Who Will Pay for My Prosthetic Limb After an Accident?

If you lose a limb in an accident, your life changes forever. A prosthetic limb may help you regain mobility once more, but who pays for the device depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident.

If the accident occurred because of the negligent behavior of another party, then the victim may file a personal injury lawsuit. If the amputation occurred after a car accident, even if you opted for limited rather than full tort coverage for insurance, you can still file a personal injury lawsuit due to the catastrophic nature of limb loss.

The costs of amputation go far beyond the initial surgery and the prosthetic limb. Many accident victims can no longer work in the same field after their injury, severely affecting their financial future as well as that of their families.

A Pittsburgh personal injury attorney from our firm will hold those responsible accountable so that you can receive the maximum compensation for your injuries. While most catastrophic injury cases are settled, we do not hesitate to go to trial, if necessary.

Loss of limb

Approximately 2 million people in the U.S. have lost a limb, with roughly 45 percent of those amputations resulting from an accident. About 185,000 people in the U.S. become amputees annually.

Catastrophic injury

Catastrophic injuries refer to those causing severe, permanent impairment. In Pennsylvania, the loss of a limb due to an accident is considered catastrophic.

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit after this type of injury is two years. However, if the accident involved any form of government entity, such as a public bus, the statute of limitations for filing a claim is just six months.

Prosthetic limbs

Prosthetic limbs vary between the highly functional and the primarily cosmetic. For those losing a leg, the most common prostheses are:

  • Transtibial– When the leg is lost below the knee, the prosthetic lower limb attaches to the remaining upper leg.
  • Transfemoral– A leg lost above the knee is replaced by a prosthetic lower and upper leg and knee.

When an arm is amputated, common prostheses include:

  • Transradial– For an arm lost below the elbow, the prostheses will attach at the elbow, and constitutes a forearm.
  • Transhumeral– For arms lost above the elbow, the prostheses attaches to the shoulder. The prosthesis includes an elbow.

The cost of a prosthesis varies according to its level of sophistication and functionality. However, no matter the initial expense, it does not end there. Prosthetic limbs are not designed to last for decades. In fact, most people will require a replacement every five years.

They cost about $50,000 or more—so, that is a huge expense.

Other expenses

While the cost of a prosthetic limb is considerable, there are other major expenses connected with limb loss. That may include modifications to the home or motor vehicles to accommodate the accident victim.

Keep in mind that learning to use a prosthetic limb requires extensive physical therapy and other training. Amputees will also need psychological counseling to help them adjust to this new phase of their lives.

Pain management also plays a role. Along with medication, such management therapy may include electrical skin stimulation and other therapeutic modalities.

Contact us today

If you have suffered a catastrophic injury because of the reckless or negligent actions of another party, schedule a free consultation with us by calling 24/7 or contacting us online.

We know a fair settlement amount for your catastrophic injury, and will negotiate aggressively with the insurance company to obtain a reasonable sum for all of your current and future medical and related needs.

Our investigative team determines who is liable for the accident resulting in the amputation. Our experienced attorneys have recovered more than $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for clients. Finally, we provide a caring, compassionate team that is available to you 24/7.