Of the many causes of amputation, too many stem from avoidable injuries caused by another’s negligence. Amputation injuries, especially traumatic amputation injuries (full or partial amputations that happened at the time of an accident), are horrific experiences, and are often accompanied by lifelong, life-altering changes for both the victim and their family.
What follows is an overview of the top causes of amputation that a Houston amputation lawyer often sees over the course of their career.
What are the most common causes of amputation?
According to an often-cited study conducted at St. Olaf College, the most common causes of amputation are related to underlying diseases (such as diabetes and cancer) at 57%, and trauma counts for 45% of all remaining attributions.
These large, general groups can be further broken down into smaller categories of amputation causes. Not all of these smaller categories involve negligence, but it is to those that do that we turn our attention now.
The most common causes of amputation a catastrophic injury lawyer sees at our offices include:
While the majority of our doctors work hard to keep us happy and healthy, the fact is that mistakes are sometimes made. When these mistakes are the result of negligence, it may be possible for a medical malpractice suit to be brought.
For example, doctors and hospitals may fail to treat an injury quickly enough; fail to treat a post-op wound adequately, resulting in gangrene; or fail to adequately monitor the treatment of someone with diabetes, resulting in the amputation of a limb. Regardless of the exact cause, the loss of a limb is a tremendous price to pay for negligent behavior by a medical professional.
Car accidents, including accidents involving motorcycles, boats, pedestrians, bicycles, or other methods of transportation, are by far one of the leading causes of amputation injuries. In this type of incident, amputation injuries may occur at the time of the accident or may be the end result of complications caused by the impact of the vehicle.
Determining the root causes of accidents involving vehicles requires an in-depth knowledge of the type of vehicle involved (as in a car vs. an 18-wheeler), as well as manufacturing regulations. A skilled amputation injury lawyer can help the client investigate the root cause of a car accident so that the right party is held accountable.
One of the less obvious yet still-prominent leading causes of amputation is work-related injuries. Negligence towards employees taking part in industrial work, construction work, food processing, and agricultural work can result in the types of severe wounds that cause amputation.
For example, oil rig jobs are notoriously dangerous for their high rates of injuries involving cuts, burns, electrocution, or being crushed or struck by heavy machinery.
Additional amputation statistics
The St. Olaf study we referenced earlier states that 1 in every 190 North Americans is currently living with the loss of a limb. Even so, general awareness regarding the effects of amputation is low.
The following are additional helpful statistics that express the scope of amputation both in North America and on the global scale. (Unless otherwise noted, the statistic is a result of the St. Olaf study.)
- Over 2 million people living the U.S.A. have lost a limb to amputation
- Around 180,000 amputations occur in the U.S.A each year
- Around 1 million amputations occur globally each year
- African-Americans are 4 times more likely to lose a limb to amputation than white Americans
- Approximately 2 per 10,000 manufacturing employees and 1.5 per 10,000 construction employees suffer an injury involving amputation each year
These numbers are expected to grow, with those involved in the St. Olaf study predicting that over 3.6 million Americans will have suffered the loss of the limb by 2050.
What are the side effects of amputation?
The complications of amputation injuries extend well beyond the loss of a limb. These include physical complications—such as infection, deep vein thrombosis, and phantom limb pain, as well as general loss of mobility and dexterity—as well as emotional complications, such as depression and issues with body image.
Amputation also often takes a large financial toll on the individual who has lost a limb as well as their family, especially if the amputation makes it impossible for someone to continue in their original line of work.
Mithoff Law: Leading representation for amputation injuries
Whether your amputation was caused by one of the typical causes of amputation or by a rarer cause, the Houston personal injury attorneys at Mithoff Law are here to help.
We have decades of experience handling a wide variety of amputation cases. We work tirelessly to hold negligent parties accountable and to serve our clients’ best interests. To request a free consultation, call us at 713-654-1122.
For additional resources regarding financial assistance for amputee victims, we encourage you to visit the Amputee Coalition’s website.
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