Although fortunately a rare occurrence, amputations do occur for some victims of car accidents. An amputation is arguably one of the most devastating kinds of injuries that a car crash victim can suffer. Someone who sustains an amputation from a car accident may experience negative consequences for their mobility, ability to work, active life, and emotional/mental health.
Why Do Amputations Occur?
Car accidents can lead to amputations in one of two ways. Some car accident victims may suffer a traumatic amputation, where traumatic force causes an extremity to be violently severed from a car occupant’s body. Other car accident victims may undergo amputation of limbs after a car accident due to complications from injuries to that limb that were sustained in the crash.
Common Causes of Amputations from Car Accidents
Some of the most common causes of amputations in or following car accidents include:
- Crush syndrome – A limb may end up being crushed in a car accident as the vehicle crumples to absorb the forces of the impact. However, this may lead to limbs being pinned between parts of the car, causing injuries like broken bones, lacerations, and soft tissue damage that ultimately lead to loss of the limb. Crush injuries can also lead to a medical condition called compartment syndrome, which occurs due to a rise in pressure in between the tissues in a limb. If left untreated for too long, compartment syndrome can also result in amputation.
- Infection – An infection caused by lacerations from a car accident can become severe, destroying tissues in a limb and requiring amputation to prevent life-threatening conditions such as sepsis.
- Lacerations – Severe lacerations to limbs that go deep enough into the muscle and other soft tissues may cause enough damage that the limb cannot be saved and must be amputated.
- Vascular damage – A car accident can also damage the major blood vessels in a limb. Without sufficient blood flow, the tissue in the limb may begin to die, requiring amputation.
Complications of an Amputation
An amputation suffered in or because of a car accident can lead to a wide range of possible complications, including:
- Severe blood loss – Severe blood loss can result from a traumatic amputation that occurs during a car accident. Even if an amputation is performed post-accident, postoperative bleeding may be severe enough that a patient requires a transfusion.
- Blood clots – When a foot or leg is amputated after a car accident, the resulting loss of mobility and a more sedentary lifestyle may lead to a higher risk of blood clots.
- Secondary infection – A surgery to amputate a limb also comes with a risk of postoperative infection, which may damage the remaining tissues and necessitate further surgeries.
- Loss of muscle tone – The loss of use of a limb due to an amputation may weaken the muscles in the remainder of the limb.
- Phantom pain – Phantom pain is a condition where an amputee continues to experience the sensation of still having their missing limb, often accompanied by constant pain from where the limb should be.
- Mental health issues – The loss of a limb can be emotionally devastating, leading to anxiety and depression, especially when an amputee can no longer participate in activities they previously enjoyed, cannot work, or have difficulty with tasks of daily living.
Contact an Edison Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. represent clients injured because of car accidents in Woodbridge, Old Bridge, Piscataway, New Brunswick, and throughout New Jersey. Call 732-564-7165 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 1862 Oak Tree Road, Edison, NJ 08820, as well as offices in Edison, Brick, Freehold, and Point Pleasant Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.