Injuries that lead to amputation tend to be catastrophic. Amputation can happen in a variety of personal injury or auto accidents. An amputation victim in Illinois could lose a limb in a rollover car accident, for example. The force of the crash might have thrown the amputee’s arm out of the window, or the seatbelt could sever the arm at the shoulder. The limb might be taken off in the accident itself or might be so mangled that surgeons might not be able to save it. Amputations can occur in other accidents as well. An Illinois accident victim could lose an arm or leg in an electrocution accident or a construction accident. Also, industrial accidents claim numerous limbs and appendages each year in the U.S.
According to the latest statistics, about 2 million people are currently living with an amputation in the United States. Furthermore, about 180,000 people annually lose a limb. Some lose limbs because of disease, but the majority of people suffer an amputation after a traumatic injury.
An amputee faces a daunting new reality after losing a limb. An amputee will never be the same again. He or she will never look, the same, walk the same, put on clothes the same way, wash, drive a car, or go to work, play with his or her children, compete in athletics, or be intimate with another in the way he or she could before the accident causing an amputation. The reality is cruel, harsh, and unfair, especially when the amputation occurred as a result of the negligence of another person.
An amputation is a permanent injury, even if a prosthetic device partially provides some of the functionality of a human limb. Beyond the physical limitations imposed on a victim of amputation, the emotional toll amputation exacts on the victim is overwhelming. Even the emotionally strongest people might need extensive counseling to help them cope with their injury.
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