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Hamilton Amputation Injury Lawyers

SERVING CLIENTS ALL OVER ONTARIO SINCE 2003

If you or a loved one has suffered a Traumatic Amputee injury, we can help. Get your FREE consultation today. Our Amputee Lawyers have recovered Millions for Victims all over Ontario.

If you or your loved one has suffered an Amputee Injury, we understand that you might not know where to turn, who to call or what to do.

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.

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 amputation injury lawyers 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. If you have any questions please call our amputation lawyers today.

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.  Amputation Matt Lalande has assisted many amputation victims since 2003 who have suffered amputation injuries all over Ontario.

Why do amputations occur?

In most cases, the urgent need to remove a limb may come from spreading infection. The body becomes sicker as the invading bacteria travel through the bloodstream. If the source of the problem is not removed, the person will die along with the limb. Simply speaking, an unsaveable limb is one that puts a person’s body or life at high risk.

Traumatic Amputation: What does the future hold?

When the impact of limb loss strikes, the cost issues and concerns can rise to the top. For many, money is often a primary daily concern anyway. Now the person with a fresh amputation is struck with serious thoughts. Is this covered by insurance? Can I afford what is happening to me? Can my family afford it? After my surgery….will the artificial limb be provided? Especially disturbing is the information that a prosthesis can cost as much as a new car, or more. Many insurance policies cover only one prosthesis per lifetime or merely a fraction of their full cost.

If you’ve suffered a traumatic limb amputation as a result of someone’s negligence – and if that person is insured, you may have the full right to claim compensation with the assistance of an amputation lawyer.

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’
  • replacement prosthetic devices;
  • prosthetic cleaning;
  • backup prosthetic devices;
  • stump protectors;
  • prosthetic maintenance costs;
  • physical therapy;
  • occupational therapy;
  • pain management programs;
  • recreational therapy;
  • Handicap driver training;
  • Attendant care services;
  • Housekeeping and home maintenance help;
  • Home modifications;
  • Assistive devices;;
  • Walking devices and wheelchair;
  • Modified automobile;
  • Therapeutic modalities;
  • Counseling;
  • Self-care modifications.

Remember if your amputation injury was as a result of someone’s negligence, it’s important that you contact our Ontario amputations lawyers, located in Hamilton. We serve amputation clients province-wide.

Compensation for lost limbs in Hamilton

In Ontario, the severe impairment of ambulatory mobility or use of an arm, or amputation can lead to a catastrophic determination, if that amputations is high up or is considered a Trans-tibial amputation – meaning a below-knee amputation that involves removing the foot, ankle joint, and distal tibia and fibula with related soft tissue structures.  You may be deemed catastrophic is you suffer an amputation of an arm or another impairment causing the total and permanent loss of use of an arm. Being deemed catastrophically impaired would entitle  you to enhanced no-fault benefits for life, up to $1,000,000.00. These benefits can assist with your life long rehab needs, medication, assistive devices, prosthetics, prosthetic upkeep and/or replacement, vehicle or home modifications, housekeeping costs to help with the upkeep of your home and attendant care, if you are unable to manage certain aspects of life on your own.

If you have been hurt by a negligent third party, you may also be entitled to such compensation as:

  • pain and suffering
  • damages for physical pain
  • loss of enjoyment of life
  • loss of amenities
  • loss of wages (past and future)
  • housekeeping and home maintenance costs and
  • future care costs, among other things.

If you have been hurt by negligent person or company, and/or by a vehicle, it’s important that you speak to an Ontario amputation lawyer without any delay. An experience amputation lawyer can help put the above issues into place right away with the right team of experts.

Amputation and 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.  

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.

What is the feeling of a phantom limb, after an amputation?

There is a sensation that most amputees have with an amputation experience, called the “phantom feeling.”  The phantom feeling is the feeling that the amputated part is still there. It’s relation to body image is that your senses are now giving you a different message than reality. The individual sees that his foot is gone but can still feel it. It’s similar to the feeling we have when removing our hat and yet it feels like it’s still on. Essentially, it is the sense that the missing extremity is still there after it has been physically removed. Neurologists describe our brain developing a type of “nerve map” of our entire body before we are born. Later, when a part is removed the brain’s map is still intact.  The brain’s map is beginning to get different nerve feedback from the missing limb.  The limb stays in its memory but becomes somewhat jumbled with these new sensations. The limb feels like it’s still there but often feels very different and these feelings can change over time.

In our experience, clients have told us that phantom sensation can be highly annoying. Some people call it different names like “ghost pains” or “electrical feeling” similar to the feeling of hitting your “funny bone” [nerve at the elbow]. Other descriptions are stabbing, burning, cramping, twisting, and aching. Fortunately, for most people, the intense phantom feelings are short lived and sporadic.

Traumatic Amputation and Activity Levels

Due to the physical defect caused by a traumatic amputation, victims are forced to undergo obvious changes in their activities. These may be minimal for a very distal lower extremity amputee or maximal for a high level arm or leg amputee. Certain activities which we take for granted become problematic for amputees. For lower extremity amputees, changes in activities may preclude jobs and specific living situations, and may cause problems in social interactions. For the upper extremity amputee, these changes definitely limit job skills and will have an impact on eating, personal hygiene, and toileting.

