Amputations are among the most severe injuries that a person can experience. Whether someone loses an extremity like a hand or a foot, the lower part of a limb or an entire limb, an amputation will likely require thousands of dollars in medical treatment and years of adjustment for the patient involved. Their career path may be derailed.
Amputations can occur for both medical or traumatic reasons. A traumatic amputation involves somebody losing a body part because of an injury, such as when a caught-between incident in construction severs a foot. Other times, an amputation is medical. It occurs in an operating room because doctors determine they cannot save the limb and that removing it is the best option for the patient.
Trauma is a major contributor to amputation rates
Amputation is far more common than you might think, and the top reason for people to lose a limb might surprise you. According to an analysis of reported limb loss incidents in the United States, about 185,000 people lose a limb or undergo a medical amputation every year.
Roughly 54% of those procedures will be the result of vascular diseases like peripheral arterial disease or diabetes. The amputation is the end result of a painful medical condition — not a specific trauma. Almost another 2% will be the result of cancer. Trauma, often caused by car crashes or workplace incidents, causes another 45% of amputations.
Those who are dealing with an amputation or other catastrophic injury may have the right to ask for compensation either through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced attorney can help.