January 6, 2022

How Can Life Change after a Car Accident Amputation?


In 2015 alone, there were more than six million car accidents in the United States. Car accidents can involve an assortment of injuries. Some people survive a car accident practically unscathed. Others are not so lucky, and if you have a limb amputated because of a car accident, you understand what life-altering event it can be both physically and monetarily.

Global Car Accident Statistics

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported in its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that their objective is to cut in half the number of fatalities that occur from car accidents throughout the world.

There are over one million people in the world who die in car accidents annually. The organization found that if nothing is done to prevent car accidents, they will continue to escalate, resulting in the seventh leading cause of death globally by 2030. At present, car accidents are the chief cause of death in people aged 15 to 29.

The United States has one the most congested street systems in the world, with 264 million registered vehicles and 218 million valid drivers. Traffic congestion is one of the main factors in the number of car accidents in the country yearly. Car accidents account for roughly 40,000 deaths, and lawmakers and auto manufacturers are aware of the crisis and are taking measures to make roads and vehicles safer.

U.S. Amputation Statistics

An amputation is when all or part of a limb or extremity is surgically removed for medical reasons. In the United States, there are more than two million people living with amputated limb. The number rises annually by roughly 185,000 people.

According to the National Limb Loss Information Center, it is estimated that one in 200 people in the United States has had an amputation.

The chief cause of traumatic amputations is car accidents, followed by workplace accidents, agricultural accidents, firearms and explosives accidents, electrocution, ring traction accidents, and building and car door accidents.

With regard to trauma-associated amputations, the upper limb or arms are the most common, and the risk of suffering a traumatic amputation increases with age. Seniors who are 85 and older are at greatest risk for traumatic amputations.

Causes of Car Accident Amputation

Amputation usually occurs from poor circulation when a limb or extremity is injured. Medically, the arteries become narrower and your cells do not get the oxygen and nutrients they need from the bloodstream.

Peripheral arterial disease will usually develop because tissue dies and/or becomes infected. When doctors cannot save the tissue, they often will recommend an amputation.

It is worth noting that a traumatic injury can damage the tissue beyond repair, and when reconstructing a limb or extremity is not a choice, surgical amputation may be the only option. This could mean the amputation of an arm, leg, finger, toe, or other body part.

Amputating a limb helps prevent further damage to the affected body part, along with being the only option to saving someone’s life.  

Amputations are most frequent when any of the following three circumstances occur:

  • Vascular disease, which accounts for 54 percent of amputations because your body does not accurately carry blood throughout the body, causing a decrease in blood flow. A limb that does not receive enough blood will require amputation.
  • Trauma accounts for 45 percent of all yearly amputations and typically involves a car accident, a work accident, or burns.
  • Lastly, infections can kill skin tissue that can become so severe that the affected area requires amputation. Sometimes, traumatic amputations can lead to profuse bleeding, causing life-threatening complications such as shock and infection.

A car accident amputation would be part of either the traumatic amputation or infection category.

Upper limb or arm amputations accounted for the 68.6 percent of all trauma-related amputations, with men at much higher risk for trauma-related amputations than women, according to the National Limb Loss Information Center.

Financial Ramifications of a Lost Limb

As previously mentioned, losing a limb is a life-altering event, and research has shown up to 30 percent of people with limb loss experience depression or anxiety. If you have lost your limb from a catastrophic event, the stress can be even more severe. The estimated costs of hospital and professional fees are roughly about $30,000. This estimate is calculated without prosthetics costs. The addition of prosthetics costs, along with the hospital costs, are approximately $403,000 in a patient’s lifetime expenses. Of course, the cost of emotional pain and potential counseling is not added to that total.

The Hard Reality of Living with Severed Limbs

People who have undergone an amputation can still lead rewarding and fruitful lives, despite the major setback. However, they will have to adjust accordingly to endeavors that they may have once enjoyed such as recreational sports or any other hobby. The fact is that it is difficult and costly to adapt or modify hobbies that you used to enjoy in a manner that will bring you the same happiness. In some cases, it is almost impossible to do the same type of job that you had before because of the physical limitations from the amputation.

Putting your life back together can be filled with setbacks and hurdles, especially for car accident victims who have suffered a severed limb. You combine that with the added expenses linked to amputation such as the monetary hardships that are soon to follow, and it is hard to see how you will ever get your life back on track. That is why it is paramount that people who have suffered a mutilating injury such as an amputation should pursue compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, rehabilitation, lost income, and other damages.

Norristown Car Accident Lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. Advocate on Behalf of Amputees

If you or a loved one lost a limb or an extremity because of a car accident, you should be compensated so that you can focus on getting your life back on track. The experienced Norristown car accident lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. will fight on your behalf so that you can focus on your health and peace of mind. We will hold the parties responsible for your personal injuries accountable for their actions. Call us at 267-861-7100 or visit our website to set up a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients in Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Norristown.