An accident that results in a devastating injury can affect a person for the rest of his or her life. If that injury resulted in the loss of a limb, the victim’s recovery may be long and difficult.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 500 people in this country become victims of amputation each day. About 2 million people in the United States live with the loss of a limb. Losing a limb can be traumatic and emotional. The change in your appearance may be a difficult adjustment, and you will certainly have many challenges adapting to new ways to perform routine activities with a missing limb.
Following a traumatic limb injury
While there are many reasons why a person may lose a limb — including disease and birth defects — many amputations result from accidents or injuries sustained in military combat.
Slightly more amputations involve the legs rather than arms or legs. A leg injured in an accident often requires doctors to remove the damaged tissue and seal the wound in such a way that you will be able to use a prosthesis after the limb heals. A typical recovery from an amputation generally follows this pattern:
- About two weeks in a hospital following the amputation of your limb
- Physical therapy after your discharge from the hospital
- Several months of rehabilitation with your new prosthesis
- Medication or therapy to manage phantom pain, if necessary
You may also need assistance to deal with the emotional effects of an accident that leaves you with such a traumatic and life-changing injury. Depression following an amputation injury is common, and advocates for victims of amputation urge them not to dismiss these feelings as inconsequential.
Major life changes
While your recovery may depend on your frame of mind and the positive nature of your support system, there are undoubtedly challenges ahead. You may have to make certain lifestyle changes or give up favorite activities. One of the most important challenges may be the financial impact your accident and subsequent limb loss may have.
If losing a leg or another limb means you are unable to continue working in your chosen field, you may face financial hardships. These setbacks may be compounded following the weeks of hospitalization and months of therapy necessary to help you resume a normal life.
If your injury was the result of negligence, you maybe entitled to compensation for your medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and other economic and noneconomic losses. An attorney experienced in personal injury claims can review your case and explain your legal options.