When a car accident victim suffers the loss of a limb either in the accident itself or through surgical amputation in the aftermath, there can be permanent changes to the person’s day-to-day life and long-term psychological damage. An amputee can suffer financial stress from medical bills, lost wages, and prosthesis costs. These problems are compounded when a person suffers further medical complications from the amputation.

Complications That Could Arise From Traumatic Amputation

When a person loses a body part such as a leg or an arm in a car crash, the limb can be torn off or severed in the accident. These amputations are rarely straight and clean like ones performed during surgery for medical conditions. Even if the limb is cut off in the accident, the person will still need surgery, and it is more likely that he will suffer complications.  Possible problems that could arise include the following:

  • Heart attack. A major immediate risk following the extreme trauma of the loss of a limb in a car accident is that the person could suffer a heart attack—another life-threatening condition.
  • Deep vein thrombosis. Because the victim is immobilized for a long period after the amputation, there is a risk that he could develop blot clots. In more serious cases, this could develop into a pulmonary embolism, which is a potentially deadly blood clot in a lung.
  • Infection. This could be an infection of the wound site or more systemic, like pneumonia.
  • Hematoma. This is when the amputation site becomes bruised with blood that collects under the skin.
  • Opening of the wound. This is caused by poor healing or infection.
  • Necrosis. This is also known as gangrene and occurs when the cells in the skin flaps used to seal the amputation wound die.
  • Stump and “phantom limb” pain. An amputee can suffer pain at the wound site or “phantom limb” pain where he experiences pain or sensations that seem to be coming from the amputated limb.
  • Psychological problems. A person could suffer life-long psychological issues because of the loss of his limb. In the most severe cases, he could develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), where he experiences unpleasant symptoms after a traumatic event, such as reliving the event and becoming extremely anxious.  

An amputee victim could require expensive additional surgery, medications, physical therapy, and psychological counseling to deal with these complications. But he may be entitled to compensation for these expenses and more from the driver who caused the accident.

Did you or a family member suffer an amputation as a result of an accident caused by another driver? Our compassionate legal team is experienced in handling these cases and is here to help you. Call us at 1-800-350-8888 for a free consultation to learn about your legal rights. We also offer free hospital and home consultations.

Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982
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