Losing a limb or an extremity in an amputation is one of the most catastrophic accidents a person can suffer. We live in a world of heavy machinery, from the vehicles that we drive to the equipment at our jobs.
Items that you take for granted as part of your life could eventually cause severe enough injury that doctors must amputate a limb or extremity. In some cases, an incident with a machine or a vehicle could amputate a limb or extremity at the scene of the incident.
Regardless of whether the initial trauma removed your limb or doctors had to do so to pursue the best medical outcome in your case, an amputation related to a traumatic injury is going to have a major impact on your life. How do you begin to estimate the costs associated with the loss of a body part?
Medical costs alone can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars
The loss of an arm, leg, hand or foot can impact your life in a number of ways. However, perhaps the most immediate issue will be the need for medical care to address the trauma of the injury, the cost of a prosthesis or other medical device intended to help you regain independence after the injury, and the cost of hospitalization. Initial care is often more than $90,000 for lower-body amputations.
Many people will have ongoing care in the form of medications, such as pain management drugs, as well as physical therapy and possibly psychological counseling due to the trauma such injuries often cause. According to an analysis of single, lower-extremity amputations, the average person can expect to spend more than half a million dollars in extra medical costs over the course of their life due to their amputation.
Lost earning potential, changes to your house and other costs also add up
Depending on the kind of work that you do and whether the injury has a direct impact on your ability to perform your job, an amputation could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of lost wages for skilled or blue-collar workers.
There will also be expenses involved in making your living space or vehicle more accommodating for your current condition, as well as costs for nursing care, in-home support or outsourced household services, like lawn maintenance.
Depending on the circumstances that led to an amputation, there may be multiple options available to a victim, including workers’ compensation, lawsuits against third-party individuals and even car insurance claims. Getting advice about the incident that left you injured from an experienced attorney can help you make good decisions after an amputation injury.