Traumatic amputations are extremely sudden catastrophic injuries which are no doubt emotionally devastating and require major physical, psychological, and social life adjustment for accident victims.Our Hamilton Personal Injury experts cannot stress enough the importance of speaking to a lawyer that specializes in traumatic limb amputations. There will be major costs moving ahead that no doubt need to get funded by the insurance company for the driver that hit you.

Amputations as a surgical option is normally undertaken in situation where saving a limb is likely not possible, and the remaining part of the limb tissue needs excision. In many cases, emergency amputations are tied to crush or avulsion injuries caused by vehicle accidentsmotorcycle accidentpedestrian accidents and cycling accidents.

Regardless of how the accident happened, certain realities exist for all victims. The one body that they have in this life has been irreversibly altered, and feelings of worry, surprise, heartache, anger, frustration, the loss of sensation and the loss of body image soon follow. For accident victims, amputation is often brutally detrimental to the loss of a victim’s overall function which in turn often leads to major psychological suffering.


If you or a loved one has undergone a traumatic amputation, it is important to understand that losing a limb can have a very large impact on a person’s self esteem. For an accident victim, negative feelings about the body, loss of independence, loss of friends or relationships, the ability to relate to others, or loss of a lifestyle could be tremendous hurdles in a person’s recovery. Understanding and being able to resolve some of these feelings are an important part of the process of rehabilitation – which will no doubt be years long and expensive. If you or a loved one has suffered an amputation injury, future care costs will need to be set in place for the victim’s lifetime care.  Even with state-of-the-art limb prosthetics, victims who have suffered limp amputations will never get their normal life back. Accident victims can expect a lifetime of prosthetic fitting and re-fitting and updating, ongoing physical rehab and other adjustments which can be very expensive over a person’s lifetime.

Such future care to consider will be:

  • prosthetic devices to fit and re-fit over a victim’s lifetime
  • prosthetic cleaning;
  • backup prosthetic devices;
  • stump protectors;
  • prosthetic maintenance costs;
  • physical therapy;
  • occupational therapy;
  • pain management and/or chronic pain programs;
  • recreational therapy;
  • Handicap driver training;
  • Attendant care services;
  • Housekeeping and home maintenance help;
  • Home modifications;
  • Assistive devices and home modification such as bathroom modification and variable adjusted bed systems;
  • Walking devices and wheelchair (plus batteries and maintenance costs);
  • Modified automobile (hand controls, left foot pedal, keyless);
  • Therapeutic modalities;
  • Counselling;
  • Self-care modification (shower chair, toilet mounted bidet, hand held shower ect)


Traumatic amputation surgery not only normally results in physically challenged and bodily disfigurement – but amputees also need to make permanent behavioral, social, and emotional adjustments to cope with the multiple problems they might face. Psychologically, many victims often feel disgusted or repelled by their amputated limb. They might not want to look at or touch their limb. They may even feel ashamed.

For example, there is a grieving process that a victim will no doubt need help getting through. The traumatic amputation of a limb may cause an accident victim terrible anguish, stress and distress not only because of the loss of his or her body part but also due to the need for adjustment to his or her changed lifestyle options.

Victims that undergo a traumatic limb amputation will also likely be at risk of developing major depression because of feelings of loss, disability, stigma issues, and difficulty in coping up with the impairment. The distressing events leading to the amputation, especially if amputation is induced by a vehicle or motorcycle accident, or being a pedestrian hit by a car may cause major symptoms of PTSD and heightened anxiety.


A significant amount of auto accident amputations occur in rollover accidents when the upper extremity is more vulnerable. Accident statistics (DOT) have often reported that the positioning one’s arm on or outside a vehicle’s door/window causes immediate arm entrapment and major injury. Mangled arms and hands with associated vascular injuries have an amputation rate exceeding 40% – due to poor circulation. When a limb terrible hurt or mangled, and cells don’t get enough oxygen and nutrients they need from the bloodstream, tissue can die, become infected and peripheral arterial disease can develop. When the tissue can’t be salvaged, this may lead to an amputation. Having your arm  inside the car window eliminates the benefit of maintaining containment within a protective structure.


Returning to work after an amputation may be a challenge if you or your family member did any type of physical work or manual labor.  Vocational rehabilitation will be needed. Other times mobility might not be a factor in the return to work process, but other factors will be an issue – such as the lack of mental acceptance or psychological issues with the level of amputation, or other medical problems such as the type of amputation,  whether or not there were multiple amputations, whether there is mobility restrictions, socket comfort, socket irritation or persistent stump problems, the wearing comfort of the prosthetic or a restriction in walking distance.   There could also be an issue with the lack of acceptable transport to and from work, interpersonal relationships, social isolation or physical and mental stress issues.

That being said, many traumatic amputees do return to work successfully, but the return to work must be facilitated by comprehensive vocational rehabilitation, especially to assist with career transition and job change. Vocational counselling rehabilitation and counselling should become a part of rehabilitation programme for all victims trying to get back to work.


Traumatic amputation surgery no doubt produces considerable stress and challenges the coping of the individual.  It is vital that you learn your rights and what you might be entitled to. We understand that you or your loved one will be upset – but it is important that your future is protected. If you have any questions relating your or your loved one’s accident, please contact us 24/7 by filling in a contact form, chatting with our live operator or by calling 905-333-8888. We would be happy to speak with you. We never charge for consultation or upfront fees.

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