Truck accidents are often devastating because of the size of vehicles involved. Fully loaded, tractor-trailers and big rigs can weigh 80,000 pounds. In a collision with a passenger vehicle, these larger trucks can easily crush smaller cars, causing devastating injuries.
One type of injury that can occur with truck accidents is an amputation. Losing a finger, arm, hand, foot, or leg to a truck accident is a life-changing injury. Amputation can happen in one of two ways. In some cases, a person becomes trapped underneath a truck or car and rescue workers have to amputate in order to free the passenger. In most cases, however, a part of the body is simply so crushed or injured that it cannot be saved and surgeons at a hospital perform an amputation in order to save a patient’s life.
Today, amputation is not taken lightly. Usually, it is a last resort and a step only taken when a patient’s life is in danger. Where possible, permission for the amputation is sought before this step is taken. However, it can also be performed as a life-saving measure, even if the patient is not conscious in order to give explicit consent.
Life After Amputation
A life changes permanently after amputation. A patient who has suffered this injury will:
1) Require extensive treatment.
The wound at the injury site will usually require treatment, and doctors will take steps to prevent the onset of infection and other complications. An amputation is a surgery, with all the attendant risks involved.
2) Need rehabilitation.
Patients will need to learn how to adapt to life with a missing limb or part of a limb. They may need to relearn how to do their job, how to walk, or how to complete simple tasks. Rehabilitation or occupational therapy (or both) may be needed.
3) Need more than one prosthetic.
Eventually, most patients will be able to be fitted for a prosthetic. Sometimes, patients will need multiple prosthetics for different uses. For example, a patient who has lost one or both legs may need separate prosthetics for exercise, regular tasks, and walking. In addition, prosthetics have an expected life span. Patients will need to eventually replace their prosthetics as technology changes and as the devices wear down.
4) Require emotional support.
Amputation is emotionally traumatic. Someone who has suffered from this injury may feel a loss of self-confidence or may feel depressed or angry. Support groups, therapy, and other forms of support may be needed to help the patient adjust.
5) Need to adapt to life with a prosthetic.
People who have lost an arm, leg, or part of a limb often experience phantom itching or phantom pain. They may feel pain or discomfort in the area that has been amputated. In addition, they may need to deal with other people’s reactions to the injury as well as adjust to different job prospects because of their permanent injury.
Adapting to life with a prosthetic is usually time-consuming, difficult, and expensive. Patients who have suffered from a trucking injury that has resulted in this type of permanent injury need all the support they can get.
If you have suffered a life changing injury because of a trucking collision in Hollywood or anywhere in South Florida, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free case analysis. We can review your situation and help you understand what options exist in your case.