Amputations and Traumatic Limb Loss

Catastrophic injuries involving limb loss can be incredibly devastating for patients. Adjusting to the traumatic loss of a limb is a lifelong process. Even with state-of-the-art prosthetics, patients who have suffered from a catastrophic injury involving the loss of a limb will never get their normal life back. In addition to the medical expenses following the initial injury, victims of this type of catastrophic injury can expect a lifetime of fitting and re-fitting for expensive medical prosthetics and occupational and physical therapy. Ultimately, the most important objective for handling any case involving an amputation, is making sure clients can comfortably live their lives after an injury, even if they never feel completely whole again.

Initial Medical Care for an Amputation Injury

The initial medical care for an amputation injury typically involves an emergency visit. If an amputation occurred due to medical malpractice, patients may be rushed to emergency surgical wards or intensive care units immediately. The follow-up care of an amputation may require an extensive hospital stay too. When the patient is ready, an impatient rehabilitation program will begin. Depending on how much of which limb was lost, the amount of time an inpatient rehabilitation program takes can vary greatly.

When patients are finally well enough to go home, they can plan on plenty of out patient doctor visits. Patients can also plan on a variety of physical and occupational therapy appointments. For the months, and in some cases years, following an amputation or traumatic limb loss, patient’s lives will seem to revolve around getting from one doctor’s appointment to the next. During this time, patients will also be fit, and continually re-fit, for prosthetics.

Common Causes of Traumatic Limb Loss
  • Car accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Commercial truck accident
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Machinery accidents
  • Factory accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Construction site accidents
  • Public transit accidents
Costs Associated with Amputations

The initial medical expenses of an amputation can be astronomical, but that’s really just the tip of the medical bill iceberg. This type of catastrophic injury can be incredibly expensive. Even lower-end prosthetic limbs can be virtually unaffordable to the average family. As we age, prosthetics will need to be constantly adjusted and re-fit for the comfort and safety of the patients. The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (JBJS) found that initial hospitalization costs associated with amputation injuries are about $91,000. That’s just the beginning. That doesn’t include long-term care, a lifetime of occupational and physical therapy appointments and prosthetic limbs for a lifetime of mobility and independence.

Prosthetics and Medical Equipment

Sadly, the type and quality of prosthetic a patient gets is almost entirely dependent on the size of the budget available. State-of-the-art prosthetic limbs, especially hands, are incredibly expensive and costly to fit and re-fit over a lifetime. The amount of dexterity in a prosthetic hand will be totally dependent on the funds available to the patient too. The better prosthetic limb you can afford, the better quality of life you will enjoy, so it’s absolutely critical to speak with a personal injury lawyer who has extensive catastrophic injury experience as soon as possible.

Life with Limb Loss

Adjusting to life after the loss of a limb is difficult, to say the least. Patients who have lost a limb in a catastrophic and traumatic accident will have their worlds turned upside down. By its very nature, a catastrophic injury leaves a long-term lasting impact on a patient’s life. Even the most expensive, highest quality, most advanced prosthetic limb is no true replacement for a lost hand, arm or leg. It’s not a complete replacement.

Unlike other injuries, an amputation takes something from you that you never get back. Long after wounds heal and prosthetic limbs are fit, patients may still experience pain and sensations in the amputated limb. This well-known and widely documented symptom of an amputation is known as phantom limb syndrome, and most people deal with it for the rest of their lives.

When to Call Catastrophic Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has suffered from a catastrophic injury where a limb was lost or an amputation was performed, you need to contact an experienced catastrophic injury attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case. The initial medical costs associated with this type of catastrophic injury (about $91,000 on average) is just a small portion of costs that are associated with an amputation over a person’s lifetime. It’s absolutely critical to get a skilled lawyer on the case, who can also help to put together a comprehensive and in-depth life care plan to make sure your future is will planned out.

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