How often do traffic accidents lead to a loss of limb? What happens when an automobile accidents costs a victim an arm or a finger? There are roughly 1.7 million Americans who have suffered from a limb or a finger amputation. That is a rate of 1 in every 190 people. While diabetes and power tools are the leading causes of the approximately 185,000 limb amputations in the US each year, transportation accidents are not far behind. In fact, car accidents accounted for 25% of all amputations.
Nationwide, approximately 70% of amputations involve the loss of an arm, hand, or finger. Of the total number of amputations, it is estimated that there are approximately 61,000 partial hand amputations and a further 25,000 that involve the loss of an arm. Approximately 10% of amputations that occur each year involve the amputation of the hand at the wrist.
Fingers and hands are susceptible to crushing injuries that can occur during a motor vehicle accident when the fingers or hands are compressed between the steering wheel, doors, stick shifts, and other objects within the cab of the vehicle. Amputations can also occur while drivers or mechanics are servicing the engines, transmissions, tires, axles, and other vehicle components. In these instances, the amputation can be caused by crushing impacts such as when the full weight of the part falls upon the hand, or by the wrenches, saws, presses, and other tools utilized to conduct repairs severe the limb. Commercial truck drivers are also susceptible to amputation injuries that can occur when goods fall upon them during the process of loading/unloading cargo or when loading doors fall upon their hands and fingers.
Full or partial finger amputation can create a permanent, disfiguring injury. This can cause significant psychological trauma and it is estimated that approximately one third of individuals who suffer an amputation develop depression or anxiety. Whether it is the loss of an arm, leg, or a finger amputation, the loss of a limb can have a significant impact on the individual's quality of life and ability to operate a motor vehicle.
Depending on the severity of the amputation, commercial truck drivers may need to seek a waiver which will allow them to continue working following a hand or finger amputation. While the loss of a finger is generally not a disqualifying factor for a CDL, drivers may be restricted on the types of vehicles they can operate which can limit their annual and lifetime earning capacity.
The costs of long term care and maintenance of prosthetic devices can create a considerable financial burden for those who have suffered a hand or finger amputation. The cost of a prosthetic hand to treat finger amputation or complete loss of the hand costs roughly $19,000. If the loss involves the loss of the lower arm, that cost rises to over $20,000, and if it involves the loss of the entire arm, the cost can soar to over $60,000.
Brad Pistotnik Law represents individuals in Wichita, Hays, Goodland, and elsewhere in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Illinois, and Missouri who have suffered a finger amputation in a motor vehicle accident or as the result of other transportation related injuries. Amputees are entitled to pursue compensation for the expenses that result from amputation injuries. These include emergency medical care, the fitting of prosthetic devices, physical therapy, and the purchase of adaptive aids required to perform job functions. Individuals can also pursue compensation for the impact the injury has upon quality of life and ability to work.
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