Amputation means the separation of a limb from the body. This can involve the fingers, hands, toes, feet, arms, or legs.
This separation can happen surgically or because of a traumatic event. Amputations happen more frequently than you may think.
Each year, there are approximately 30,000 amputation injuries in the United States. In fact, 1 out of every 200 Americans has suffered an amputation injury of some kind.
Types of Amputation Injuries
There are two important classifications of loss of limb injuries: traumatic vs. surgical and partial vs. complete.
Traumatic vs. Surgical Amputation
There are two ways amputation can occur: through trauma or surgery.
Traumatic Amputation. Some amputations occur when you are involved in an unexpected accident. The trauma of the incident causes your limb to be separated from your body. Approximately 25 percent of all amputations are the result of trauma.
Surgical Amputation. Some amputations occur when a physician purposefully removes a limb from the rest of your body. This amputation is typically a last resort and only done to protect you from a life-threatening complication. Surgical amputations are often done when your limb becomes infected, dies, or is so severely damaged that it can no longer help you function. Some surgical amputations are required after a traumatic accident.
Partial vs. Complete Amputation
Amputation refers to the separation of your limb from the rest of your body. This separation can be partial or complete.
Partial Amputation. Partial amputation means that your limb is not entirely severed from your body. Instead, the limb remains attached via bone or tendons, while the soft tissue and skin are ripped away.
Complete Amputation. Complete amputation means that your limb is completely separated from your body. All tissue, ligaments, tendons, and/or bones are unattached.
Causes of Amputation Injuries
Many types of accidents can cause catastrophic injuries like an amputation.
Common causes of amputations include:
- Car accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accident
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Defective product accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Construction accidents
- Firearm accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Agricultural accidents, and
- Elevator accidents.
Amputation Injury Statistics
There are an average of 82 amputation injuries every day in the United States. Who is most likely to suffer an amputation? What kind of amputations occur most frequently?
- Traffic Accident Victims. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of traumatic amputations.
- Men. Men are much more likely than women to suffer an amputation injury. In fact, men account for more than 75 percent of all traumatic amputations.
- Young People. Most amputation victims are between the ages of 15 and 40.
- Upper Body Amputations. You are much more likely to lose an upper limb (e.g., finger, hand, arm) in an accident than a lower limb (e.g., toe, foot, leg). In fact, 70 percent of all traumatic amputations involve an upper body limb.
- Hand Amputations: Traumatic amputations involving the fingers and hands occur most frequently.
- Lawn Mower Accidents: Each year, approximately 600 children suffer amputation injuries because of lawn mower accidents.
Cost of Amputation Injuries
Amputation injuries can have immediate and long-lasting financial consequences. When you file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages, it will be important to identify all of your financial costs.
Medical Care. Amputations will require extensive medical care. This may include multiple surgeries, consultations with specialists, and lengthy stays in the hospital. Once your injury has been treated, you will have a long road to recovery. Recovery can include rehabilitation, therapy, and even nursing care. Each medical expense will add up quickly. The longer your recovery, the more expensive your bill. It is not uncommon for amputation victims to incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical debt.
Lost Income. Medical costs are only the beginning. Amputation injuries can prevent you from going back to work right away. This will have an immediate consequence on your flow of income. Your lost wages can really make a tough situation even more overwhelming.
Disability. Sometimes an amputation will limit your ability to work, at all. Imagine that you’re a craftsman who relies on his hands. If you lose your right hand in a car accident, you may not be able to return to the same line of work. Finding a new job that you are capable of doing can take time. That job may not give you the opportunity to earn the same amount of money that you did before your amputation.
These costs cannot be underestimated when you seek financial compensation. Our Miami amputation attorneys will make sure that you get the money you deserve. We will work with experts to make sure that your damages are calculated properly. This will include actual costs you have today, as well as projected losses that are the result of your accident.
Statute of Limitations for Amputation Injury Claims
Is someone else is responsible for your amputation injury? If so, you have the right to file a personal injury claim for damages. However, you only have a limited amount of time. In Miami, there is a four-year statute of limitations for bodily injury claims. If you don’t file your claim within four years of your accident, you won’t get the money you deserve. Call Lavent Law, P.A. today to ensure your claim is filed on time.
What If I’m Blamed For My Amputation Injury?
Did you contribute to the cause of your own amputation injury? Our attorneys can still help you recover compensation. In Florida, your own contribution will not prevent you from getting the money you need. Anyone who contributes to an accident can be held financially responsible. This will mean two things to you if you share fault for the accident.
First, your ability to recover compensation will be limited. Specifically, it will be reduced by whatever percentage of fault is attributed to you. For example, if you are 20 percent responsible for your injury, your damages will be reduced by 20 percent. So, if you suffered $100,000 in damages, you would only be able to get a maximum of $80,000.
Second, you may be on the hook if someone else was also injured. If you were 20 percent at-fault, you can be responsible for 20 percent of the other person’s damages.
Our attorneys will work to minimize your degree of fault in the accident. We will find evidence that shifts blame to others involved. The smaller your role, the more compensation you can recover.
Speak with a Miami Personal Injury Attorney Today
Have you recently suffered the loss of a limb in a Miami accident? Contact Miami personal injury attorney Boris Lavent for immediate assistance. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can help to get you the money you need as you recover. Your financial award can cover medical bills and make up for lost wages. It can also compensate for the emotional trauma of your amputation injury. Call today to schedule your free case assessment.