Amputations in Car Accidents


The loss of a limb (arm or leg) or a digit (finger or toe) in a car accident is known as an “amputation” or “traumatic amputation.” Amputation is less common than some car accident injuries, but when this disfiguring injury happens, it creates a lifelong disability for those who survive.

A traumatic amputation that occurs during a car accident can quickly and easily be complicated by profuse bleeding, which may lead to shock or infection, either of which is potentially life-threatening.

In some cases, a limb or digit severed in an accident may be reattached. But in most cases, a car accident victim who has had an arm or leg amputated will do best with a prosthetic limb, the federal Medline Plus website advises.

Car Accidents and Severed Limbs

In the United States, there are approximately 1.7 million people living with limb amputations, according to the National Limb Loss Information Center. It is estimated that 1 in 200 people in the U.S. has had an amputation.

Car accidents are a leading cause of “traumatic amputations,” or the loss of a limb or digit in an accident, as opposed to because of vascular disease, cancer or congenital reasons.

A car accident can cause a crash victim’s fingers, toes, hands, feet or even an entire limb to be so severely damaged that reconstruction is not an option. Sometimes an appendage may be severed by sharp metal or by being crushed a car crash. In some cases, surgical amputation may be required after a car accident to prevent further damage or to save a person’s life.

According to the National Limb Loss Information Center:

  • Upper-limb amputations (arms) accounted for the vast majority (68.6 percent) of all trauma-related amputations.
  • Males were at a significantly higher risk for trauma-related amputations than females.
  • For both males and females, the risk of traumatic amputations increased steadily with age, reaching its highest level among people age 85 or older.

In some traumatic amputations, the severed body part can be reattached, especially when proper care is taken of the severed part and stump. New limb replantation techniques have been moderately successful, Medline Plus says, but incomplete nerve regeneration remains a major limiting factor.

Usually, adapting to a prosthesis is the amputation victim’s most realistic prognosis if a limb has been severed.

While most individuals who experience the loss of a limb have the potential to attain a high degree of function and a satisfying quality of life, the pain and suffering from the loss of a limb, both physically and psychologically, requires little explanation.

Contact a Yakima Car Accident Attorney

You can recover and live a good life after the loss of a limb in a car accident, but the road to recovery is likely to expensive and painful. If you have suffered an amputation in a car crash, it is a disfiguring injury, and you may be eligible for compensation to assist with your recovery if the accident was someone else’s fault.

At Mariano Morales Law, we help seriously injured crash victims deal with the financial hardships that come with injuries such as amputations in car accidents. We work to see to it that accident victims get the money they need for medical expenses, including funds for rehabilitation therapy, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses. We negotiate with insurance companies from a position of strength after developing solid cases that detail our client’s current and projected expenses and financial needs.

Contact a car accident attorney in Yakima for a free initial consultation about the injuries you have suffered and the legal options available to you. Mariano Morales Law assists people in the Yakima Valley, the Tri-Cities (Richland, Pasco and Kennewick), and the Wenatchee, Grant County and Chelan County areas. Contact us at (509) 853-2222 or through our online form for assistance today.