Car crashes can cause some of the worst injuries a person can experience. Collisions are a leading cause of brain injury and spinal cord injuries in the United States. They can also cause numerous other injuries that can permanently affect someone’s finances and quality of life, such as amputation.
Limb loss or amputation dramatically alters someone’s physical experience and affects what household work and gainful employment they can perform. Losing a body part typically also affects someone’s mental health and their relationships.
Although car crashes are not the top cause of amputation in the United States, as medical amputations due to conditions like diabetes are the leading cause, they are one of the most common reasons why people lose body parts. These are the primary ways that collisions cause amputations.
Immediate traumatic injury
Either because of the motion of the vehicles during a crash or someone’s position at the time of a collision, the force of the impact could lead to an immediate amputation. Someone with their arm out the window, for example, could lose the entire exposed part of their body in a crash.
Those who get thrown from a vehicle or who experience a crash at very high speeds or in which there is a significant difference in size between their vehicle and the other vehicle involved are at increased risk of suffering a traumatic amputation as a result of a crash.
There are scenarios in which people do not suffer a traumatic amputation in a car crash but still end up losing a body part. Hands and feet, for example, have numerous small bones in them. Extreme fractures and tissue damage might make it impossible for medical professionals to save an injured body part. Surgeons may instead need to remove a limb or extremity for the good of the rest of someone’s body.
Both kinds of amputations have their own risks. An amputation that occurs during a crash could lead to extreme blood loss and drastically increase someone’s risk of infection. Surgical amputations, especially when they are unexpected, can potentially lead to mental health challenges for the patient and lengthy recovery.
Those who lose a limb in a car crash will require significant compensation for trauma care and also for rehabilitative support. Many people with extreme injuries will find that the car insurance of the driver at fault will not be sufficient for their costs. Reviewing the coverage of the other driver and looking into a personal injury lawsuit can help those coping with a crash-related amputation.