Experiencing a high-speed automobile crash can be one of the most frightening and deadly experiences in a person’s lifetime. While today’s cars, trucks and SUVs are designed with a great deal more safety than motor vehicles of the past, at interstate and beltway speeds, these safety features are more than just handy, they are almost essential to surviving a North Carolina collision. Sometimes, the violent nature of a North Carolina automobile collision — whether due to excessive speed or other aggravating circumstances — can result in the immediate loss of a limb. In other instances, a critically injured car accident victim can end up losing an arm or a leg to amputation to save the individual’s life when no other options are available. Whatever the cause, amputation is hardly ever a first choice when it comes to treating injured patients.
Amputation is the removal of an injured or deceased body part, either as a complication due to a medical condition, such as diabetes, or as a traumatic amputation due to a catastrophic injury. In many high-speed automobile and motorcycle collisions, the force exerted on the occupants’ torso and limbs may be such that certain connective tissues are damaged beyond repair.
Major Injuries & Loss of Limbs
In North Carolina personal injury cases, amputation usually refers to the loss of a leg, arm, foot, or hand, and is usually the result of a traumatic accident. For instance, a person’s leg may be irreparably damaged or severed in a motorcycle or automobile collision. Traumatic amputations create the immediate danger of death from blood loss.
In some cases of traumatic amputation, it is possible to reattach the severed body part if it has been properly preserved and medical intervention occurs quickly. Reattached limbs may not regain full function, however.
Surgical amputation for limbs that have been damaged beyond repair may take place at certain locations on the body; for instance, above or below the elbow, knee, wrist, or ankle. The nature of the amputation and where it occurs dictates whether a prosthesis can be used and how effective it will be.
People who have experienced an amputation will often suffer psychological injuries for years afterwards. Those who have had a limb or other body part amputated will also suffer severe physical pain for an extended period. One phenomenon that may occur is the “phantom limb syndrome,” in which the person will feel pain in the amputated limb, even though it is no longer there.
Automobile collisions causing amputation not only create physical and psychological injuries, but may prevent or limit the ability of injured victims from participating in many enjoyable activities they enjoyed before (“loss of enjoyment of life”). While many amputees are still able to participate in sports and activities with accommodations, the adjustment is difficult and takes time.
When talking about automobile and commercial trucking-related roadway accidents, the most common type of amputations are those involving removal of an arm or leg. Sometimes a physician will be able to save part of a limb by removing only the portion below the knee or elbow.
Either way, losing a limb is a frighteningly and life-alerting experience and those who are victims of automobile related amputations need to consider if they should file a claim against the party responsible for their injuries.
Representation for Loss of Limbs
If you have suffered an amputation due to another person’s negligence, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you in your efforts to be compensated by the at-fault party.
As auto accident lawyers, we know that medical science can only go so far in saving an automobile accident victim’s life; there are occasional instances where some portion of the victim’s body must be sacrificed to save the individual’s life. The decision to amputate may save a life, but it also changes a person’s life, usually forever.
Maginnis Law’s lead personal injury attorney, T. Shawn Howard is experienced in handling complex cases including those involving victims who have lost limbs due to the negligence of another North Carolina driver.
All personal injury matters are handled on a contingency basis – this means that you do not pay any attorneys’ fee unless and until we make a recovery on your behalf. You can contact us at (919) 526-0450 or send a message through our contact page. The firm represents clients throughout the Triangle, including Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Apex, Garner, Holly Springs, and Wake Forest.