Imagine losing an arm or leg in a violent crash on a Maryland highway. Your limb could be detached immediately in the force of the crash or you could lose it later, when a doctor determines it can’t be saved.
Although amputations are never the first choice for injured patients and doctors will do whatever they can to preserve a limb, amputations are sometimes unavoidable after severe car accidents. An injury like this can change the course of your life.
Amputations Cause Physical and Emotional Loss
About 2 million people in the U.S. live with amputations, 25% of which are due to traumatic accidents. According to The National Institutes of Health (NIH), an amputation is one of the most emotionally disturbing wounds someone can suffer because it involves losing part of themselves.
In addition to physical pain during the long recovery period, people often experience feelings of loss, grief, humiliation, and hopelessness. It may take a long time to adjust to a new daily routine that involves limited mobility, plus the potential loss of a career or hobbies you’ve always enjoyed.
Although amputations are commonly associated with war wounds and diabetes, they arise from a surprisingly wide variety of situations. The NIH lists these accidents as the top causes of amputations in children:
- Lawn mower accidents
- Farm machinery accidents
- Car accidents
- Train accidents
- Fireworks-related injuries
- Gunshot wounds
The most common locations of amputations in children are below the knee, above the knee, and below the elbow. However, in adults, 70% of amputations are in the upper limbs.
Car accidents are the #1 cause of traumatic amputations in adults. In order of frequency, the most common traumatic causes of U.S. adult amputations are:
- Car accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Agricultural accidents
- Ring traction accidents
- Getting a limb caught in a building or vehicle door
Healing From an Amputation Takes Time and Money
What would you do if you or your child suffered an amputation after a catastrophic car crash? Wouldn’t you want to hold the right person responsible and get your medical bills paid?
After all, amputation isn’t just a momentary event. It’s an overwhelming experience that requires numerous surgical visits and follow-up appointments. An amputation due to a traumatic cause typically takes a minimum of three significant procedures, with 22% of recently-amputated patients being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days due to complications.
The Merck Manual, a reliable resource for doctors around the world, indicates that some or all of the following medical professionals may be involved in an amputation:
- Physical therapist
- Pain management specialist
- Massage therapist
- Family doctor
- Psychiatrist/clinical psychologist/child psychologist
As you can see, an amputation involves a long list of medical professionals who provide specialty care for an amputated limb. This means your bills quickly begin piling up after an amputation.
- The average cost of a hand or lower arm amputation is $18,000 to $20,000.
- The cost of an upper arm or shoulder amputation is about $59,000 to $61,000.
- The average cost of a foot or leg amputation is $30,000 to $60,000 in initial hospital costs.
- After a foot or leg amputation, the average cost is an additional $43,000 to $60,000 for follow-up care over three years.
This doesn’t even include the cost of prosthetics, which can be $5,000 for a basic option, $10,000 for a functional prosthetic with a hook, and $20,000 to $100,000 for a fully functional limb that uses the latest technology.
Take Action After a Car Crash Causes Your Amputation
While your insurance may pay a portion of your medical bills, it’s unlikely to cover everything – especially the cosmetic surgery and advanced prosthetics you may need to fully restore your body. Plus, you may need months or years of psychological counseling to help you cope with your new circumstances.
With all of this in mind, we’d like to share some good news: You can seek compensation from the person who injured you. It’s your right under Maryland law.
Talk to a Maryland personal injury attorney who has experience with car accidents that involve severe injuries. Connect with the talented team at Zirkin & Schmerling Law for a caring and compassionate approach to securing compensation for your amputation.
Have a Legal Question? We Have Answers
When you need to learn more about your rights, the attorneys at Zirkin & Schmerling Law can help. Contact us or call us at (410) 753-4611 to set up an appointment with one of our experienced car accident lawyers today.