Amputation occurs when a limb or extremity is removed, either due to physical trauma or surgery. Almost 2 million Americans are currently living without one of their limbs. Nearly 185,000 amputations are conducted annually, many as a result of injury, disease, and infection.
When amputation is the result of an accident, the experience is certainly life-altering. Those who lose a limb from the negligent acts of another party may be entitled to significant financial compensation according to North Carolina law.
There are many other reasons why an amputation may be needed, including:
Inadequate circulation in an extremity due to constricted arteries can also necessitate amputation. These are common in “crush” injuries. The lack of blood flow prevents the limb from receiving sufficient nutrients and oxygen, causing deterioration of tissues and infection. If the damage is too widespread, medical providers must remove the limb before the infection spreads.
The most common type of amputation involves the leg, severing it either above or below the knee. Patients may then receive an artificial leg to allow for mobility. Medical expenses for a leg amputation are an estimated $110,000 for a two-year period. Amputation is certainly a “last-resort” effort for the improvement of a patient’s quality of life.
Those who undergo an amputation can expect to spend several days in the hospital depending on any complications. Either a general anesthetic or spinal anesthetic will be used for the procedure. The surgeon will remove damaged tissue, and the area may be closed or left open for the removal of more tissue in a subsequent procedure. A sterile dressing is needed, as well as tubes to drain fluid. It may be necessary to stabilize the site using traction or a splint.
Following the surgery, the patient is transitioned to therapy to promote strength and flexibility. The wound itself may take roughly six weeks to heal; however, the emotional toll of losing a limb will continue. Initially, a temporary artificial limb may be used, which is replaced with a permanent device several months later.
As amputees seek to regain a level of independence, they may rely heavily on family and friends for support. Amputees are likely to face significant financial challenges as a result of medical expenses and aspects of recovery, including:
Sometimes, those who have undergone an amputation may be unable to safely operate a motor vehicle. NC’s Division of Motor Vehicles has a division that makes these determinations based on individual driver assessment, in response to concerns from a medical provider, family member, or someone else. The organization may assign the driver a conditional license for driving.
If you lost a limb in an accident stemming from someone else’s reckless or negligent actions, you face a host of challenges. Daily activities that you took for granted may no longer be possible, such as walking, working, or driving. In these situations, you need experienced legal assistance to determine if you are eligible for compensation from another party. The Wilmington amputation injury lawyers at Rhine Law Firm, P.C., have the knowledge and resources to help you receive just compensation for the life-altering challenges that you now face.
Your attorney will assist you with pursuing a variety of potential damages in a lawsuit, including:
Your spouse may also have a claim for loss of consortium.
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