The Cost of an Amputation Injury
Losing a limb due to a catastrophic accident can leave people in pain and anguish for years or even a lifetime, making it harder for them to earn a living. Even with the right financial resources in place, limb prosthetics can cost tens of thousands—not including the time spent adjusting to using it, the hours of physical therapy, and the lost work efficiency.
The effects of amputation include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Loss of mobility and dexterity
- Stump and phantom limb pain
- Muscle contractures
- Fatigue or exhaustion
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Body image issues
- Social isolation
One study found that amputees faced tens of thousands of dollars in care costs on average from hospital and professional fees without accounting for prosthetic costs. When the cost of using/buying prosthetics was added in, patients’ lifetime expenses reached six figures on average. Just for treatment—not counseling, emotional pain and suffering, the loss of a career, or the grief that comes from losing a piece of yourself.
Accounting for Long-Term Costs That Can Result from Amputations
The resulting imbalance that results after an amputation can create additional accident risks as well as degenerative conditions, such as osteoarthritis, osteopenia, and osteoporosis. In these cases, cartilage gets worn away, triggering additional joint pain, and bone mass shrinks, leading to weakened, brittle bones that can easily fracture.
One of the ways to mitigate these risks is finding the right prosthetic, but this in and of itself can be a grueling process. Prosthetics can help mitigate long-term, secondary conditions, but until they fit right and provide proper realignment and balance, prosthetics themselves can lead to radiating pain, blisters, and risks of falls. The compensation someone receives for an amputation should cover past, current, and anticipated future costs. You cannot afford to settle for inadequate, low compensation that doesn't account for all of your amputation-related expenses and damages.
This can include receiving compensation for the following:
- All related and ongoing medical expenses
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income and earning ability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- And more
The loss of a limb is mental, physical, and emotional.
The results of your case should fully reflect that.
What Is a Crush Injury?
Crush injuries occur when intense or sustained compression inflicts harm on muscles, blood vessels, nerves, bones, and tissues. About three-quarters of these injuries impact the legs, while around 10% involve the arms. These injuries vary widely in severity. They can range from minor incidents, like shutting a finger in a door, to severe cases leading to long-term disability or even fatality. In extreme situations, the damage to bones and muscles may be so extensive that the affected limb becomes irreparable, necessitating amputation. While some lesser injuries might be manageable without medical intervention, many crush injuries demand immediate medical care to avoid grave complications.
Crush injuries can lead to other serious medical consequences such as:
Why Crush Injuries Are Dangerous & Potentially Fatal
When a crush injury occurs, abnormal compression forces disrupt the chemical balance of the muscle cells. This disruption damages the structures in the cell membranes that are responsible for pumping calcium and potassium into the cells and removing sodium from the cells, which can break the muscle cell membrane and cause cell death. When this happens, muscles break down and release a protein into the blood known as myoglobin.
This release leads to rhabdomyolysis, which results in low blood pressure and vomiting.
If rhabdomyolysis is not treated immediately, it can lead to:
- Kidney failure
- Toxic shock
- Fatal injury
Medical intervention is required and surgery may be needed to repair tissue damage. Sadly, amputation may be the only effective medical treatment in some cases. One of the reasons crush injuries are so devastating is the long-term impact suffered by the victims. Crush injuries can lead to intense, constant pain, and even the potential of permanent pain—also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD).
Common Causes of Amputation & Crushing Injuries
Some of the most common sources of amputation and crush injuries come from:
One of the key reasons that work injuries account for so many amputations is the use of heavy equipment, especially in construction and industrial settings. When machinery with moving parts is used, employers are required to make sure all equipment is safe to operate and well-maintained. Workers must be trained in the proper methods of operation, cleaning, and maintenance of the equipment to prevent crushing injury. They must be provided with equipment and tools that reduce the danger of amputation and crush injuries and must be adequately trained in their proper use.
Amputation and crushing injuries in the workplace usually involve:
- Parts of moving machinery
- Powered doors
- Heavy loads being dropped
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 6,200 workers in 2018 who needed amputations after workplace accidents. Nearly 60% of these nonfatal amputations were due to machinery.
Amputation & Crush Injuries on Oil Rigs
With all of the heavy machinery that workers operate, it is no surprise that amputations are some of the most common injuries reported on oil rigs. After drilling begins, pipes are added to keep up with the deepening of the well. Unsecured drill pipes can roll and injure workers. It is important for workers to be educated on good lifting techniques with heavy drilling parts. Workers should also try to keep away from rotating parts and follow safe lifting and hoisting procedures.
Speak with Our Houston Amputation Injury Lawyers: (888) 493-1629
Proving that negligence caused the crush injury, the amputation, or even lead to a situation that necessitated amputation means one thing: the ability to start over without fear or stress. At Arnold & Itkin, are here to help fight for the resources you need: quality medical care, recovered lost wages, and long-term rehabilitation.
People turn to our Houston catastrophic injury attorneys because:
- We have won billions of dollars for our clients.
- We have set state and national records with our victories.
- We have won hundreds of case results worth $1 million or more.
- We have won cases for our clients in more than 40 states.
The Houston amputation lawyers at Arnold & Itkin have helped our clients rebuild their lives—to provide for their families, find new careers, and keep their homes. Our work has helped people find hope again. Together, we can fight to hold your wrongdoer accountable and force them to do right by you and your loved ones. No matter what.
Call (888) 493-1629 or contact us online to tell us what happened. We can fight to help you rebuild your life.