Why Attendant Care may be Required – Traumatic Amputations and Emergency Situations

Mobility poses significant problems for amputees in emergency situations. Even a unilateral amputee has some difficulty with balance and quick action. As one might suspect, the bilateral amputee, in either combination of both legs or arm and leg, has an even greater disability. In general, the amputees ability to respond to an emergency is
limited. Since most of us in society do not readily respond to help people in emergency situations, an amputee can often be the last one to leave a room that is on fire. If a leg amputee is in bed at night and there is an emergency, they must first either put on their prosthesis or crawl. Because of phantom sensations, lower extremity amputees will often
get out of bed at night, start walking without thinking, and fall. Due to their limited maneuverability even when wearing the prosthesis, rapid maneuvers often required in emergency situations are not possible or take place extremely slowly.

In situations like this, attendant care benefits are available through no fault benefits if the traumatic amputation happened in a motor vehicle accident. Attendant care benefits can be paid up to $6000 a month for incurred expenses of professional attendants.Attendant care benefits are combined with medical and rehabilitation benefits to a maximum of $1 million. For non-catastrophic cases, attendant care benefits are available for up to 104 weeks post-accident. Most dramatic amputation cases however are deemed catastrophic impairments. Attendant care benefits are available for a catastrophically impaired victim for the duration of his or her life.

Amputation, Body Images and Sexuality

There is no doubt a picture in each of our minds of how we appear to others. We develop this sense through what we can see of ourselves and by using reflections, like a mirror or a photograph. We also utilize our other senses and communication from others to establish this vision.  This awareness is called our body image. It can be affected by simple things like getting our hair cut or colored. For some people just breaking a fingernail or having a “bad hair day” can disrupt this image. Our body image can and does change with things like cosmetic surgery or permanent scarring from injury or disease. It certainly changes over time as we become adults, gain, or lose weight, and age.

When part of our anatomy is altered, especially a part that we identify closely with our sexuality, our identity is threatened. For example, legs are often viewed as a part of a woman’s sexual attraction. And a fit man may see his arms, or biceps and broad shoulders as a part of his physical appeal to women. If a person loses one or more of these limbs, do they become less female or male? When an amputation occurs, that concern may become paramount. There is no doubt that an amputee, if forced to experience a dramatic change to their body, may have serious concerns and suffer emotional troubles from a body image and sexuality point of view. The accompanying emotional impact of such loss may require years of psychological therapy.

Rollover Auto Accidents and Traumatic Amputations

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.

Amputation and Getting Back to Work

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 counseling rehabilitation and counseling should become a part of rehabilitation program for all victims trying to get back to work.

Traumatic Amputation Injury FAQ

What is a traumatic amputation injury?

Traumatic amputation is the loss of a body part — usually a finger,toe, arm, or leg– that occurs as the result of an accident or trauma

What are the main causes of Amputations in Ontario?

Traumatic amputations usually result directly from motor vehicle accidents. In our experience, most traumatic amputations are as a result of motorcycle accidents and pedestrian accidents.

Is an amputation considered a catastrophic injury in Ontario?

Yes. Our Provincial no-fault schedule states that an amputation injury is considered catastrophic if the accident victims suffers a severe impairment of ambulatory mobility or use of an arm, or amputation that meets one of the following criteria:

i.  Trans-tibial or higher amputation of a leg.

ii.  Amputation of an arm or another impairment causing the total and permanent loss of use of an arm.

iii.  Severe and permanent alteration of prior structure and function involving one or both legs as a result of which the insured person’s score on the Spinal Cord Independence Measure, Version III, item 12 (Mobility Indoors), as published in Catz, A., Itzkovich, M., Tesio L. et al, A multicentre international study on the Spinal Cord Independence Measure, version III: Rasch psychometric validation, Spinal Cord (2007) 45, 275-291 and applied over a distance of up to 10 metres on an even indoor surface is 0 to 5.

Can an amputee experience pain after a traumatic amputation?

In our experience, we have seen our amputee clients experience two types of pain: phantom limb pain and amputation stump pain. All amputees have phantom sensations, but in some patients, they can cause
excruciating pain.

Who will pay for my prosthetics after my traumatic limb amputation?

Depending upon the specific level of amputation and the type of prosthesis, the costs
for prosthetic devices range from one to several thousand dollars. If your injury was caused in a motor vehicle accident, then your no-fault benefits will provide payment for all of your required devices, including prosthetic devices, for life.

How much compensation am I entitled to after an amputation?

It depends. You will be entitled to a minimum of $1M in medical and rehabilitation benefits, however you may also be entitled to compensation from someone (their insurance company) who was careless and caused your injury.

Do you have experience in representing amputee victims?

Yes, Matt Lalande has been representing traumatic injury accident victims all across Ontario since 2003.

Do you have free consultations for traumatic amputee clients?

Absolutely, we never charge clients to speak to us about their injuries.

When does Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers offer free consultations for amputee victims?

We offer consultations to amputee victims 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Contact our Hamilton Amputation Lawyers today – we serve all of Ontario

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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