Life can sometimes take an unexpected turn, reshaping our existence in ways we never imagined. Personal injuries resulting in either partial or total limb amputation are among the most profound and life-altering experiences one can endure. Whether due to a traumatic accident, medical necessity, or other circumstances, the loss of a limb can have substantial implications on various aspects of your life. 

From initial shock and physical recovery to the psychological and emotional hurdles that follow, amputation is a catastrophic injury that can present potential obstacles and challenges impacting both you and your loved ones. 

Understanding Different Types of Amputation

Sustaining a serious and catastrophic injury resulting in amputation can be a traumatic event. When discussing amputations, it is important to understand the distinction between partial and total amputations, as they each entail different implications for an individual’s life and rehabilitation processes. 

Both partial and total amputations have profound effects on individuals’ lives. However, the extent of the amputation can determine their specific challenges and will dictate the strategies required for rehabilitation and adaptation moving forward. Whether partial or total, the journey of coping with amputation requires resilience, support, and access to comprehensive medical and rehabilitative care.

Partial Amputation

A partial amputation involves a portion of a limb being removed while leaving some part of it intact. This could include the removal of fingers, toes, or a segment of a limb such as a forearm or lower leg. While still traumatic and life-altering, partial amputations often allow for greater functionality and mobility compared to total amputations.

Individuals who undergo partial amputations may experience various challenges when adapting to changes in sensation, dexterity, and appearance. However, with proper medical treatment, comprehensive rehabilitation, and assistive devices, many individuals who undergo partial amputation can regain a significant degree of independence and functionality back in their daily lives.

Total Amputation

On the other hand, total amputation involves the complete removal of a limb or extremity from the body, such as an entire arm, leg, hand, or foot. Total amputations are generally the result of severe trauma to a particular area of the body, often in the case of a vehicle accident or industrial accident, or it may be a form of surgical intervention used to prevent the spread of disease or injury to the rest of the body.

Total amputations present significant physical, emotional, and psychological challenges for individuals as they adjust to the loss of a major limb. Extensive rehabilitation and therapy will follow a total amputation to help the injured individual learn how to navigate the world using prosthetic limbs or adaptive devices. Additionally, individuals may need to address issues such as phantom limb syndrome, psychological distress, and limitations in mobility and independence.

Major and Minor Amputation

Amputations may also be considered minor or major. A minor amputation may involve amputation of fingers, toes, or partial appendage amputation. A major amputation, on the other hand, may involve amputation above the forearm or knee. 

When is Amputation Necessary?

Doctors will generally only amputate if an individual has sustained a serious injury to a limb or all other efforts to save a limb have been unsuccessful and the injury to the limb may compromise the use of the entire limb or the individual’s life. If you require amputation immediately after a traumatic accident, it can result in substantial restrictions and limitations. After an amputation, you may experience sensations such as burning or pain where the limb used to be, often referred to as phantom limb syndrome. 

The Impacts of Amputation and Your Injury Claim

If you sustained an injury due to someone else’s negligence and amputation was required, the injury is considered to be a catastrophic impairment, and you may be entitled to recover substantial benefits and compensation to cover various expenses and losses. 

With the help of an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer, you may be able to recover financial compensation to aid with caregiver costs, housekeeping and home maintenance, past and future income loss, future medical care and rehabilitation, and general pain and suffering. The amount of damages claimed will be based on the fact-specific details of each case. 

Physical and Mental Effects

Losing a limb or part of a limb can limit your ability to engage in pre-accident activities, such as walking, driving a vehicle, or enjoying hobbies. In some cases, additional surgical intervention may be required after the initial amputation to address complications.  

Beyond the physical impacts, you may also suffer from psychological and emotional effects, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) if your amputation resulted from a traumatic event such as a serious car accident. Although financial compensation will not erase the physical and psychological suffering, it can help you access the specialized care you may require. 

Occupational Limitations

The impact of an amputation on your ability to return to your pre-accident employment can be substantial. Depending on the nature of your injury and your job requirements, you may be unable to return to your role following an amputation. Therefore, you may be able to claim for past loss income and future income loss or diminished earning capacity. The value of such a claim will be based on several factors, including your age, experience, and the nature of your occupation.

What To Do If You Have Had a Limb Amputated

The long-term effects of amputation can be far-reaching for both you and your loved ones. If you have suffered a catastrophic injury resulting in amputation due to another person’s negligence, it is critical to consult with a trusted injury lawyer to determine whether you have a claim. Your lawyer will work with you to commence your claim and ensure you can access the necessary resources and lifestyle support to support your recovery and rehabilitation. 

Contact Calgary’s Catastrophic Injury Lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie for Assistance With Your Personal Injury Case 

At Cuming & Gillespie, our skilled and compassionate personal injury lawyers understand that catastrophic injuries such as amputations can have a significant impact on you as well as your loved ones. To ensure that you can prioritize your health and recovery, our team will handle your injury claim and ensure you have access to the essential resources needed to move forward after an accident. We understand that everyone is different, so we work closely with every client to ensure their needs are met, and they are positioned to recover maximum compensation. If you or a loved one has undergone amputation due to an accident, contact us online or call us at 403-571-0555 to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers about your potential claim.