Different types of accidents or negligence can cause someone to lose part or all a limb – or several limbs. Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents can cause a victim to lose an arm, leg, or other body part due to the force of the vehicles on impact and being thrown about the car. Riders can also lose a limb by being thrown out of the vehicle or onto the asphalt.
Infections are another common reason someone might lose a limb, and need to use a prosthetic. Infections can occur due to medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, and other causes. A defective product, or an incident involving heavy machinery like construction equipment, can also tear off or damage a finger, toe, hand, foot, leg or foot.
Injury victims are entitled to demand the cost of wearing suitable prosthetics for the rest of their lives from anyone who causes their injuries. Victims are also entitled to demand payment for the physical pain, the emotional suffering involved with losing a body part, medical treatments, and medications. Many victims who have a body part amputated cannot work again, or cannot earn the same pay because they need to take a lower paying job. These victims are entitled to be compensated for this wage loss from accountable parties.
Complications from using prostheses
The aim of prosthetics is to restore, as much as possible, the functions that the missing body part performed – such as the ability to walk if a leg was required to be amputated. These days, prosthetics are usually designed with the help of computer software to help provide a best fit and best use for the missing part to the remaining body. Prosthetics should also be designed to provide the best appearance as well as the best functional use.
Once the prosthetic is designed and fitted, the accident victim needs to work with therapists and counselors to use the prosthetic. The patient may also need to obtain psychological help to cope with the loss of the limb.
According to Medical Center Orthotics and Prosthetics, some of the issues that can arise for amputees who use prosthetics are:
- Extended use. Over time, many amputees who use leg and feet prosthetics suffer degeneration of various parts of their body including the back, knee, hip, and ankle. This is especially true if the accident already injured those parts of the body. Better designs can help reduce the pressure and the risk of degeneration.
- Back pain. If the prosthetic does not optimize your gait or the fit is poor, patients can suffer severe back pain and spinal pain.
- Limited function. Some prosthetics need to be redesigned because the first version doesn’t prove the range of motion and functional uses that you need. Prosthetics should be designed with your work requirements, daily needs, and social activities in mind.
- Poor alignment or balance. Some prosthetics don’t fit properly. Others may wear down or your body may wear down with time which can cause your alignment and balance to shift. If you don’t feel stable or fear you may fall, it’s time to explore getting a new prosthesis.
Many prosthetic users complain of skin irritation where the prosthetic attaches to their body. Prosthetics should be made with the right materials to reduce friction and reduce irritation.
Other complications with prosthetics include:
- Phantom pain
- Bony spurs
- Other issues depending on what part of the body the prosthetic is being used to help simulate
At Merkel & Cocke, P.A. we understand how life-altering amputations are. Prosthetics, even in the best of circumstances, can’t fully replace your original body part. When complications arise, victims feel physical pain, frustration, anxiety and worry. Our lawyers are experienced with working with orthopedists, plastic surgeons, and prosthetic makers.
We fight to help you get your life back to a semblance of normal. For strong representation, call us at 662-799-1633 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. From our offices in Jackson, Clarksdale, and Oxford, we represent injury victims throughout Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas.