Recovering from a major car accident is not easy. You have to overcome not only physical and mental trauma, but also have to accept the changes that have come into your life post-trauma.
Minor accidents lead to physical discomfort, pain, and medical expenses. But, massive crashes lead to traumatic injuries that change your life as you know it. Severe injuries like traumatic brain injury (TBI), disability, permanent and extensive scarring, loss of cognitive or behavioral capacities, and amputations have far-reaching consequences that affect the victims’ lives forever.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a major accident that has resulted in loss of an extremity, be assured that there many ways in which you can reclaim your life. What you need to develop first is an unwavering faith in yourself and a belief that things are going to work out for the better.
Here are a few tips for you if are trying to recover from a devastating accident that has led to loss of a limb.
(1) Cope with the Loss
The feeling of losing a limb is very similar to losing a very close relative or a loved one. You feel debilitated, lost, and confused. Therapists who work with amputees say that it is important to take time to grieve and deal with the loss.
Loss of a limb becomes even more catastrophic when the victim is unprepared for it, as in the case of traumatic events like accidents. Victims often wake up to a missing limb and are woefully unprepared to deal with the physical and emotional blow that the loss deals them.
The patient or the trauma victim should be given enough time to grieve for the loss. This will gradually help the patient come to terms with the loss and will make him or her strong enough to deal with the drastic changes.
(2) Make Use of a Preparation Period
If the patient gets a chance to prepare for amputation, the time must be best used to make recovery and rehabilitation processes easier, quicker, and more effective.
The patient should be informed about the processes and consequences of the surgical intervention. He or she should not have any doubts or misunderstanding about the process, the postoperative treatment, or the manner in which prosthesis can help.
Amputation has a profound effect on personal and professional life, and relationships of the patient. It is necessary that the patient be made aware of the changes that will come into day to day life and everyday activities, and earning capacity.
If possible, it will be helpful if the patient is given an opportunity to interact with people who have had amputations and be a part of self-help groups. This will not only be a source of information and awareness, but will also be a great support. The clarity regarding consequences will help the patient make more informed treatment decisions, and will help reduce fear, anxiety, and uncertainty.
(3) Educate Family and Friends
Amputation is an irreversible physical change and the victim experiences a loss of physical integrity. It is important that close family and friends treat the patient as a complete person no different from the person he or she was before the loss. This will help transfer self-esteem, confidence, and courage to the patient as well.
Many times, friends and family unknowingly aggravate the pain and sadness associated with amputation. The attending physician should ensure that relatives are involved in the entire process from the beginning, and should be ready to provide moral and practical support to the patient.
(4) Seek Legal Recourse
Many amputations occur as a result of injuries from traffic accidents. Accidents are so traumatic that limbs are crushed or badly damaged and the only way forward is to have them amputated. In situations where the accident was partly or fully caused by the negligence of another person, you can sue for amputation injury or personal injury, and win compensation for your loss.
There are a host of factors affecting the settlement you receive. A doctor’s report will be essential to understand the severity of your injuries. You also have to prove that the amputation is a direct result of the negligence of the third party. Proving partial or total fault will not always be easy. You will need testimonies from several sources including medical experts, auto engineers, and biomechanical specialists to prove the validity of your claim.
Due to the complexity of the case and amount of claim involved, it is best if you enlist the services of a reputed amputation injury lawyer. Also, today, most attorneys do not charge you anything until and unless you win your case.
Financial compensation will not help you get back your lost limb, but it will definitely ease monetary stress and enable you get the best treatment and utilize sophisticated technology to replace the loss with prosthesis or explore other options.
Loss of a limb can affect a person’s life in many ways. Developing a positive outlook on life and taking each day as it comes will help the person realize that his or her fears are worse than reality.