Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

What Factors Can Lead to Amputation Following an Accident?

What Factors Can Lead to Amputation Following an Accident?

What factors can lead to an amputation following a motor vehicle accident in the United States? What are the long-term implications of losing a limb in a collision? Car accidents are the leading cause of amputation injuries in the United States. There are more amputations caused from motor vehicle collisions than from workplace accidents, agricultural accidents, explosions, or industrial accidents. Each year, more than 185,000 amputations are performed in America.

The Decision to Amputate

The decision to amputate a limb is made only after thorough examination of the limb and the injuries the individual sustained in the accident. In rare cases, the decision will be made at the scene of the accident if emergency responders determine such action is necessary to save the individual's life. 70% of all amputations in the United States involve loss of an upper limb. 10% of these involve amputation of the wrist and hand. In all, 60% of these amputations are transradial which means they occur below the elbow.

At the hospital, physicians will examine the limb for the presence of vascular disease. 54% of amputations are the result of ineffective blood flow within the affected limb. Most of these are due to diabetes and other cardiovascular conditions. Coupled with serious trauma sustained in a motor vehicle accident, the risk of amputation increases. Prior to amputation, physicians and surgeons will thoroughly investigate veins to determine whether they can be repaired to restore function.

Severe trauma is the second most obvious reason for amputation. Approximately 45% of all amputations following an accident are because of trauma that is too severe to repair. Arms, legs, fingers, and toes are easily damaged during collisions and the risk of amputation increases if the individual is trapped in the vehicle following the accident. Of those who suffer traumatic amputations, approximately 15% will succumb to their injuries.

Infection is the third most common reason for amputation following a motor vehicle accident. Infections are commonly acquired at the scene of the accident or while the injured motorist is in the hospital during the recovery stage. Most infections are the result of improper infection controls and failure to properly treat and sterilize wounds. Patients are at considerable risk of this as most require 5-14 days of hospitalization following an amputation.

Children and Amputations

Approximately 8% of car accident related amputations involve children. These childhood survivors face considerable long-term care expenses as their body grows and the need for new, properly fitted prosthetic devices grows with it.

Long-Term Mental Health Implications of an Amputation

In addition to the risk of infection and the impact on an individual's ability to work and enjoy a quality of life similar to their life prior to the accident, amputation injuries can significantly impair the individual's mental health and overall health. Up to 80% of all amputees experience "phantom limb" pain, while 30% suffer significant depression following the procedure.

We offer free consultations and we answer the phone 24/7 and on weekends and holidays. Our attorneys represent clients who suffer amputations in motor vehicle accidents in Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, and Illinois. We can assign an amputation injury lawyer to you that can help pursue and recover compensation for an amputation injury in these states. Call us at 1-800-241-BRAD or on our local line at 316-684-4400. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. In Western Kansas you can call 620-THE-BULL to speak with an amputation injury lawyer about your claim.