Psychological Trauma After an Amputation

Emotional and psychological complications that you might experience after an amputation include:


The change in your appearance, the use of a prosthetic limb, and/or your lack of mobility might make you self-conscious in social settings.


After an amputation, you might also experience:

  • Hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in normal activities or special occasions
  • Decreased appetite
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Excessive sleeping or insomnia
  • Sadness
  • Nightmares
  • Thoughts of self-harm

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Even more serious than general depression, PTSD can lead to aggression, anger, nervousness, anxiety, and panic attacks.

In addition to physical and occupational therapy to help you learn to get around and to work after an amputation, psychological counseling to help you adjust to being an amputee should be covered by workers’ comp. The more rehab you can get, the better your chances are of adjusting successfully to your amputation and living a functional life.

Compensation for Workplace Amputations

Workers’ compensation disability payments are determined according to your degree of disability (partial or total) and how long your disability will continue (temporary or permanent). The SCWCC applies a scheduled loss-of-use formula that specifies a certain number of weeks of compensation to be paid for the loss of or the loss of the use of particular body parts. The number of benefit weeks allowed is then multiplied by approximately two-thirds of your average weekly wage to determine your maximum benefit payment. For example, the loss of the use of your arm is worth 195 weeks of benefits. If you normally earn $900 per week, you’re eligible to receive approximately $600 (two-thirds of $900) multiplied by 195 weeks for a total benefit amount of $117,000.

If, however, you’ve lost only the partial use of a limb, the SCWCC must use your medical evidence to determine the percentage of use you’ve lost, and this percentage is figured into the loss of use formula to determine your maximum benefits. Determining that percentage can obviously be a somewhat subjective process. Two or more healthcare professionals might disagree on the precise percentage of use you’ve lost. To make it more complicated, your disability rating is also affected by how your loss of the use of a body part will affect your ability to pursue your career in the future. Losing the use of a foot or leg does not impact the career of an office worker who sits at a desk in the same way that the same loss impacts a manual laborer who must stand and walk all day. In some cases, disfigurement caused by your amputation can be considered, as well, so determining your disability rating is a tricky business. Having a workers’ comp attorney on your side makes you more likely to get a fair rating.

The Role of Your Attorney

If you simply allow the insurance company and its doctors and lawyers to determine your disability rating, you’re likely to receive the lowest possible benefit amount. An experienced workers’ comp attorney, however, can consult with objective medical doctors and use their statements or testimony, along with evidence regarding the specifics of your job duties and other factors, to show that your rating is higher than the insurer claims it is. Once your total benefit amount is determined, your lawyer can sometimes work to have it paid to you in a one-time lump sum. If the insurer disputes or denies your claim, your attorney can help you appeal the denial.

Have You Been Injured On The Job In Florence?

If you've been hurt at your job in or around Florence, South Carolina, you can speak with a workers' compensation lawyer. Please contact us online or call our Florence personal injury office directly at 843.488.7540 to schedule your consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our CharlestonConwayMyrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. PleasantNorth Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.

Dirk J. Derrick
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South Carolina Lawyer Dirk Derrick helps victims recover from car accidents, personal injury & wrongful death.