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How a West Virginia crash could lead to limb loss

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2023 | Car Accidents

Some crashes in West Virginia only cause minor cosmetic damage to the vehicles involved. Other crashes are so severe that people die. Many others fall in the middle ground between those two extremes.

People may suffer injuries ranging from minor contusions and bruises to spinal cord injuries. Catastrophic injuries that cause lifetime medical challenges and expenses can easily result from more serious crashes. Limb loss or amputation is uncommon but possible when a crash occurs. In fact, car wrecks are one of the most common causes of amputations. These are some of the ways that a collision could cause the loss of a body part.

Through traumatic injuries

Some car crashes are so violent that the force of impact leads to immediate limb loss. High-speed collisions and collisions that occur while someone is not fully inside a vehicle can lead to amputation at the scene of a crash. Collisions between vehicles and motorcycles, pedestrians or bicycles are also higher risk for traumatic amputations. Crashes between passenger vehicles and semi-trucks could cause limb loss for the people in the smaller vehicles.

Traumatic amputations can be particularly dangerous because they lead to massive amounts of blood loss and put someone at a significantly elevated risk of an infection. People generally need emergency transportation to the hospital and may be at elevated risk of secondary complications, like phantom limb pain.

Through severe injuries

Not all car crash amputations occur at the scene of the wreck. Sometimes, an individual’s injuries are so massive that it is impossible to repair or treat the damaged body part. Medical professionals may need to make the difficult decision to order a surgical or medical amputation.

Surgeons may need to remove a body part after a crushing injury or other major damage. That may be the best way for someone to actually recover. A surgical amputation can give someone with severe crash-related physical trauma the best quality of life given the extent of their injuries.

Yet, both surgical and traumatic amputations can have lifelong implications for an injury victim. They may have ongoing medical expenses and a difficult time obtaining gainful employment, especially if they were previously a blue-collar employee. As a result, filing a lawsuit may be necessary after crash-related limb loss in West Virginia, as car insurance coverage from an at-fault driver may not offer enough compensation to offset the expenses inspiring by an injurious incident.