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Losing a limb in an accident takes more than a physical toll

March 08, 2015

Medical professionals in Illinois who have treated patients who have lost limbs are privy to the deep psychological challenges that accompany such an event. The loss of a limb can have far-reaching consequences into every area of a patient’s life, including their mental, emotional and spiritual health. The cause behind limb loss can also profoundly impact how well a patient heals, not just physically, but emotionally and psychologically. A personal injury attorney Chicago often sees the lasting devastation that follows these catastrophic injuries long after the actual physical wounds have healed.

Stages of grief

When individuals experience a deep loss, they often go through a process known as the five stages of grief. They include the following:

  • Isolation and denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

Patients experience these stages at their own rate. While one individual may move on relatively quickly from their loss, another with the same injury may take years to fully cope and accept their loss.

In many cases, individuals who have lost a limb to a preventable injury may face strong feelings of anger and depression, which can further affect their ability to heal and interact with others as required in a productive job or career. Although their lost limb may not specifically prevent them from performing their job responsibilities, their mental state due to the loss of the limb may irreparably harmed. The severe mental distress of a catastrophic injury may be enough to keep patients from being able to return to work.

Compensation for emotional and psychological damages

Injured parties often seek to be reimbursed for medical bills and lost wages in association with their accidents. However, their repayment is often not limited to these damages. A personal injury attorney in Chicago knows that patients may also be compensated for their emotional and psychological injuries as well as their physical loss. This includes counseling bills and awards for pain and suffering. In certain cases where the acts of the party who caused the accident is particularly egregious, injured individuals and their families may also be awarded punitive damages.

Rates of loss and trauma

According to the Amputee Coalition, almost 2 million people live with one or more missing limbs in the U.S. and another 185,000 amputations occur annually. Trauma, such as occurs in a distracted driver car accident, causes 45 percent of these losses every year.

Injured individuals should contact a personal injury attorney in Chicago for help in filing claims. If necessary, they can help fight for patients to receive the damages that they need to fully heal, physically and emotionally, from their injuries.

If you have been injured in a personal injury or medical malpractice accident, do not hesitate to contact the Chicago accident and injury law firm of Cogan & Power at (312) 477-2500 to schedule a free case consultation, so that we can help you begin the process of recovery as soon as possible. If you cannot come to our offices in downtown Chicago, we will come to you. And because we take cases on a contingency basis, you will not pay any fee unless we get you compensation.