Bikers are vulnerable and even when wearing appropriate and strong clothing trauma to their body can be to such a great extent that limbs can be lost. Traumatic amputation at the scene is rare but does happen; such injuries can lead to death particularly where the femoral artery is severed. Normally however amputation occurs post accident following assessment by doctors.
The most common injury for bikers is amputation of legs either above or below the knee mainly caused by coming into contact with car bumpers which trap the leg between the car and motorcycle causing massive crushing injuries. No amount of leathers or protective clothing can prevent such traumatic injuries.
With bike accident amputation cases careful and urgent action is needed. Where insurers readily accept liability swift action can be taken to achieve the best outcome possible for the victim by way of reconstructive surgery on the remaining limb in order to achieve maximum function. Also this can be achieved by specialist private medical health care particularly with a view to the supply of prosthetics.
Vast amounts of research have been carried out in the area of prosthetics mainly to look after injured soldiers and to try to restore maximum function for war injuries. Accident victims now have the benefit of this and prosthetic limbs are now extremely expensive but massively advanced. Most artificial limbs particularly those with joints such as knee joints now are computer chip controlled to provide excellent function. These limbs however are massively expensive and need to be replaced throughout the victim’s life. Most good insurers will now work with your lawyers to provide rehabilitation services including the supply of appropriate limbs.
Amputation of fingers and hands and arms can also have cosmetic effects and these can be lessened by appropriate prosthetic limbs that are now so advanced they can be almost invisible at conversational distance.
Amputation cases have huge financial implications due to the cost of prosthetics and future care needs.
Compensation awards for amputations are again limited by the Law of England and Wales and remain ridiculously low. For example the amputation of both arms would lead to a maximum award of £197,000.00 which is a remarkably low figure. The loss of one arm amputated at the shoulder would achieve an award of not less than £90,000.00 whereas a below knee amputation of one leg would achieve an award of £60,000.00 – £86,000.00.
Bikers are vulnerable to amputation injuries either at the scene of the accident, shortly thereafter or indeed many years thereafter. It is quite common for severe crush injuries and fractures to be conservatively treated following the accident but to worsen considerably to a point where the deformed limb can cause more problems and lead to an elective amputation. Careful counselling is essential in such cases.