Traumatic Amputation Injuries

Traumatic Amputation Injuries

Traumatic Amputation Injuries


In Canada, more than 5,000 patients per year undergo an amputation in a hospital. Many of these amputations, approximately 65% of them, happen because of complications due to diabetes, while others occur due to diseases or disorders such as cancers, blood clots, vascular disease, or osteomyelitis. The remainder result from accidents. Motor vehicle accidents, in particular, are responsible for hundreds of amputations each year.


Recent news stories report: Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton, injured in a car accident this July, had to have his arm amputated, effectively ending a promising football career. 28-year-old Edward Urquhart had both legs amputated after he lost control of his bike at a Hamilton, Ontario motorcycle park. And a Quebec woman who crashed into a hydro pole on Christmas Eve of 2017 and suffered electrocution had all four limbs amputated in Montreal after telling doctors “I want to live!”


Living as an amputee can be challenging, but most amputees adapt to their new circumstances. Despite multiple surgeries, Kendrick Norton told reporters that he is grateful and happy to be alive. Edward Urquhart says his prosthetic limbs have given him a more effective golf swing. And Sabryna Mongeon, the woman who lost all four of her limbs two years ago, gave birth to a baby boy in November of 2019.


If you have suffered an amputation injury due to a motor vehicle accident, you may wonder how to find your way to a “new normal.” In fact, there are a number of resources that can help you learn how to live with an amputation.


Services for Amputees


One of the most well-known organizations for amputees in Canada is the War Amps. Founded in 1918 to help soldiers returning from the Great War, the scope of the War Amps has expanded to include aiding all amputees, with a special emphasis on child amputees. The organization has helped to develop better prosthetic limbs, initiated driving and sports programs for amputees, and provided prosthetic limbs for thousands of amputees – including Canada’s most famous amputee, Terry Fox.

If you have recently had a limb amputated, a visit to the War Amps website can help you to learn about services and products available to you. These might include:

  • Prosthetics and Daily Living Aids. The War Amps can recommend ways to help you enjoy your favourite activities and live life to the fullest. Resources might include tips for how to ride a horse, devices that can help you to throw a curling rock, play a guitar, or ride a bicycle, hints for how to care for prosthetic limbs, and news about the latest advancements in prosthetic limbs. They also provide funding for prosthetics to eligible applicants.
  • Health and Body Image Concerns. Many amputees struggle with body image issues. The War Amps has programs that can help with these feelings, and resources to help deal with health issues such as residual limb care, phantom pain, bony overgrowth, and other problems unique to amputees.


  • Information on Living as an Amputee. War Amps has various publications that may address questions you may have. They will also provide you with information about professionals and support groups in your area.


  • Advocacy. War Amps advocates on behalf of all amputees, but they will also go to bat for individual amputees who are having difficulty accessing services or benefits.

Personal Injury Claims


If your amputation is a result of a motor vehicle accident, you should make a claim to your insurance company. You may also have grounds for a civil suit against another driver if their error was responsible for the accident (and especially if they were driving while impaired.) The best way to approach both the insurance claim and any legal action is with the help of a personal injury lawyer. These lawyers are knowledgeable about the insurance industry and know how to file the exacting paperwork required. They can assess your case and let you know the range of compensation that is usually offered. They are skilled in negotiation and will make sure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to.


Contact a personal injury law firm as soon as you are able to and request an initial consultation. In Ontario, most personal injury lawyers offer first consultations at no charge. You can learn more about your options, and find out whether you and the lawyer have a good rapport. Does he or she understand your situation? Are you able to communicate easily with him/her? You may want to search for a law firm that offers unique services. For example, if you prefer to communicate in a language other than English or French, look for a firm that offers multilingual services. If you are unable to travel due to your injury, look for a lawyer who will travel to you.


Get the support you need to live your life to the fullest!