim for compensation. Find out more about your legal rights and options today by scheduling a free consultation with our Las Vegas amputation attorneys at Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen today at (702) 505-8115.