Car accidents in Daytona Beach can have tragic consequences, with amputations being one of the most devastating outcomes. There were 10,497 accidents in Volusia County in 2021, resulting in 147 fatalities and 7,416 injuries. Many of these injuries were so severe the victim required amputation.
The Eberst Law Firm has a long track record of helping car accident victims obtain maximum compensation. Find out what we can do for you by calling 1-888-CALL-JON using our online form to schedule a free case evaluation.
Common Causes of Car Accidents Leading to Amputation
Any car wreck can result in an injury so severe a limb must be amputated. Some of the more common reasons accidents occur include the following:
Reckless Driving and Speeding
Reckless driving and speeding are far too prevalent in Daytona Beach and throughout the rest of Florida. Incidents of aggressive driving rose 30% in Florida between 2020 and 2022. Drivers who ignore speed limits and engage in aggressive behaviors on the road increase the risk of severe accidents.
Driving Under the Influence
Another significant concern is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Impaired judgment and slowed reaction times make intoxicated drivers a danger to themselves and others on the road. Their impaired abilities often lead to catastrophic collisions.
Distractions like texting or eating while driving have become increasingly problematic. Such activities divert a driver’s attention from the road, reducing their ability to react to sudden changes in traffic or hazards. Distracted driving contributes to a significant number of accidents that result in amputations. It also contributed to 333 deaths in 2021.
Poor Road Conditions and Signage
The condition of the roads and the presence of proper signage are essential factors in road safety. Poorly maintained roads or inadequate signage can create hazardous situations, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Insufficient road maintenance and signage issues can lead to collisions that result in severe injuries, including amputations.
Mechanical vehicle failures, such as brake malfunctions or tire blowouts, can also lead to catastrophic accidents. These failures often occur unexpectedly, resulting in losing vehicle control and devastating collisions.
Types of Amputations Resulting from Car Accidents
Car accidents can result in various types of amputations, each presenting its unique challenges and consequences. These are just a few of the more common amputations that occur due to a car accident:
- Above-the-knee (transfemoral) amputations: This type of amputation involves the removal of the leg above the knee joint. It’s one of the most challenging amputations regarding mobility and adaptation. Individuals who undergo above-the-knee amputations may require prosthetic limbs with complex knee mechanisms to regain mobility. Above-the-knee, or transfemoral, amputations comprise about 27% of all amputations affecting the lower limb.
- Below-the-knee (transtibial) amputations: Below-the-knee amputations involve the removal of the leg below the knee joint. While it is generally easier to adapt to than above-the-knee amputations, it still poses significant challenges. Prosthetic limbs for below-the-knee amputees are more straightforward and often provide better mobility and stability compared to above-the-knee prosthetics.
- Above-the-elbow (transhumeral) amputations: This type of amputation involves the removal of the arm above the elbow joint. Losing an entire arm can profoundly impact a person’s ability to perform daily tasks. Above-the-elbow amputees face challenges in tasks like dressing, cooking, and driving.
- Below-the-elbow (transradial) amputations: Below-the-elbow amputations involve the removal of the arm below the elbow joint. While this type of amputation allows for greater residual limb functionality, individuals still struggle with tasks such as writing, typing, and using utensils. About 70% of patients with upper limb loss undergo transradial amputations.
Partial Foot or Hand Amputations
These amputations involve the removal of a portion of the foot, such as the toes or part of the forefoot. Partial foot amputees may experience balance issues, gait abnormalities, and pain while walking. The loss of even a small portion of the foot can impact an individual’s ability to wear standard shoes and engage in activities like running or dancing.
Partial hand amputations may involve the loss of fingers or parts of the hand. Losing fine motor control and grip strength can make tasks that involve manual dexterity, such as buttoning shirts or using tools, challenging. Prosthetic hands and fingers can help restore some functionality, but they may not fully replicate the complexity of natural hand movements.
Amputations caused by car accidents aren’t just physical injuries; they’re profoundly traumatic events. These accidents’ sudden and violent nature leaves victims with physical and emotional scars. The shock and horror of losing a limb in a traumatic incident can haunt individuals long after the accident.
The Physical and Emotional Impact of Amputation
Amputation victims often face a long and challenging road to recovery. They may undergo multiple surgeries, extended hospitalization, and intensive rehabilitation to adapt to their new circumstances. The physical pain and discomfort during this phase are significant.
The journey continues long after the immediate recovery period. Amputees must adjust to life with prosthetic limbs or without using the amputated limb. This adaptation can be physically demanding and require ongoing medical care.
Coping with the loss of a limb is emotionally taxing. Amputation victims may experience various emotions, including grief, anger, and depression. Some individuals may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the traumatic nature of the accident. Psychological support and counseling are often crucial in helping individuals navigate these emotional challenges.
Legal Rights of Amputation Victims
In the face of such challenges, victims must understand their legal rights. Amputation victims need to seek legal counsel promptly. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help victims explore potential avenues for compensation and guide them through the complex legal process.
Victims may be entitled to compensation that includes covering medical bills, replacing lost wages, and addressing pain and suffering. However, navigating the legal system to secure this compensation can be complex.
Establishing negligence and liability is often necessary in car accident cases. This involves demonstrating another party’s recklessness or negligence caused the accident and subsequent amputation.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
A personal injury lawyer can assist in many other ways as well. These include the following:
- Gathering evidence: Lawyers gather evidence to build a strong case, including accident reports, witness testimonies, and expert opinions to establish liability.
- Negotiating with insurance companies: They negotiate with insurance companies to help victims receive the compensation they deserve. Insurance companies may try to minimize payouts, but a skilled attorney will work to help victims get every dollar they have coming.
- Offering support and guidance: Beyond legal matters, personal injury lawyers understand the physical and emotional challenges that amputation victims face. They provide invaluable support and guidance throughout the legal process, helping victims navigate a complex journey toward justice and closure.
The personal injury lawyers with The Eberst Law Firm will work tirelessly to help if you’ve suffered a severe injury in a car accident in Daytona Beach that wasn’t your fault. We’ll fight for compensation and offer empathy and support during one of the most challenging periods in your life.