The risk of suffering a catastrophic injury in a motorcycle accident is significant, considering the rider’s lack of protection. One of the most devastating kinds of injuries to sustain is an arm or leg amputation. Not only does the victim have to deal with substantial future medical concerns, but it also may impact his ability to work and could cause psychological harm.
According to the Amputee Coalition, about 45 percent of cases that result in limb loss are a result of trauma (such as an accident). When a motorcycle accident and resultant amputation was caused by someone else’s negligence, the victim may pursue compensation or damages to address financial, physical and emotional losses.
Adverse Consequences of a Severed Limb in a Motorcycle Accident
The prognosis for someone who has lost a limb depends on a variety of factors, such as whether it can be reattached, the type of prosthesis (nonfunctional versus functional), complications and treatment. The good news is that with advances in technology, many amputees can move forward and enjoy a good quality life. But that doesn’t negate the consequences that some patients may face.
Financial Consequences of a Traumatic Amputation
The loss of a limb can lead to significant medical costs, starting with emergency services like an ambulance and/or emergency treatment. Often there are complications with this type of injury, such as shock and bleeding, which doctors must treat before making other decisions as to whether or not they can save the limb.
If the limb can be reattached, the person will undergo surgery and hospitalization. This is more often possible with a partially severed limb, rather than a whole arm or leg amputation. The procedure often involves reconnecting nerves, bone, tissue and arteries.
If it’s a full amputation, the limb was crushed, or there isn’t enough soft tissue to reattach the arm or leg, surgical repairs still will be necessary. Some learn how to live without the limb, while others are fitted for a prosthesis. But whether or not the limb can be reattached, the individual will have to undergo months of rehabilitation.
Keep in mind that prostheses can cost tens of thousands of dollars. And they don’t last forever – typically, they need replacing after several years depending on wear and tear.
Those who don’t use a prosthesis may need some type of mobility device such as a wheelchair. And there could be additional costs for occupational therapy, vocational rehabilitation and psychological treatment.
Both the initial and future medical costs associated with a severed limb can be substantial. And that’s not taking into consideration someone’s loss of income if he or she isn’t able to return to the same line of work after the motorcycle accident and amputation. Or the victim may have to take a cut in pay.
These financial losses should be addressed in a claim when someone else was at fault for the motorcycle accident. No-fault states, such as New York, typically allow victims to file lawsuits against another party if the injuries were severe enough.
Physical & Psychological Consequences of a Traumatic Amputation
Another important consideration is the physical consequences that victims of an amputation might experience. Pain in the remaining part of the limb is not uncommon, for example.
Another variation of this is “phantom pain” that a patient might experience following a full arm or leg amputation. Despite the limb not physically being present, some patients may continue to experience discomfort. Nerve damage can be another source of pain.
These physical consequences could be addressed when pursuing a claim. Examples of damages that claimants may pursue are pain and suffering and reduced quality of life.
Adding to all this devastation, the amputee’s mental health can be significantly impacted by a motorcycle accident and resultant arm or leg amputation. This can lead to depression, anxiety and other disorders that affect every area of the victim’s life — from socializing and working to performing daily activities. Damages such as mental anguish and emotional distress can address these types of injuries.
Gacovino, Lake & Associates provide assistance to victims of motorcycle accidents who’ve suffered a severed limb or other serious injury. If your loved one was in a motorcycle accident, call Gacovino, Lake & Associates for legal assistance: (800) 550-0000.