Vehicle accidents can have catastrophic consequences, including amputations. If you lose a limb, it will have a huge effect on your life — but some of the consequences may not be immediately obvious.
Here’s what you should know:
Amputations can happen during the accident or later
Vehicles contain a lot of thin metal. When in a collision, this can become deformed and torn into angular pieces that sever a limb. Alternatively, your limb could become trapped or crushed in the crash, cutting off blood supply and requiring doctors to amputate it later. Even an infection following the wreck can lead that way.
Amputations can do psychological as well as physical harm
Aside from the physical effect of needing to cope without a limb, there can be considerable psychological effects due to an amputation:
- Body image: Every time you catch sight of yourself in a mirror, or a shop window, you will see what is no longer there. It may take years to come to terms with the new you.
- Sexual dysfunction: This can be a side effect of the loss of body image. Your sexual organs do not need to be affected physically. It is a psychological issue.
- Post-traumatic stress syndrome: This is more likely when the amputation occurred in the accident.
- Depression: You may feel helpless due to your inability to perform simple tasks or live life as before.
- Anger: This is a common reaction to amputations. You may be angry at how unfair it is. You might feel anger toward the driver who caused the crash. Especially if they were drunk, speeding or negligent in some other way.
Amputation may affect your ability to work
You will need time off work after an amputation accident and may have to change your career. You will incur large medical expenses. While prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation can make a positive difference, an amputation is a life-changing injury, for which you will need adequate compensation.