Disfigurement or amputations are life-altering events potentially causing loss of mobility, permanent scarring, and insecurity with physical appearance. In addition to adjusting to the emotional and psychological aspects, recovery often requires intense physical therapy and medical treatment.
Amputation occurs when there is a major infection present in part of the body and the body part must be removed to prevent it’s spread to the rest of the body. Normally, the infection is localized within one of the victim’s limbs.
A disfigurement is any severe or permanent damage that occurs to a person’s appearance. This can include conditions such as birth defects or diseases. Most often, disfigurement will occur due to injuries that are sustained later in life. Some examples of disfigurements are scars from severe cuts, serious burns from heat, electricity, or chemicals, and injuries incurred from major blunt trauma.
Causes of Amputations or Disfigurements
Amputations and disfigurements are usually caused by serious injury, accidents, or infections. This means that any activity that could involve personal injury and any situation that could provide exposure to bacterial infections could lead to amputation or disfigurement. Some of the most common causes are:
- Motor vehicle defects
- Industrial accidents involving chemical, electrical, steam, or fire
- Slips and falls
- Motorcycle accidents and road rash
- Surgical errors
- Defective medications
- Burns or lacerations from auto accidents
- Incorrect prescriptions
- Hot liquid spills
- Workplace accidents involving defective equipment
- Construction accidents
Types of Disfigurements
Disfigurements that are a result of birth injuries tend to be very different from those that are a result of personal injury. Those resulting from birth injuries or diseases are typically large, permanent scars or burns. Some of the disfigurements that are a result of accidents include:
- Contracture scars- a scar caused by a burn. The skin around the burn will start to contract causing difficulty with mobility and can potentially damage nerves and muscles in the area
- Stevens-Johnson Syndrome- A separation of the dermis and epidermis due to cell death. It is often caused by allergies or negative reaction to medication and results in very visible skin scarring. Many of the lawsuits are considered medical malpractice and can be tied to defective drug cases
- Keloid scars- A hypertrophic scar that extends beyond the area of the original wound due to the ability to continue growing. This can be the source of benign tumor growths and can potentially affect the mobility of parts of the body and become a cosmetic problem.
- Hypertrophic scars- Overproduction of collagen at the site of the scar, causing red bumps to appear. Usually hypertrophic scars remain within the area of the original wound
Types of Amputations
Losing a limb due to an accident can be a very difficult and traumatizing experience. There are two main categories of amputations: lower limb and upper limb. The lower limb amputations include those made to the lower half of the body, including legs and feet, whereas upper limb amputation including body parts on the upper half of the body such as arms.
Some types of amputation are:
Lower Limb Amputation
- Below-knee or transtibial- occurring above the ankle, but below the knee
- Ankle disarticulations- amputation of the entire ankle
- Foot amputations- these commonly involve toe amputations that will affect walking and balance
- Knee-bearing amputations- complete removal of the lower leg. They are above knee amputations or transfemoral- amputation made at the thigh level
Upper Limb Amputation
- Hand or partial hand- amputations including finger, fingertips, or parts of the finger. The thumb is the most common finger to be amputated
- Multiple digit- occurs when more than one finger is amputated
- Wrist disarticulations- the removal of the hand at the wrist joint
- Metacarpal amputations- removing the hand with the wrist still intact
- Elbow disarticulations or transradial amputation- removal of the whole forearm at the elbow
- Transhumeral- removal of the arm from above the elbow
- Shoulder disarticulation and forequarter amputation- removal of the entire arm including the shoulder blade and collar bone
Take action today.
If you or a loved one has been permanently disfigured or had an amputation performed due to a personal injury or accident take action today. The attorneys at Powers Taylor are experienced with all types of personal injury cases. We understand the huge emotional, physical, and financial pressures you are facing. Our attorneys value each client and will fight to get you and your loved ones through this extraordinarily difficult time and get the justice you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. All calls are kept confidential.