The Long-Term Costs of an Accident-Related Amputation
Posted on December 29, 2021 in Medical Malpractice
Individuals who sustain amputations caused by the careless or negligent actions of others should be able to recover compensation for their losses. However, amputation claims can be complicated. This is particularly true when it comes to taking the long-term costs of an amputation into account and securing full compensation for these losses. Here, we want to discuss what long-term costs are associated with accident-related amputations.
Data available from medical studies show that the total average lifetime costs for amputation patients are more than $700,000. However, this is only an average. The total cost of some amputation injuries may be less than this total, and many individuals will experience much higher costs.
The Emergency Medical Costs
The medical costs associated with an amputation are typically immediate. Treatment is not as simple as just handling the initial injury. For an amputation, there are likely to be numerous surgeries, including procedures needed to head off any new problems that can occur as a result of the amputation. Initial emergency medical care could reach into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on which limb has been amputated and the severity of the injury.
The Costs of Prosthetics
If an individual qualifies for a prosthetic limb, this can be incredibly costly. For example, the price of a new prosthetic leg can range anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000. However, even the most expensive prosthetic limbs will not last forever. Most prosthetics are designed to last anywhere from three to five years of normal wear and tear. This means that they will have to be replaced numerous times over a person’s lifetime. This is not a one-time cost.
Long-Term Medical Care
The initial medical care related to an amputation is likely not going to be the only medical care needed. Often, one type of injury or ailment will create another. For example, we see this with diabetes that may lead to heart issues. When one health problem leads to another, this is called a “comorbidity.”
Losing a limb can lead to several potential comorbidity problems. Some of these issues are immediate, including potential infections or blood clots that require immediate attention. However, not all comorbidity issues with an amputation are immediate. For example, any amputated limb could lead to improper balance for the rest of a person’s life. This improper balance could put a strain on different bones or muscles throughout the body, and this could lead to major medical problems later on.
These are overall medical costs to reach significant levels, all because of the initial amputation.
A person who sustains an amputation will likely have to rearrange their way of life. This includes their ability to work in the same way that they could before the injury occurred. For example, if an individual loses a limb and can no longer work on a factory floor, they may have to take a different job that pays less. In some cases, amputees may not be able to return to work at all. The potential for lost income could lead to significant financial devastation for amputees and their families.
Contact our Portland personal injury lawyers today.